December 5, 2006

why the thresher's meme went viral

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Dennis Howlett, in the gapingvoid comments section gives a good synopsis of why the Thresher meme went viral:

Whether deliberate or otherwise is irrelevant. It seems to me there were several triggers:

Price was clearly something that people latched onto. 40% sounds great until you realise price competition still puts them ahead of Tesco on certain lines. But then who associates Threshers with this kind of thing?

Nevertheless, Threshers offers convenience because it's in the community in the first place. Something the giants forget. And which has various cost and price effects.

The air of mystique - is this real, is it a scam, jeez - it is for real all play a part in making the reader think they're in on something others are not.

Getting the word out was great and amplified these effects for a product that everyone wants - right now and which is sufficiently expensive for people to want a big discount. That's the real secret. Timing.

Low prices, every day just didn't cut it this week.

[UPDATE:] My old friend James Thomson [who's been in the Scots whisky business for well over a decade] also makes some good points in the comments below:
The 40% improvement on the usual 33% had five clear advantages in my book - although there are many others.

1. Simple. I have done the buy 3 for the price of 2 a few times (did it with 3 x stormhoek) but its a pain as you only get the least expensive bottle free. This is simpler.

2 & 3. It was web exclusive and so was a 'discovery' offer i.e. not pimped rather loudly all about the stores. This is a wonderful combination that appeals to people who like to do clever things (i.e. save in an intelligent way) while at the same time combining cheapness with exclusivity. That's quite rare.

4. Timing; holiday booze needs are well understood. Everyone needs to stock up so this was enough incentive to get this both talked about and used and, in the spirit of the holidays, you also don't have to give a bottle you just tell your mates how to save by passing this news around - a kind of self help voucher for others to be told about. A virus that runs on the shoulders of giving advice - perfect.

5. Sounds better than it is. Many don't know about the 'up to 33%' that runs all year. 40% off sounds amazing at first inspection while 10% - which is what it is roughly - is much less interesting. People read the first thing they see "hey 40% off!" and act on that before they look any further. Time and eye ball pressure has made online reading almost devoid of attention to detail at times.

James

NB: The Thresher's coupon is still valid until this Sunday, the 10th December, People [UK only]. You can download yours here.

Posted by hugh macleod at December 5, 2006 8:00 AM | TrackBack
Comments

the 40% improvement on the usual 33% had five clear advantages in my book - although there are many others.

1. Simple. I have done the buy 3 for the price of 2 a few times (did it with 3 x stormhoek) but its a pain as you only get the least expensive bottle free. This is simpler.

2 & 3. It was web exclusive and so was a 'discovery' offer ie not pimped rather loudly all about the stores. This is a wonderful combination that appeals to people who like to do clever things (ie save in an intelligent way) while at the same time combining cheapness with exclusivity. That's quite rare.

4. timing; holiday booze needs are well understood. Everyone needs to stock up so this was enough incentive to get this both talked about and used and, in the spirit of the holidays, you also don't have to give a bottle you just tell your mates how to save by passing this news around - a kind of self help voucher for others to be told about. A virus that runs on the shoulders of giving advice - perfect.

5. sounds better than it is. Many don't know about the 'up to 33%' that runs all year. 40% off sounds amazing at first inspection while 10% - which is what it is roughly - is much less interesting. People read the first thing they see "hey 40% off!" and act on that before they look any further. Time and eye ball pressure has made online reading almost devoid of attention to detail at times.

James

Posted by: James Thomson at December 5, 2006 8:57 AM

Am I slow on the uptake, but didn't he Thresher 33% off offer coincided with Thresher raising their prices outrageously in the first place, and lots of people going in to the shop to buy one bottle of wine suddenly coming out with three?

Posted by: william at December 5, 2006 11:26 AM

Why yes, you are slow on the uptake, William ;-)

No major retailer in the UK would have been able to raise prices "outrageously" in the last 10 years and still stay in business. Look at the pricing trends in the wine market, and there's just one word to describe it: DOWNWARDS.

Cheap wine in the norm in the UK now...

Secondly, if this deal wasn't legit, this weekend there would probably have been riots in the stores. I am not joking. Instead, people generally went away pretty happy.

None of the naysayers [especially in the media] have factored that in. Strange.

Posted by: hugh macleod at December 5, 2006 11:48 AM

Is this comic available in high res?

It is just too brilliant.

Josh

Posted by: Josh at December 5, 2006 7:05 PM

Exclusivity works - just look at Google Mail Beta.

Posted by: Paul Fabretti at December 5, 2006 10:20 PM

Aaah - but the question now is this: what does Threshers do about the experience? What does it learn? What does it takeaway it can use to differentiate itself? I wonder what interesting things the company captured as information it can share?

One ting's for certain. It can't pull this one again too easily.

Posted by: Dennis Howlett at December 6, 2006 2:10 PM

Dennis - you may (or may not) be surprised by this then http://www.stormhoek.com/stormhoekcoupon2.pdf

Posted by: Ryan at March 25, 2007 6:22 PM