The Incentive Nation

Nov 12, 2002

By George Anderson

Welcome to the incentive nation.

From the discount store to the auto dealership to the bank, consumers buy only
when there is a deal. Peter Francese, author and founder of American Demographics
writes in the Portsmouth Herald News that the reliance on
special deals has left many asking what will consumers do when the price promotions
and financing incentives are gone?

Mr. Francese writes, “We have seen the real price to be paid by a constant focus on price. If this weak economy is ever to get more robust, it will be when sellers return to their marketing roots and show consumers why benefit value is more important than a low price.”

Moderator’s Comment: What will happen when consumers
no longer have access to special deals and incentives? How can retailers change
the conversation from price to benefits?

Mr. Francese believes that consumers will become cautious
and postpone buying until another price or financing incentive comes along.
All the more reason for sellers of consumer goods to find ways to move the conversation
from price to benefits.

Communicating benefits effectively may take longer than
a 30-second TV commercial or single-page ad in a newspaper. An infomercial program
(see previous story) with a consumer
issues focus on food, health, popular trends, etc. may be the answer.
Anderson – Moderator

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