I’ve been a little frustrated in recent years with the obsession around cutting price to stimulate brand sales. It is a powerful supermarket sales tool, but certainly not the only tool in the box.

In some fiercely competitive FMCG categories like cakes, cereal or crisps, up to 80% of a brand’s sales volume can be on price deal. From a shopper perspective this is deeply confusing. If the vast majority of sales are actually cheaper than the standard selling price, then the standard selling price is meaningless. It’s a permanent SALE! A new price point expectation is set and shoppers will simply walk past and choose something else when it is not on deal. If shoppers won’t pick up your brand unless it is really cheap, then alarm bells should be ringing.

So I was heartened to read the news this week from Kantar Worldpanel that many brands are reverting to simpler pricing structures, away from deep discounts and multi-buy offers. Across all categories, price promotions now account for just 37.7% of sales revenue (down from 40 per cent in mid-2015) and the lowest for six years.

I’m hopeful this heralds a new era of added value promotion. The excitement of on pack instant wins, competitions, prize draws, FREE gifts and collector schemes. These promotional marketing techniques can be exceptionally effective at differentiating your brand. They help you gain extra display, drive trial, increase weight of purchase and enhance loyalty.

Nobody ever remembers getting 50p off a packet of biscuits… but they certainly will remember instantly winning a prize promotion!

Paul McGann
Managing Partner