On branding, anniversaries and discounts

A common marketing practice is to give discounts during the anniversary month of a company. For example, during the 25th anniversary of a departmental store, they may decide to give a 25% storewide discount to thank customers for their support over the last 25 years. This helps build goodwill and customer loyalty, essential to a store’s survival.

The recent decision by the government to retain the name “Marina Bay”, after spending $40k to find the best name, was insulted by many parties as a waste of taxpayers’ money. They claimed that any Tom, Dick and Harry could have told you to retain the same name, and would cost far less. They also questioned the effectiveness of this branding.

To me, one effective way to build goodwill and customer loyalty is to give discounts during the anniversary month. If a 40% discount is given on HDB flats bought during the anniversary month of August, there will be a stampede to be customers of HDB. Perhaps that would be too steep a discount, perhaps they can use this opportunity to sell off those unwanted flats that have been accumulating dust in the more ulu parts of the island. You know how retailers try to give steep discounts for old stock so they can free up their inventory space and get some value for their investments, far better than to let it rot. Even a 40% discount off the HDB loan for the month will be very welcome.

SBS and SMRT can also give a 40% discount for all rides during the anniversary month. ERP discounts is another way to help the man in the street get by. All of these are ways for the rulers to show that they care, by giving discounts through GLCs that will help the common citizen. But they did not do it during the recession years, and they will not do it now that the economy is picking up.

Help yourselves, they said. Lower the land pricing and the lives of the people will be easier.

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