Christy, Social Media & Marketing
Like many other diligent and dedicated professionals, the employees at Ox&Pen jam to Spotify from 7:30 a.m. when the doors open until 7:30 p.m. when the last game of foosball wraps up. In between new Foster the People tracks and CCR marathons, there are a few commercials promoting the platform, one of which boldly (yet seemingly accurately) pins pirating music as “so old-fashioned.” With Spotify, however, you can share music for free and “every single track you buy makes money for the rights holders and the artists.”
Pirating music was once a de facto way to enjoy limitless music. Times have changed and, in essence, light has been shed on the fact that undervaluing music by snatching up free digital copies of songs is against artists’ best interest and is not sustainable for the industry as a whole.
In recent years, the daily deal industry has sprung up around the world in full force. An unexpected side effect of the access consumers gained to cheaper-than-ever lifestyle opportunities was a price renormalization. After a couple years of enjoying various luxuries at a steep discount, many can no longer fathom paying full price.
Fair enough. I mean, who doesn’t like a discount?
What we as consumers may forget, however, are the businesses that are hurt by offering up services for 50-75% off. We forget that the businesses most in need of these marketing and promotional services are typically the ones who have the least financial flexibility and the least room for error if this strategy fails. If the viability of our favorite merchants is compromised due to use of unsustainable marketing tactics, doesn’t that directly affect the character of the neighborhoods in which we work and play?
As a consumer, I can’t deny I like saving money. At the same time, I know I would be devastated if any of my local favorites had to shut their doors after inopportune deployment of uber-aggressive discount marketing. The streets, and blogs, are littered with accounts of small business owners who have regretted going this route.
So, the question becomes, “do customers really need a huge discount to feel like they are getting value?” Much in the way music fans are happy to pay a dollar and change for the work of their favorite artists, I’m inclined to believe that consumers are increasingly interested in patronizing local vendors. If they save money and receive rewards at the same time, then all the better! Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a sustainable model out there mutually beneficial to merchants and customers? Perhaps there is…