November 24, 2006

word-of-mouth story in the making...

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[Click here to download coupon etc.]

I got this story from the guys at Stormhoek [one of my main clients].

Here's the deal. Thresher, one of Stormhoek's main customers, is one of the largest wine store chains here in the UK. They've got them all over the country, pretty much in every small town you go to. Hundreds and hundreds of them.

So they have this wee pre-Christmas offer.

For ten days, from 30 November until 10 December, they will offering 40% off ALL their wine. That means all Stormhoek, all red and white, all French, all Spanish, all Australian, all Champagne. Everything.

Not a bad deal etc. There's just one catch: They're not promoting it. Nada. No ads, no in-store promotion. Zilch.

The only way to get the 40% off is by getting your hands on one of their special, "super-secret" coupons. This means either someone you know has to give you one, or you have to download it here [PDF file].

So they're not expecting everybody to find out about it. They're just expecting a few people "in the know" to take advantage etc.

So my British pals, here's a chance for you to save 40% off your next plonkfest. And if you tell your friends, they'll save a bunchload of money too, and with the Christmas party season coming up, this is no bad thing.

OK, enough about the offer. That's not why I'm blogging it.

I'm blogging it because this strikes me as a potentially interesting Word-Of-Mouth story. I don't know if 40% off is enough to make the story truly viral [maybe, maybe not, but 40% isn't bad either, especially for this country]. Now that Word-of-Mouth is the hot new buzzword in marketing circles, I think it would be fun to put it to the test.

I'm just thinking that if every British reader who reads this blog finds out about it, and they tell their friends, and they tell their friends, we could collectively save ourselves quite a lot of money [Brits drink a TON of wine in December, after all].

And maybe we'll have a nice story to show for it.

So I'm planting the seed, just too see what happens...

Anyway, I hope you will download the coupon. I suspect it'll be good for Stormhoek-Thresher relations if you do [even you end up buying something else], and even better for us if your friends end up hearing about it, so thanks in advance. Rock on.

[THRESHER STORE FINDER HERE.]

Posted by hugh macleod at November 24, 2006 7:28 PM | TrackBack
Comments

Great idea. And thanks!

Posted by: pete at November 24, 2006 8:15 PM

Or will this lead to a replication of the Stabucks coupon in the US that they cancelled because it got spread the same way. This is going to be fun. Get ready for your BBC interviews Hugh.

Posted by: John Dodds at November 24, 2006 8:15 PM

right. let's try your experiment - if you see a spike in downloads or sales from a wee yorkshire village, send a bottle to pretoria :P

Posted by: niti at November 24, 2006 9:48 PM

Right, have been meaning to get myself some Stormhoek. Many thanks! I just need to get my printer working and hope that Thresher's doesn't withdraw the offer when they realise what they've started. Blog post to follow too... Thanks Hugh!

Posted by: Armand at November 24, 2006 10:19 PM

Nice one Hugh - i notice the promotional code is WINEORB ;-)

Posted by: Geoff at November 24, 2006 10:43 PM

Hugh, thanks for the heads-up. I guess it is inevitable that as soon as you launch the link that Thresher's are going to get more than they bargained for (!) but my other point is that no matter what below the line activity one undertakes - it all boils down to whether or not the offer is good enough. 40%? That's not bloody bad at all!!

Posted by: Paul Fabretti at November 24, 2006 10:54 PM

That's fabulous! Thank you for sharing. There's a Threshers just down the road from me. I'm so there!

Posted by: Hsien Lei at November 24, 2006 11:23 PM

Yeah, if it was some flaccid "10% off" offer, I doubt people would rave about it. 40% though? Yeah, baby :)

Posted by: Peter Cooper at November 24, 2006 11:30 PM

Too bad we don't have a Threshers over here. But I'm still grateful Stormhoek is available in the Reno, Nevada area! I buy it at World Market/Cost Plus now! Love that stuff, all of it!

Posted by: Reno Muse at November 25, 2006 3:35 AM

Hi Hugh, this is a fantastic offer!
And the marketing is really great...as I said in my blogpost (linked to this post), it almost rivals the Gmail "invite-only" trick! ;-)

Posted by: Just Mohit at November 25, 2006 7:46 AM

Should be interesting to see how far this gets. Threshers do essentially offer 33% off anyway though with their 3 for 2 offer on any wine.

Posted by: Mark at November 25, 2006 8:43 AM

Unfortunately not redeemable at the same time as the buy 2 get 3rd free offer which means it's only really an extra 6% or something like that off the existing long-term offer.

