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Friends don’t let friends pay full price.

It was a great week.  Great progress towards things that matter and time to meet up with great people. As I reflected on conversations, a common theme emerged…The helpful tone and willingness to share ideas or new solutions was expected.  But it was the passion around how to get the “best deal” that was fascinating.

what's the price of discountingExactly what is the cost of discounting?

Even into the next week, the conversation continued.  But now with the perspective that the front line teams share a passion. The customer needs a deal or a coupon or…

And as leaders in their space, they felt “bad” if their customers didn’t have that special deal.  In some cases, they went searching for one so they could help the customer feel “better”.

And I must admit, I have certainly experienced the same behavior from the clerks when I was checking out at the grocery store.  But here’s the sticky part, while I appreciated the sincere effort to save me money, the resulting effort didn’t alter what I bought or my perception of value.

It raises an interesting social theme that must be considered.  If everyone wants to buy things on sale, how do you drive value long term?  We live in a discount economy.  What was once a seasonal strategy in the marketplace is now an everyday expectation by the consumer.

So as a leader – how do you stand out and add value.

Understanding both the overall strategic direction AND the operating practices and guidelines is critical to ensure you do not devalue yourself over time.  And yet managing the paradox of delivering value to the consumer in a manner that supports this notion “friends don’t let friends pay full price” is critical.

The passion and pursuit of this ideal has gone from special events like Black Friday or Cyber Monday and seasonal clearance sales to every day.  The economic downturn accelerated the rapid adaption by organizations to drive sales.

How has it affected you, first as a consumer?  And then as a leader?  How do you manage the paradox of looking for a deal and leading an organization to support the value of what you do?




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