Smart brand marketers have at last cottoned onto the fact that retailers should not be ones sitting in the 'pound' seats when it comes to communicating with consumers about the price of their products.
In the past, retailers controlled the message to consumers in their stores - and charged brand owners for the privilege says Shelly Stamatiadis, head of the consumer communications division at Lange Strategic Communications.
She says the digital domain has opened the way for smart brand owners to communicate directly with their consumers. And this is driving them into retail outlets armed with knowledge about prices and promotions.
"I love how effectively this is working especially in the current tough financial climate.
"In recent weeks I have noticed a number of consumer brands who have launched price reduction or value driven campaigns which they have communicated directly to consumers.
"This has given consumers' more muscle to demand from retailers not to have to pay more than the advertised or promoted price.
"Two great example of this are for very diverse products. Pampers - SA's leading nappy brand who communicates with me as a new mother has twice this year announced price reductions of their products at retail level.
"They told me - and their entire consumer database generally obtained by getting "opt in's" from new mothers like me knowing that nappies are top of our shopping list - of these discounts both via traditional advertising media as well as directly via emails and sms.
"At the beginning of May this year, a pack of Pampers Toddler pull-ups retailed for R189.99 at a national baby chain store. Pampers sent me a mail and sms saying they had reduced the recommended selling price and on my next purchase I noted it had being marked down by R10. And most recently they emailed me to say the price had further being reduced. In fact it was now offered for R149.99 (see example below).
"And at the same time they are forcing retailers to come to the party. Some retailers continued to sell the product at the higher price. While Pampers was quick to point out (via sms to me and other consumers) that the selling price was at the 'discretion of the retailer and based on maximum recommended selling price' they certainly made me avoid using my normal retailer and seek out those who were passing on the saving.
"It has made me feel the retailer was ripping off me the consumer and made me more brand loyal and adoring of Pampers in return."
"Another good example of this is premium beer, Amstel Lager.
Called 'Ask Why', the campaign which was communicated through-the-line encouraged beer drinkers who were being charged more than R10 for a returnable bottle at taverns to 'Ask Why?'"
Not only were consumers able to immediately log onto a mobi site (AMSTELASKWHY.MOBI) for bar defence validation but they could also interact with the brand and give their opinions and thoughts on the campaign. Once again, a clever example of big brand talking directly to the consumer.
Speak to Shelly directly if you need more - or 021-4428168