Just after tasting a delicious turkey and being grateful to the harvest we have made during the past year, it is time to start over. We are grateful for what we have, but we want more (as well, we need a reason to celebrate next year). The objective for the next day is: let’s get up early and enjoy the good deals the retailers prepared to us, right?

Black Fridays are now followed by weekends of sales and Cyber Mondays – which means the ‘good deals day’ became a great 4 days period of purchases. The Black Friday is known now as the busiest shopping day of the year – winning even the days around Christmas. The tradition that has started in the USA and Canada, now is spread out worldwide and it has been encouraged and supported by the biggest retail groups as Walmart, Amazon, Best By, JC Penney, Sears and all the other big retail groups around the world (and small retailers as well).

If you want to read more about the origin of the name Black Friday, check the link below:

Origin of Black Friday

The reason for this post is to question how much value a brand can gain with campaigns like BLACK FRIDAYS or CYBER MONDAYS. According to the hundreds of articles I have been reading about it, many companies reach their numbers exactly in the last two months of the year. Some other companies accept leaving their profit behind in order to reduce the inventories (industry and retail). It is time to sell with no criteria, to get to “stock 0”, once the new year is coming with new SKUs.

Personally, my opinion for this kind of campaign is critical. I believe companies invest time and effort to earn very little (or even nothing) back. My thoughts go further until a point I believe in that day consumers are no longer the citizens they yearn to be. We just give up complaining to Samsung about the bad device they sold to us, or we just forget about trying to fix a computer or a camera and buy a new one (just because we can purchase it for 40% less). Instead of forcing companies to fulfill their responsibilities with the customer service and still their responsibility of producing good products, we give them an incentive to keep pushing more and more consumer goods to our drawers.

I am not against Black Fridays, Cyber Mondays or other ordinary promotions. As a marketing professional, I believe my role is to guarantee better products in the market, better solutions, and more sustainable options. Our clients will be satisfied, happier and will be loyal to our brand in a way that whatever SKU we decide to launch, we will be supported by our target.

 

An advantage for the online

More and more we see the Black Friday campaign being spread out to the online environment, which was still not enough to reduce the huge lines and the injuries in the physical stores, caused by the consumer desperation to not lose the offer announced.

Some retailers are focusing their sales online, as a way to create a differentiation as well between the brick and mortar stores and the e-commerce. They are trying specific strategies for each channel and segmenting the purchases and the habits.

I believe condensing the BIG discounts on the digital channel can be a away to avoid the confusions inside the stores, and also, a way to do not force a whole team to work earlier every year during the Thanksgiving, which has been a topic of intense discussion recently. It can also be a way of targeting the client’s choices, once the client must be registered to be able to buy online. As a company, I would just be careful with the deals that are offered, once many times in order to catch the attention of the customer, the information contains a lack of transparence on its dynamic.

On the example bellow, the retailer Clarel, for example, does not mention the delivery’s fee changes when offering the promotional deal.

 

Clarel Black Friday

On the other hand, I have a very positive opinion when I see interesting initiatives that encourage the exchange of experience and that offer real advantages. Some sectors surprised me during this past Black Friday, like Vueling  (Spanish Airline company). We see the Black Fridays assuming other colors to identify a concept, a brand, an idea.

 

Foto-FA-RETAIL_Black-Friday-2015-(3)

 

The Spanish company Trip4Real was offering the ‘Local Experiences’ for 20% less. I think in this case is very engaging and authentic.

 

Foto-FA-RETAIL_Black-Friday-2015-(4)

 

I believe promotion campaigns are important tools to generate trial, to expose the advantages and features of each product and to take the chance to generate cross-sales between categories that are complementary.

What is your opinion about Black Fridays & Cyber Mondays? Share your point of view. Do you agree or desagree with me? I would love to read different perspectives.

 

Written by Fernanda Accorsi