I’d like to throw a brick through The Brick.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 26:  A shopping g...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

If you go over to furniture retailer The Brick, you’ll see a special event called the ‘Boxing Day Blowout”. Now, either their web development team is too slow to react to calendar realities or they’ve resurrected the Holy Deal Day just over 2 months after the real December 26th has come and gone. That’s ballsy.

Check out Bad Boy Superstore and you’ll see “Our Big Fat Noooo Event.” The materialist in me wonders if the “Noooooo!” refers to focus group responses to the question, “Would you enjoy seeing Mel Lastman in prison attire wedged in between Harold the Jewelry Buyer and micro-commercials for DOT patio furniture?” Sadly, the realist in me knows it probably refers to some combination that features No Payments, No Interest, No Tax, and No Dignity. 

Even though I’m a seasoned advertising professional, I’m still left wondering, “Who the hell is actually buying this shit?” I was told to never cry wolf but I guess crying “Liquidation Sale” every minute of every day is acceptable. I half expect that the next round will feature, “Here’s 10 bucks. We’ll pay you to take this crap off our hands.”

This isn’t just bad advertising. It’s bad business.

Here’s why:
What’s the Walmart brand positioning? Everyday value.
What’s the Bad Boy brand positioning? We always have a sale.

The problem with always having a sale is that, well….you always have to have a sale. And that can be expensive. Every new event has to be bigger, bolder, cheaper, and louder than everything else you or your competition has ever done. That requires a lot of advertising dollars. The only way to make “Boxing Day Blowout” more attractive than the “Noooooo event” is to dial up the intensity, the urgency, and the dollars.

Even if you spend all that money, you risk being trumped by a better deal long after the flyers have been distributed. You launch “No payments for 18 months” and then your competition launches “No payments for 20 months”. You lose. And you wasted a lot of money to do so.

It’s kind of like that great scene in Something About Mary featuring Canadian comedian Harland Williams:

HITCHHIKER:
You’ve heard of the 8-minute abs? Well, this is going to blow it out of the water. 7-minute abs.

 TED:
Well, what happens when someone comes out with the 6-minute abs?

HITCHHIKER:
Man, you can’t get a good workout in 6 minutes.

No money down, no payments, no tax? No interest, thanks. 

2 Comments

  1. Peter

    I feel augmenting the perceived brand-value of the customer is more effective than having ongoing sales. Instead of spending/losing money by a sale, put those bucks to good use by helping to increase your perceived brand-value. Invest it in your brand, instead of going for the short-term gain. Help people understand why your brand charges a higher premium than your competitor and they actually wish or want to be part of that “exlcusiveness”.Always have a sale? Come’on, take your business serious and don’t sell your soul cheap.

  2. Ron Tite

    Hallelujah, Brother,

Leave a Reply to Ron Tite Cancel Reply