Back in 1894, Asa Candler paid the exorbitant price of $2,300 for the formula to a spicy tonic called Coca-Cola. Asa was one of the original ad men and made hand written tickets for a free glass of his new fountain drink. And as they say, “the rest is history”.
Coupons soon found a willing market with housewives looking to stretch their grocery budget and were/have been/ continue to be closely associated with grocery items such as cereal. One of my favorite and earliest memories of my grandmother is assisting her cut out coupons with my own version of a toddler safe blunt edge scissors. Coupon’s latest association and delivery mode though is causing me some distress.
Restaurants have determined that when their potential customers are making a last minute decision of where to dine, a coupon delivered to the customer’s smartphone can sway that decision. When dining with friends and relatives out of state, we have taken advantage of that opportunity. We have been that customer who searched the websites of possible dining locations, found a coupon we liked, and then scurried off to our restaurant of choice with the coupon displayed on the screen of my smartphone. Easy to do, saved money, no qualms from the restaurant on honoring the coupons. What’s not to like?
The stress or wishful thinking is happening when more offers for those coupons pop up on my phone and I am nowhere near those restaurants or more importantly the friends and family that are part of the dining out experience. On the days of these extended forever winter an online reminder that we cannot be together (roads are awful/closed again!) is not what is needed. Those same coupons are now only tantalizing reminders of what will not be happening today.
We consumers are fickle people. And at the moment, this consumer needs a “not now” pre-screening feature for Asa Candler’s coupons.