Topshop Fail

November 7, 2009

topshop jpeg

 

One of the learnings in our recent Evolution of the Consumer research project, has been the increasing level of justification consumers seem to need these days, to loosen their purse strings.  Rationalising our spending isn’t a new phenomenon. But whereas in the Celtic Tiger years, the fact that it was a Wednesday was reason enough to treat ourselves, now we require something more substantial to alleviate shopping guilt.

So it’s understandable that retailers are trying to devise clever ways to get us spending. I was on the receiving end of a couple of these techniques during the week, one success, one failure. Marks & Spencers have got a range of lunch products for Christmas, in support of Focus Ireland. A percentage of all profits made on these sandwiches goes directly to the charity. There was no price premium for me and I got a lovely feel good factor in buying my lunch that day. I’ll be going back soon.

In contrast, I also received a 20% off viral coupon from Topshop. These viral coupons have been really popular over the last couple of years and they whiz around amongst girls – I sent this one on to all my friends. I love Topshop, 20% is a generous discount and it was all the justification I needed to visit. I made a special effort to print out the coupon and go in, as it was for a limited time period. Instore however, I saw that the 20% discount was plastered all over the shop and was available to everyone. You didn’t need the coupon at all. In fact I didn’t actually have a coupon, I just had a printed out advertisement for a Topshop sale.

I couldn’t help feeling a bit cheated.

Receiving and passing on an exclusive voucher that’s of benefit to all my friends, that’s motivating. Acting as a free advertising medium to publicise a Topshop sale – what’s in it for me? Next time I get a Topshop viral, I won’t be pressing forward.

Neasa

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