Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Marketers sell benefits. It is our responsibility to show consumers how a product or service will better their lives; that is one thing no marketing student could graduate from the University of Iowa without knowing. Benefits like safety, comfort, and convenience raise the value of a product. But what if your benefit and your product are matched incorrectly?

My mind works the same way as any unsuspecting consumer. Marketing messages fly my way and I either react to them or I don't. However, as I begin to prepare to enter the real "career" world of marketing, I try to uncover the reasons behind my reactions to different messages. Why did that commercial frustrate me? What made me dislike that billboard? And the most recent: Why did that banner hanging from Brugger's ceiling make me feel like I was being lied to?

Oh yes, thats right, because I saw the word 'coffee' next to the price $129.00 and followed by the phrase, 'save money'.

What?! If I spend $129.00 in one day for coffee then I'm saving money? No, I'm not sure that a cup of coffee is worth that hefty of a price tag. I think you are lying to me and I don't like your deal because it doesn't make sense to me.

Yep, that is the conversation I had with myself when I read this banner at Bruggers today...

Because I have not fully graduated to the marketing world, I respond to messages like a normal consumer, but because of my education, I am able to evaluate my reaction as a marketer responding to a problem. Bruggers problem; they butchered the benefit/product matchup in this campaign. If I wanted to save money on coffee, I'd brew it myself. If I wanted to save time digging out my wallet, or searching for money, I'd pay once and be done. I think Bruggers might have been able to sell a few extra bottomless cups of coffee if they had stressed the convenience of the promotion or the time it saves.

Who knows, I don't even have my marketing degree yet. But, I am a consumer, and I know I did not feel like someone was giving me a good deal after I got done reading that banner. Just saying, maybe marketers should remember that people won't always get out their calculators to find out how much money they're saving. If it is the money-saving aspect they were going after, why not put the savings in concrete terms and offer consumers a number?

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