Freezing prices during the holiday season could build long-lasting loyalty.
“Show them that you really care about their problems, and you’ll win their loyalty.” Those are the words of Teri Garr’s character in the 1983 film, Mr. Mom, in her advertising pitch to the president of fictitious company, Schooner Tuna. She tells the president that his tuna is one of the most expensive on the market, and it’s not time for gimmicks or giveaways. And if you remember the film, she boldly suggests and ultimately convinces the president to shoot a commercial telling America that during these trying economic times, he is going to lower prices until the crisis is over.
Yes, it was a humorous and memorable film, but also makes a strong point in this particular part of the plot that retailers and brands could think about.
This week, Reuters reported that the USDA predicts food prices will rise 2.5 to 3.5 percent this year. As a result, the report said that CGP forecasts only a 3.4 percent rise in holiday spending. Although gas prices are down and the country is experiencing economic recovery, many Americans aren’t feeling the change because their grocery bills continue to rise.
The bright side is that last week, Gallup.com reported that the percentage of US adults that struggle to afford food went down from 18.9 percent in 2013 to 17.2 percent in 2014. That’s good news.
As the holidays kick into high gear this month, The Lempert Report suggests that retailers and brands consider a temporary moratorium on prices where they can afford it, to not only help out their shoppers, but to build trust, loyalty and mutual respect with their customers that will last beyond the holiday season.
Fuel and transportation costs are easing up for producers. There is potential for food companies to pass these savings along to their customers. And even if the savings are minimal, it’s a move that will symbolize compassion that will be perceived as valuable by those who need it and even those who don’t need it.
What can your company do for its customers this holiday season? A temporary “gift” can inspire long-lasting loyalty.