Saturday, September 12, 2009

Store and Manufacturer Coupons

Did you know that coupons are made available because the manufacturer decided to run a campaign?

When a manufacturer wants to get the word out about the products that they stock our stores shelves with they will run an ad campaign... especially if the manufacturer has a new to the market product that they want to introduce to us consumers.

An ad campaign can take on several different forms including TV commercials, Radio spots, online advertising, billboard signs, full page spreads in a newspaper or magazine, strategically placed tear pads and blinkie machines near the products on the shelves, a direct mailing or through a coupon campaign.

Even coupon campaigns differ. Some coupon campaigns are very high in value and are solely for magazine subscribers to benefit. Other coupon campaigns widely publicize specific brands or products through the coupon inserts that are delivered with our Sunday papers. And more recently, we have seen an onslaught of printable coupons available to us with just a few taps upon our computer keyboard.

With so many options available for manufacturers to run a campaign, the need arises for manufacturers to decide where exactly will they receive the most bang for their advertising buck!

Many manufacturers are supplementing the pricier advertising avenues with the far more affordable online coupon campaigns. It is far less expensive for YOU to print coupons on YOUR paper and with YOUR ink, than it is to run a traditional newspaper coupon campaign.

Manufacturers have also found another venue for making printable version of their coupons available to precisely the market of spenders who will use them... store websites like Target and Meijer. Store coupons, like the more familiar online printable manufacturer coupons allow for an even deeper discount for savvy clipping consumers since stacking one manufacturer and one store coupon per item is allowable!

Let me explain, a manufacturer 'rents' space on a store's website as an added advertisement location. Don't get silly and think that the store is over benevolent and happily gives the manufacturer leeway with hosting tempting coupons on their site... these store coupon campaigns also come with a premium, the store always wants their slice of the pie!

It seems that offering to knock down prices is one of the key motivators in moving products from the shelves, into carts, off the end of the conveyor belts, and into grocery bags that will ultimately make their way into our homes and our hearts...well, at least into our homes. Plain old fashioned bargaineering a trick that always works.

Bargaineering, in fact, is a campaign that allows the consumer to obtain a product for FREE. (Have I ever mention that I *heart* FREE stuff?) FREE samples, FREE item coupons and even pricing items so that post coupon spending the product that they manufacture is, you guessed it... FREE!

Manufacturing and marketing products is a multi-billion dollar industry. Stakes are high which is why so many manufacturers are competing for our attention (um, and our $$$ too!). Savvy marketing, unique features and a wide variety of sizing forces us to really need to think if we want to stretch our household budgeting dollars to the extreme.

Tossing a few (hundred... wink) coupons into our thought processes, and coupons really help us to quickly decide where our manufacturer loyalties lay. If I can purchase a product at a discounted rate, I'll give it a shot. If I can try a product, even a trial size, for FREE... I'll take it. Who ever said you can't get anything for FREE? Trial size for FREE? Is that legal? As long as the coupon does not exclude trial size, or isn't size specific. Crazy huh?

Manufacturers are fully aware of all of the products that they market. Someone (most likely many someones who are far up on the company food chain) are paid to be aware of every product on every shelf in America... along with what coupon campaigns have been made public. Manufacturers know what stores are stocked with which products because they have to pay (BIG money!!!) for the 'shelf real estate' at every single store they choose to do business with (another nice little perk for the stores!) So if a savvy coupon clipping consumer matches a coupon with an item and the item ultimately becomes FREE to the consumer... trust me, the manufacturer isn't shocked, just the cashier is!!!

So when I am asked if I feel badly spending coupons... WHAT? Badly? Nope! Spending coupons is like ballroom dancing, a beautiful embrace where the consumer gracefully follows the lead of the manufacturer because ultimately they each depend upon the other.


Becky C

Thanks for this explanation, Laura. Just yesterday, I was using $1 off coupons on trial size items, 5 each of 3 different items. Any guesses what store?? :-) The way I was treated by the manager, looking down her nose at me, questioning the use of these coupons, made me feel as if I was somehow cheating the store or the manufacturer in some way. I knew that the coupons did not exclude trial sizes, and I had a copy of the store's coupon policy in my purse, but I still felt guilty. I needed this reminder. Thanks!


great post!!!