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I’m Mad as Hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!

By Jeff Bowman

Unique selling point, differentiation, value proposition and customer satisfaction are all terms  common to sales and marketing professionals.

In an environment where we are easing out of a recession, consumers clamor for value in whatever they buy. Hard earned dollars are spent  on products and services that offer a good value in return.  Coupons are clipped and used more frequently, percentages off retail price or in simpler terms an actual cash value discount are offered more frequently to entice  customers.  In consumer items, it is value in terms of cost per unit or serving.

Good business owners know and understand this, and in most cases respect the power of the consumer to understand, compare and make the value call when it is time to purchase.

Why then is it that we as consumers are constantly being mislead by the large corporations that produce  food and health products that we use every day?  I am exasperated each time I pick up a product where the package size has been changed, reshaped, remolded, or made environmentally friendly – a ploy to downsize contents.  Wake up consumer!

The marketing spin that corporations use in an effort to disguise a lower value offering is ridiculous.

Now I am from the generation that believed a person could simply put a mask over their eyes and become a super hero. “Who was that masked man?” In fact as it was pointed out to me yesterday Clark Kent was disguised only by reading glasses.

I can see through the spin.

When ice cream went from a round 2 litre bucket, to a square tub, that made sense because it fit in my freezer better. What didn’t make sense was that the contents were then reduced to 1.5 litres for little or no price change. Cereal boxes have gone from the large family size to pint size boxes that hold no more than 5 or 6 bowls of cereal.  But they did it for me because now it stays fresher!

Yesterday I lost it. I bought Minute Maid Orange Juice.  It seemed different somehow.  When I got it home, I saw the difference when I put it in the fridge next to another juice can. 330 ml, has now become 295ml.  A 10% difference!  Pennies right, who cares? Consider that you add 3 cans of water to the concentrate to make the juice to drink. Now you are down 140 ml of juice.

It didn’t stop there.  I went to my local sub shop that advertises $5.00 footlongs, to ease my hunger pangs.  I measured that sub when I got home.  10 inches! 2 inches less than what they advertise. Enough to inspire sub envy in any man! Should I have taken it back?

The examples are endless today. Is it okay to give your boss 15% fewer work hours for the same salary? Is it okay for athletes to perform at 15% below the previous year? Why don’t schools drop the pass average to 41% instead of 51%?

I just don’t get it! In an age where the Internet can influence the masses in mere minutes, why do corporations continue to dupe us with decreased value offerings? The answer is, the majority of us do nothing.

Don’t you think you have a right to speak up when you get cheated? Business ethics dictate that companies offer customers the best value for their dollar.  Those that do should prosper, those that don’t should hear about it.

I can’t hear you!

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Filed under advertising, Customer Service, Jeff Bowman, Marketing, Sales