How To Offer Ecommerce Promotions That Drive Sales (Without Discounting Your Brand)

There’s a common belief that offering sales and promotions will cheapen your brand, especially if you are a premium or luxury brand. Brands often refuse to discount based on this belief that any discount devalues their brand and product…even new brands without any sales to stand on. And more often than not, they cite Apple as a reference.

“Apple doesn’t discount, so we aren’t going to either.”

There are two problems with this.

One. There is only one Apple.

Two. Apple actually does discount.

They offer educational promotions for students and teachers, offer discounts for refurbished products and for additional types of partnerships. So, you can’t say Apple doesn’t discount. They just discount intelligently.

The point is, Metacake has a different philosophy on pricing and promotions. Rather than believing that price indicates the quality of your brand and product (discounted or not), we believe the following:

“My price does not define me!”

Say is with us now….“My price does not define me!”

And more specifically, your price does not define your BRAND.

Your brand is made up by so much more. Quality isn’t defined by price. You can have a very high quality perception and have an affordable price. Quality is defined by how your product or service is presented, your customer service, design, reviews, etc. And of course we cannot forget the actual quality of your product and the value that you deliver.

Why Brand Quality Can’t Be Defined By Price

Being defined by price is a thing of the past. It comes from a day when the only way someone could judge the quality of a product before purchasing was by how expensive it was.

Those days are long gone.  With online reviews, social media, and realtime brand communication, it is quick and easy for a potential customer to assess your true quality.

Today, there is transparency and visibility into the market…into each and every product.

And this is a good thing. Well… As long as your product is actually high quality and delivers on its promised value.

On the contrary, this is a very dangerous thing for brands charging high prices for subpar products or services. They simply can’t get away with this any more.

That being said, price does set expectations in the customer’s mind.

Think about it. If you are the most expensive product in the market and the customer knows this, you have a mountain of expectation to climb. The customer is thinking “I paid top dollar for this, so it better be better than anything else on the market.”

Now if your product is that good and even exceeds these incredibly high expectations, all the more power to you. But if your product delivers even an ounce below the customer’s expectations, you’re going to end up with an unhappy customer that damages your brand.

So make sure to set expectations in the customer’s mind that you can exceed.

Surprise and delight your customers.

Check out this example of a brand that is exceeding its customers expectations day after day and is both high quality and offered at an affordable price:

Dollar Shave Club

You can’t get much cheaper than this (although truth be told, it does cost more than 1 dollar per month for most service levels). Dollar Shave Club has a great brand and is perceived to be good quality.

When customers join this club, they end up thinking “I can’t believe I got this amazing product for that price!” At least, that’s what I thought. And so I keep talking about it and sharing it with my friends.

This is one brand that undoubtedly debunks the “price is the best indicator of quality” myth and goes along with Metacake’s philosophy:

Don’t be the most expensive, be the most valuable.

This speaks more to your quality than a high price and a ban on discounts.

But is there such thing as too much discounting?

What are the dangers of too much of a good thing and where’s the line?

In this case, we’d reference the well-known phrase, “Everything in moderation”…but when you’re a relatively new brand, and the world doesn’t know about you, the most important things for you are the following:

  1. Create a valuable product
  2. Get your product in the hands of as as many people as you can

And the most effective way to do the latter is to spread the word by promotions and discounts.

But get creative.

Don’t just keep slashing your prices until people start to buy.

Check out the brand called Banded. They have a give back program where they give 3 meals away through a charity in Africa for every product purchased. However, sometimes they do double meals promotions, giving away 6 meals per product, to incentivize more purchases. This is a creative way to do a promotion that is highly effective.


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