Of course, this is still a good deal if you buy your wine in multiples of anything other than 3, or if you are buying some serious bulk (max spend £500).

Posted by: Steve at November 26, 2006 12:16 AM

Pity it's not on spirits and beer (though I suppose that would ruin them).

Posted by: Dick Davies at November 27, 2006 5:31 PM

"this strikes me as a potentially interesting Word-Of-Mouth story". I recently described blogs to a management meeting as "the written word-of-mouth" - just like the old version, but referrable, incorruptible and pretty damn close to being the new PR. I guess you've just proved me right.

Posted by: Ramsey at November 27, 2006 6:07 PM

"this strikes me as a potentially interesting Word-Of-Mouth story". I recently described blogs to a management meeting as "the written word-of-mouth" - just like the old version, but referrable, incorruptible and pretty damn close to being the new PR. I guess you've just proved me right.

Posted by: Ramsey at November 27, 2006 6:07 PM

So My parents spoke to their local version of thresher and they seem to be cool with this. However I spoke to my local (actual) Thresher and they had no clue, got a little bit panicked as well. This could be interesting.

Posted by: Simon at November 27, 2006 6:26 PM

Alas, their store finder sits there scratching itself when fed a northern Irish postcode... Pity, that would have been christmas shopping greatly reduced in one fell swoop!

Posted by: Niall at November 28, 2006 12:54 AM

Thanks for that. I got the voucher by e-mail via a very long route but it looks like it might have originated from here.
Threshers head office confirmed the offer is valid.
Will they put the prices up by 20% on the 30th of November though? Will have to make a visit there tonight with a shopping list.

Posted by: Willem at November 28, 2006 2:23 PM

Sounds very experimental, but you don't seem at all concerned that Threshers might track this give away back to Stormhoek and endanger your slot.

Posted by: Irene at November 28, 2006 3:02 PM

Do you have to print it off in color so it looks more legit ?

8-)

Matt, thrify but eccentric billionaire

Posted by: Matt Donovan at November 28, 2006 4:29 PM

Threshers prices are already higher than their competitors but this is compensated for by the 3 for 2 offer:

For example - Hardy's Oomoo Shiraz £5.98 at Asda, £8.99 at Thresher (£5.99 after 3 for 2)

With the 40% discount it will cost £5.39 - a saving of 59p over Asda. Not a great saving after you've gone out of your way to get it.

If this promotion generates increased volumes for Thresher at no advertising cost, then they will do quite well out of it.

Posted by: BP at November 29, 2006 4:26 PM

Threshers prices are already higher than their competitors but this is compensated for by the 3 for 2 offer:

For example - Hardy's Oomoo Shiraz £5.98 at Asda, £8.99 at Thresher (£5.99 after 3 for 2)

With the 40% discount it will cost £5.39 - a saving of 59p over Asda. Not a great saving after you've gone out of your way to get it.

If this promotion generates increased volumes for Thresher at no advertising cost, then they will do quite well out of it.

Posted by: BP at November 29, 2006 4:28 PM

Funnily enough - Virtual Wine did their online Magazine video tasting of 4 wines on the usual 3 for 2 deal at Threshers, and they came up quite well rated - a lot better than the half price and BOGOF deals they looked at at Tesco and Sainsburys.

Check it out at: http://www.virtualwine.co.uk/virtualwineblog/?p=299

No Stormhoek in there though - maybe an angle there??

Posted by: WG at November 29, 2006 5:02 PM

Thresher seem to be doing some interesting things. For an independent view of four of their wines visit: http://www.virtualwine.co.uk/virtualwineblog/?cat=36

Posted by: James at November 29, 2006 5:08 PM

Are you all really buying this? Everyone knows the supermarkets and large chains don't give anything away. Three for two offers are financed by wine producers getting less for their product (which means that ultimately the consumer pays by getting wine which is necessarily inferior because of all the corners the producer has had to cut in order to break even - oh, and it's laced with chemicals to ensure fewer off bottles). The ther common way to make this sort of offer is bump up the price in the first place. Don't be sucked in by the cynics - or be afraid to spend a little more for something honest. You will appreciate the difference.

Posted by: James Bercovici at November 29, 2006 5:10 PM

Ah yes, a very interesting and innovative promotion - will be getting my 40% off this festive season!

Posted by: Scott at November 29, 2006 6:37 PM

I have to say that before I read about this "top secret" offer on a blog, I had received it twice by email, from two total non-bloggers.

Well played Threshers.

