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20% off Loofahs and the Destruction of Brand Equity

February 19, 2009

Direct Marketing, Email, Opinions


At one time or another, you’ve spammed an audience with direct mail, e-mail, or another tactic. It’s ok, me too. By spamming, I mean direct contact that interrupts someone’s day with a less than stunning, relevant message.

We love the measurability. “2.3% redemption! It paid for itself.” Even the CFO’s happy. But is it the whole story?

I suggest we learn how to quantify the impact on the 97.7% that tossed us in the trash. Are they annoyed? Do they consider us intrusive? Are we less likely to be noticed next time, when we actually have something to say? It’d be a useful metric to have when the budget gets carved up, and people testify as to “what works”.

So, the loofah’s. Like you, I get a legal sized discount card monthly from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. They undoubtedly pay for themselves in redemption. Then again, you’d have to live under a rock to pay full retail there. And the years of deep discounts make me far less likely to stop by for a gift. I bet my 500 thread count pillow case it’s killing brand equity and long term sales.

For a funny, NC-17 take on BB and B, here.

Matt Jones