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Hoovering up

Hoovering up those special offers.

I met up with a group of colleagues a while ago to discuss compelling client offers.

Client offers that:

  • Focus on benefits of our propositions, not the features
  • Make our businesses money, not lose us money
  • Are irresistible through our actions – going the extra mile, adding more value or increasing convenience for our clients.

The disastrous offer #

Throughout our meeting, my mind kept flicking back to Hoover, not because I fancied doing some vacuuming 😊, but because they had an offer in the early ‘90s that did none of the above for the Hoover Company.

The Hoover free flights promotion was a marketing promotion run by the British division of the Hoover Company in late 1992.

The promotion, aiming to boost sales during the global recession of the early 1990s. The company offered two complimentary round-trip plane tickets to the United States, worth about £600, to any customer purchasing at least £100 in Hoover products.

Hoover was counting on most customers spending more than £100, as well as being deterred from completing the difficult application process, and not meeting its exact terms.

Consumer response was much higher than the company anticipated, with many customers buying the minimum £100 of Hoover products to qualify. It was perceived as two US flights for just £100 with a free vacuum cleaner included.

The resulting demand was a financial disaster for the 84-year-old company.

And the result #

Hoover’s promotion ultimately led to the sale of the European branch of the company to one of its competitors, Candy, having never recovered from the losses, the promotion and the subsequent scandal.

Quote source: https://www.wikipedia.org/


“When you are making a decision about how best to serve your customers, your own experience is often a better guide than a more sophisticated analysis of the market.” – Richard Branson

Valuable advice there. Never lose touch with the basics. Don’t feel compelled to offer plane tickets unless the numbers stack up!

Thank you for reading.

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