Sales Vs Brand

We all know that if an established brand suddenly drops their prices they will see a surge in sales. But what is the long-term impact? We spend millions of pounds building brands, ensuring the proposition is right, getting the cut through, standing out for the crowd, trying to convince prospects that our service offering is worth that little bit extra.

A short term sale can seem attractive, but extended for too long can undo a lot of hard work. One-off reductions in price may indicate a poor performance, and for some might reduce perceived product value. If you reduce price or run sales promotions on a regular basis, you will likely see prospects holding off their purchase in the anticipation of the next sale.

This is incredibly pertinent to the travel industry. The rise of OTA’s and comparison sites has meant far more transparency in pricing, with price sensitive consumers eagerly seeking out a deal, a reduction, or sales promotion. It plays a key role in the decision making of many.

So how do we at 3Sixty look to work with our travel clients to remove the potential pitfalls of campaign based sales promotions, whist still looking to increase awareness, interest, desire and then drive immediate action?

Our campaign consultancy is focused on helping brands meet their KPI’s — we typically look to get under the skin of the business and their objectives; is it driving brand awareness, building a database, showcasing a new offering, or driving sales. We then devise a series of campaign ideas focusing on a clear way forward, designing the campaign and building the digital solution, typically a stand-alone microsite.

For Celebrity Cruises, we run monthly ‘Weekend Sale Events’ — these are destination focused campaigns to drive traffic, engagement and ultimately increase sales within a strategically important area.

Expired weekend sale event

There are 3 key considerations when looking to utilise campaign promotions to drive sales, whilst protecting the premium brand proposition.

1. Value add not price reduction

Particularly for high-end brands this is paramount, simply reducing prices won’t cut it. For Celebrity Cruises we use a value add proposition which might include a special rate on 3rd party costs – such as a promoted flight to their cruise or hotel. It might mean providing upgrades to higher standard staterooms, again adding value rather than dropping prices.

2. Falling in love

Each month we focus on a specific destination or region and look to promote 3 key itineraries in all their glory. Celebrity Cruises sail to some of the most remarkable places in the world which makes the job of helping the user fall in love with the region quite easy.

Each campaign follows a tried and tested process, yet the campaign microsite looks and feels totally bespoke by focussing on the uniqueness of the region. The Caribbean for example felt like an immersive experience with every interaction taking the user one step closer to the Caribbean. Click by click they start to fall in love with the prospect of visiting the Pitons, walking the white sands of Grand Anse Beach or snorkelling through the shipwrecks in Bridgetown. Remarkable content is key to the success of this campaign, beautiful imagery and copy instil desire and excitement about the prospect of visiting the Caribbean on a Celebrity Cruise.

3. Creating urgency

Firstly, we never announce which sale will be coming up, we might focus on a specific region just once a year and therefore users cannot hold off purchasing as there is no expectation around a specific destination promotion. Secondly, in a highly discounted industry, users are often sceptical about special offers — are they really that special? So we run the sales over one (long) weekend and have a prominent countdown clock which counts down until the exclusive destination offer expires. We see an incredible surge of sales right up until the offer expiry.

These micro campaigns are purposely launched around pay day, getting in front of prospects at the right time helps drive results. Each campaign has been hugely successful, with an impressive return on investment for the client. We see a huge increase in sales across the spectrum of digital and direct sales, OTA’s and increased footfall into travel agents with a keen interest in the promoted region too.

  • Increase trade sales
  • Increased sales through the call centre
  • Increased digital revenue
  • Improved engagement with enhanced sentiment towards region and brand as a whole
  • Greater data capture, brochure requests and newsletter sign up

Over the next few months we are hoping to work with a range of travel brands helping contribute towards their objectives through the use of strategically focused campaign consultancy.

If you’d like to know more about this and other digital strategies for promoting brands or raising sales, head over to 3Sixty.