Tom

Posted by: Tom Shelley at November 29, 2006 6:55 PM

Look out for the Pink Elephant next year!

Posted by: Bill at November 30, 2006 11:23 AM

I'll second Tom Shelly's sentiments. Excellent work Threshers. I have now received this from five different people, including blog posts, mailing list announcements, and group emails.

Posted by: Paul Farnell at November 30, 2006 2:29 PM

The story has hit mainstream media. Just heard it on Radio 1 news at 3.30pm. They said the coupon has been e-mailed to 800,000 people. Looking good!

Posted by: Colin Donald at December 1, 2006 4:35 PM

This link is no longer working, I was not lucky enough to be able to print off the coupon :0(

Posted by: ac at December 1, 2006 8:58 PM

Threshers appear to be honouring all coupons - which indicates that there is still a profit to be made after the great unwashed have emptied all their shelves.

Wine will seem rather lack lustre for the other 355 days of the year when we are paying full whack - Anyway the Christmas star is on the horizon 'tis the season of good will.

Anyone knocking out cheap Turkeys ( other than those one legged frozen chaps from Asda )

Posted by: Steve Taylor at December 1, 2006 11:49 PM

My local 'Local' have only received 2 of these so far but i've just increased their expectations by e-mailing the voucher to my contacts. Thanks for this we're going to have a merry christmas all right.

Posted by: Lois Oldham at December 2, 2006 7:03 PM

I work in part of the Threshers Group and people are going CRAZY for this offer!

Posted by: Nik at December 2, 2006 7:26 PM

i run a franchise for threshers and we didnt know it was going to be this big .
i forone am not taking the voucher .
sorry to all the peeps in my area .
profit margins are low enough without giving it away .cant wait to see estate margins next week takings will be up but weres the profit !! hope all tha use the voucher have a very merry christmas

Posted by: ant at December 2, 2006 9:35 PM

ITS NOT JUST THRESHER YOU KNOW>>>>
BOTTOMS UP in DIDSBURY too. Bargains are there to be had. Veuve Grande Dame.....down from £99.99 to £59.99...

Posted by: ronster at December 3, 2006 12:52 AM

i manage a threshers in london

yesterday (saturday), my store took more than in any single week so far this year. in one day!

the volume of sales was higher than any christmas eve i have traded.

we ran out of all champagne and my wine range is now at about 30% availability. Four branches local to me ran out of carrier bags!

however, i was informed of the situation with the voucher only on wednesday. My wine delivery was cancelled friday, and my staffing bugdet allows only for single-manning, so i have been working twelve hour days in an effort to cope with the demand, which i cannot see letting up before next saturday....

i don't imagine my business will be losing money at 40% discount, but neither will there be a profit worth shouting about...this voucher is the most effective publicity i think thresher has ever had, but if it was an "intentional" leak, the lack of preparation and support for branch teams would make it a pretty cheap trick.

Still...its a bloody good deal for the consumer!

Posted by: KNACKERED WITH 7 DAYS TO GO! at December 3, 2006 10:52 AM

i manage a threshers in london

yesterday (saturday), my store took more than in any single week so far this year. in one day!

the volume of sales was higher than any christmas eve i have traded.

we ran out of all champagne and my wine range is now at about 30% availability. Four branches local to me ran out of carrier bags!

however, i was informed of the situation with the voucher only on wednesday. My wine delivery was cancelled friday, and my staffing bugdet allows only for single-manning, so i have been working twelve hour days in an effort to cope with the demand, which i cannot see letting up before next saturday....

i don't imagine my business will be losing money at 40% discount, but neither will there be a profit worth shouting about...this voucher is the most effective publicity i think thresher has ever had, but if it was an "intentional" leak, the lack of preparation and support for branch teams would make it a pretty cheap trick.

Still...its a bloody good deal for the consumer!

Posted by: KNACKERED WITH 7 DAYS TO GO! at December 3, 2006 10:58 AM

If you consider that the usual trading platform is '3 for 2', this 40% voucher is exactly equal to a further 10% off

2/3 x 9/10 = 18/30 = 6/10

Not bad at all, but not quite as world-shaking as implied.

Looking at their wine list, we end up with:

Moet & Chandon for £18, £1 cheaper than ASDA
Laurent Perrier Rose for £33
Dom Perignon/Krug/Veuve La Grand Dame for £60

Sounds alright to me

Posted by: Jim at December 3, 2006 11:43 AM

Thanks Hugh, you're a star for this! We needed some wine, my hubbie went into our local Threshers, heard someone talking about this, I googled it and found you so thank you! xxx

Posted by: Bea at December 3, 2006 9:31 PM

What a great offer, 40% off wines to replace wines discounted a third to match other retailers, so only 7% discount, but only for a week then prices go up 20%.
So the offer is really to pay 13% more for your wine.
Great marketing if it works.

