Don’t Buy Hamburgers! Would you ever expect a hamburger chain say this to their customers? What is a burger place to do? McDonald’s is selling so many products that are no longer just hamburgers to keep their sales growth. This Swedish hamburger chain Max Burgers is doing something different.
They are trying to influence their customers to change their habits and buy less beef. They added chicken, fish and veggie sandwiches to the menu. Unlike McDonald’s they have in store displays to influence their customers to make healthier choices. They even promote a meatless day a week. Can a business influence their customers or do they just satisfy customer needs? In an article called “Have Your Dream Wedding at McDonalds”, I was attempting to influence your choice of wedding venues with a little humor.
Many of you are familiar with Netflix, where you sign up for movie rentals sent to you or downloaded. They take the choices you make over time and make suggestions of your next choice of rental. Why would they do that? If you do not request new rentals for your monthly fee, you will probably give up the service. Suggesting new rentals keeps you as a customer. They are influencing you to use their product.
Supermarkets influence our purchases all the time. They spend a great deal of time in their pricing strategy to lure you into the store. They are very willing to sell certain products at a loss to get you to shop there. As you do all your shopping they make up the profit that they lost on the non essentials you buy such as cleaning or personal products. It doesn’t stop at the supermarket, sales occur at the mall too.
Recently, Borders declared they were going out of business. The advertisement said up to40% off everything. They lured you in to the store with the suggestion of a great deal! Once you go, you find out that many if not most of what they are selling is at 20-30% off. Almost all sales promise a lot more than they deliver. Can you imagine the stores telling you to stay home during a sale?
Well that is not going to happen. Stores or businesses try to influence you with money off, quality of merchandise or a huge variety of merchandise. This hamburger chain is not a health food store and marketing to people who would buy health food anyway. They are attempting to change people’s habits of buying hamburgers (beef) and profit from it. Recently, social media is influencing groups of people for the benefit of a business.
Does influence matter? Check out the resurrection of the Old Spice brand. They launched a multimedia campaign using social media, You Tube and advertising was used to boost their sales. It seems to be working! I remember Old Spice when I was a kid and they reinvented it with this campaign. They are getting new customers to look at their product.
Companies and people do not change easily! Advertising influences us to buy products and services, but those customers are probably not existing customers. Engaging customers and influencing their purchases are the new marketing campaigns. They use social media such as Facebook, Twitter etc. to influence customers. The new multimedia approach personalizes marketing and impacts sales.
Part of this personalization targets people and their circle of their friends to influence your buying decisions. When you look at some celebrities and see how many followers they have on social networks like Twitter or Facebook, you realize they have a huge influence over them. Marketers are using surveys to influence businesses polling different kinds of customers. All of these online sites are interactive and your opinion counts. Businesses are reacting to their customers. If customers like the changes, they will buy more.
Customers have wanted businesses to listen to them for a long time. Do we mind that the business is trying to influence us; they have been doing it in the form of advertising forever. So what has changed? Advertising has become personal and targeted to your individual choices or habits. Some businesses may influence your purchases, rentals or even the choice of purchases. Is this taking advertising and marketing too far? Don’t Buy Hamburgers!
Photo by: Jon Aslund