Upside-down Marketing

As I was walking through downtown Miami the other day, I came upon the following sign:

It immediately reminded me of a recent post by Alex King about his business priorities. In a nutshell, he explains that he prioritizes his communications so that emails are replied to in the following order:

  1. Current clients
  2. Returning clients
  3. Prospective clients
  4. New potential clients

While we’ve probably all been guilty of dedicating more resources to client acquisition than to existing clients, especially when starting up a business, Alex’s list makes a lot of sense. Ideally, you’d want new clients to know that -once they’re clients- they’ll be your top priority.

(Of course, if you happen to own a large enough business that you can have a dedicated client-procuring department, then this doesn’t really apply to you – although it’d still be a nice philosophy to adopt).

So, what’s wrong with the sign above? It gives first-time clients perks that your repeat clients are not getting. They’re basically catering to the one-time customer. And while I have absolutely no idea how the salon business works, I’d bet it depends on loyal, repeat customers. Maybe they’re in their growing phase, and don’t have enough regular clients yet… But still, why penalize your repeat customers with higher prices? Wouldn’t it be smarter to offer repeat customers a better deal? That way new customers can come in, try the service out, and know that if they like it they can come back for a better deal.

What do you think? Are they being dumb or smart?


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