I was setting up for a trade show earlier this year – always a fun, if sweaty and laborious, day because we biz owners get to catch up with each other since the last show – and had a welcome exchange with an old friend. She (another retailer) and I were comparing notes about the economy and how we were weathering this “Great Disruption.” Her outlook?
“Flat is the new growth.”
I had to agree with her – the last two years have been brutal to most small businesses – but I’m pleased to say Lunchsense is beating the odds and actually growing, slowly but surely. It’s a lot more work spreading the waste-free lunchbox message these days, though, and I’ve been trying to find that sweet spot of deals, offers, promos, whatever, to keep sales hoppin’ and still stay in business.
I’ve avoided many typical promos (buy one, get one free; spend $X.xx with me and I’ll send you a free, um, food container!; send a friend my way, and you’ll get a coupon for another purchase) because I’ve found that they have one thing in common: if you buy enough stuff, you will get even more…stuff.
But what if you don’t need more stuff?
This drives to the heart of my business philosophy. I AM in the business of providing you with an effective solution to a long list of lunch-packing problems, but I am NOT in the business of pushing stuff on you that you don’t need or want. After all, I got started on this whole love affair with a durable, washable lunchbox because I hated throwing away half a dozen baggies a day, not to mention the leftovers in them. So I chafe at being asked to buy more in order to get the best deal – it just feels wasteful.
If you don’t need it, I’d really rather you not buy it, at any price.
You, of course, are absolutely right when you say, “thanks, but I can decide for myself what I do and don’t need.” Yes. True. I wholeheartedly agree. I also agree, wholeheartedly, that “need” can be defined many ways: I am absolutely certain we all “need” art and music and beauty in our lives, for example.
But to hold that which you need hostage to a “if you buy just a little more, I’ll throw in free shipping!” sort of teaser just doesn’t sit right with me. I’ve been tempted by – and succumbed to – promos like these. But even if the bargains are good, I don’t like feeling that my relationship with a company is defined only by how much I buy, not by what their products do to improve my life.
And yet, I still very much want your business, and I know that it’s risky to invest in a lunchbox (a lunchbox!) especially if you really have to count every dollar these days. For me, there’s only one way to sweeten the deal without tainting the exchange:
Everything at Lunchsense is 20% off, now through November 18. Coupon code is BLOG20
(Note that the coupon code is case sensitive, by the way.)
That’s going to be the best (but not the only) discount on Lunchsense through the end of 2010, and for the sake of transparency I’ll share those other deals with you now:
After November 18th the sale doesn’t go away entirely, but the 20% turns into 10%.
And everybody with a US address (including, of course, APO/FPO) who orders up on the website on November 29 (the Monday after Thanksgiving, also known as cyber Monday) gets free shipping.
I’m not tinkering with the deals to be a meanie. I’m only trying to smooth out the seasonal rush, thereby increasing the likelihood that I’ll get everything shipped with plenty of time to spare for the gift-giving holidays. If you figure out what you want, then find that you’d save more by getting the ‘10% discount + free shipping’ than the ‘20% discount + shipping’, then…I’ll see you on the 29th, yeah?
So yes, please, get your order in when it makes the most sense for you, and check that off your list. If you see the need, that is. And yes, please, tell your friends about this deal if you think they’d like a lunchbox too!
About that “tell your friends” thing – I do feel immeasurably grateful to you for doing so, and I’d like to show that gratitude – what do you suggest? What is a useful, meaningful expression of gratitude to you from a company you do business with?
“Changing the way we think about lunch,” indeed. How ‘bout changing the way we think about stuff?