Posted by: Michael at December 4, 2006 9:59 AM

Quoth Michael:
What a great offer, 40% off wines to replace wines discounted a third to match other retailers, so only 7% discount, but only for a week then prices go up 20%.
So the offer is really to pay 13% more for your wine.
Great marketing if it works.


Where on earth are these numbers coming from?
I would be intrigued to hear more about this purported 20% price rise.
Or perhaps you are merely talking rubbish?

Posted by: Jim at December 4, 2006 11:04 PM

The so-called 40% off voucher at Thresher seems to be a total con to me - it's just a cynical marketing ploy!!!

They offer 33% discount anyway because all wines and champagnes are on a permanent '3 for 2' deal, which the single-bottle price has clearly been inflated to maintain...

The bottom line is that the single bottle price in Thresher is so high that a 40% discount only brings the price down to where it should be in the first place... what a bloody rip-off!

The 40% off deal doesn't include the '3 for 2' deal so really it's only an additional 7% discount. I suggest you look in the supermarkets or in other chains like Bargain Booze (if you're lucky enough to have one near you) and you can still get your wine and champagne cheaper... and you don't have to mess around with vouchers!!!

If they can do it, so can Thresher, and the other shops are giving a real bargain to all customers... NOT JUST THOSE WITH A VOUCHER!

Posted by: zippyblogger at December 6, 2006 10:13 AM

Sounds like a good offer, until I made a special journey to the Local store on Newton Road in Great Barr, last Friday week. I presented 6 bottles and the voucher, which the shopkeeper said I could use as all the bottles were on the 3 for the price of three anyway. I tried to explain to her that by using the 40% voucher the 3 for 2 does not apply, but she was having none of it though. In the end she reluctantly offered one bottle at 40% off. I said I had made a special journey for these bottles, meanwhile a queue had formed and a teenager couple where getting impatient behind me. She would not relent so I said that I would take this up with the head office, and was preceding to leave the shop, when the teenage girl who had been behind me said "grow up!" I responded by saying what was it any of her business as the transaction was between the lady and me. She said that I ought to shut up, otherwise "she would merk me", I replied was is Merk me ? She said that I did not need to know. The couple left the shop. To which point the shopkeeper came from behind the counter and apologised profusely for the couples behaviour, saying that were regulars just trying to stick up for her.

I would not mind but I was leaving the shop at the time.

Not knowing what Merk meant I looked it up online, apparently it means to kill someone.

Shocked with this experience, I phoned the Thresher head office number and explained this and the telephonist took my name and address and promised a voucher as recompence for this very poor service and threatening behaviour I have endured.

Guess what a week later, and nothing!

In conclusion I did a price check on a bottle of Faustino, 4.99 in Asda 7.49 in the Local. So even with 40% off you are out of pocket in comparison. Add the experience of the shopkeepers not wanting to take the vouchers and the type of clientele that imhabit their stores.

Judge for yourselves.

Mind you, the girl that threatened to Merk me, was the nearest ever encounter with someone so alike to Catherine Tate's chav character Lauren!

Be Warned!

Posted by: Richard Baily at December 9, 2006 5:17 PM

40% off is still on at Bottoms Up and Thresher on certain products. Go to Superplonk.com and down load the voucher. They are recomended wine from malcolm gluck.

Posted by: ronster at December 11, 2006 11:47 PM

Hi dude!
Christmas Day falls on December 25. It is preceded by Christmas Eve on December 24, and in some countries is followed by Boxing Day on December 26. Some Eastern Orthodox Churches celebrate Christmas on January 7, which corresponds to December 25 on the Julian calendar. December 25 as a birthdate for Jesus is merely traditional, and is not thought to be his actual date of birth.Good luck!

Posted by: felician at December 26, 2006 2:05 AM

Hi there 

Not sure if this is the right place to post this, but here is the story of my dog called Shandy.
He was my favourite pet and he was very lively, lots of fun and very obedient. His main
passion in life was to be taken for a long walk, culminating with a big run out in his favourite
park. I would try to take him on this walk everyday, weather permitting. The park itself
was about three miles away from our house. What do you think?

Wow, I've found the same to be true too!  Where did you get that at?  

Bye, bye - Wendy! 




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