Fighting Customer Fatigue

If you ever were a student of marketing, you learned about the product life cycle. The PLC includes stages of introduction, growth, maturity, and decline- yes, that product life cycle. And, you probably learned about the characteristics associated with each stage. For example, the growth stage is characterized by increased competition as new entrants enter the market and a need to achieve brand differentiation. Hey, that sounds just like what is going on in the daily deals category. Groupon established itself as the dominant brand, and its rapid success attracted a slew of websites with a similar deal-of-the-day concept.

Evidence is appearing that should alarm daily deals marketers like Groupon: traffic on their websites is decreasing. Groupon’s site traffic last week was down 25% compared to early June, and it had its first ever month-over-month traffic decline in July. The drop in Groupon website traffic can be attributed to the large number of options consumers have for daily deals. At some point, “in-box fatigue” sets in and the daily email offers become part of the message clutter that is our lives as consumers.

Marketers can learn many lessons from the daily deals category and Groupon in particular. First, early entry into a market can be advantageous but does not guarantee success. Being first is not as important as being unique. Second, if a business idea is easy to imitate as the daily deals concept has been, it is critical to differentiate in a way that rises above the clutter. Whether it is choice, convenience, service, or some other benefit, creating relevance to customers is essential. Ask Facebook, it has ended Facebook Deals less than a year after it launched. It was nothing more than another feature on Facebook. Farmville is unique; another daily deal offer is not!

Fight fatigue by striving to maintain energy in your brand. Let fatigue claim competitors as its victims. Continuously ask the question “how can we better, different, or unique?”

USA Today - "Websites Selling Daily Deals Lose Luster"

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