As a consumer and a marketing professional, I have always been a big fan of Allen Edmunds. But many newspapers this morning featured their new ad announcing a temporarily lower price with this unfortunate headline: “Even more classic than the shoes is the price.”
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I realize that the recent downturn in consumer demand is forcing many companies–even high-end companies like Allen Edmunds–to adjust their short-term marketing tactics. But it’s essential that you not violate your core long-term marketing strategy as you do this. A brand like Allen Edmunds should never suggest that price is more important than quality; all of its communications must rigorously reinforce the fact that its consumers are loyal to Allen Edmunds because they are the very finest shoes that money can buy–period.
So instead of responding to a tough economy by claiming that its temporarily lower price is more classic than the shoe itself, perhaps the ad should have proclaimed that this shoe is now a better investment than ever. For example: “Now get an even better return on your investment in quality.”
Tough times demand even successful companies to make course corrections here and there, but that doesn’t mean you can’t remain true to the business and marketing principles that made you successful in the first place.