General Motors (GM) began its latest discount addicted ways in June with the announcement of its Employee Discounts for Every One (EDEO) pricing scheme. At the time, GM sincerely promised the discount would be short-lived and end on August 1. But GM broke its promise and extended the EDEO pricing scheme to September 6.
And now … GM is breaking its promise again. The automaker now tells us their EDEO pricing scheme will end on September 30.
The Brand Autopsy Discount Detox Center has seen this unfortunate marketing behavior before and believes General Motors is in DEEP DENIAL.
General Motors is addicted to discounting.
Addiction to any marketing activity is defined as being the continued use of marketing tactics despite repeated negative consequences. The Circle of Discount Addiction [see below] demonstrates the stages every marketer experiences when abusing low price marketing schemes.
When discount addicted marketers begin compulsively using low price marketing schemes they experience denial.
The meaning of denial is simple. The discount addicted marketer denies he or she is addicted to the marketing tactic in question. These marketers fail to grasp the dangers of working in a business environment where after the “HIGH” of a high volume/low-return sales cycle comes the “LOW” of a low-volume/low-return sales cycle.
Everybody around the discount addicted marketer knows what the problem is. Everyone that is, except the marketer.
If an addicted marketer does finally attempt to stop using the drug of discounting, he is likely to experience withdrawal symptoms.
In the case of low price marketing schemes, withdrawal without proper marketing supervision can be debilitating for the business, and in some cases, fatal to the brand. When a marketer tries to stop abusing discounting cold turkey, the fiscal withdrawal symptoms can be so painful and potentially devastating to their career that the marketer quickly returns to activating another round of deep discount marketing tactics.
Discount addicted marketers soon reach the point of maintaining their discounting habit. At this point, the marketer needs to constantly include a discount tactic in his marketing plans to feel “normal.” And at any given time during the fiscal year, the marketer has some level of discounting active in the marketplace. The marketer literally cannot function without it.
It’s very hard for the discount addicted marketer to maintain any semblance of a normal business life when he’s reached this point. Problems at staff meetings and at off-site business retreats start to intensify and clashes with the legal department over marketing verbiage in advertising collateral become more common.
Faced with these devastating situations, the discount addicted marketer makes a promise to stop using low price marketing schemes. The promise by the marketer may be sincere and perhaps the marketer has come to accept he has a problem and has a desire to stop. Unfortunately, the marketer goes into fiscal withdrawal soon after the last discount tactic expires and unable to withstand the pain, the marketer starts to use again.
Following the broken promises, the discount addicted marketer once again retreats deep into denial. He will use low price marketing schemes less, he says, but he doesn’t have to stop because he doesn’t really have a problem. The circle of discount addiction continues.
Obviously a circle has no beginning and no end. With effective treatment; however, the circle of discount addiction can be opened at any point and remade into an upward curve of recovery. The process is simple but the work is hard.
adapted from the Circle of Active Addiction