Black Friday has arrived, the much-anticipated day of mega sales and discounting. Each year the build-up starts earlier and earlier and Black Friday turns into a week-long, sometimes month-long extravaganza of cheap ‘bargain hunting’ shopping!
Back in the summer during a marketing meeting the team and I talked then about ‘Black Friday’ and I shared with them my decision not to get caught up in this event. This was the first time in our 3 years of trading that I had chosen not to take part, my team asked why? This led to a big but interesting discussion!
Discounting in retail has become a way of life, its now a clear customer expectation that brands will go into sale mode at key times of the year or will do various discounting campaigns throughout the season.
Having worked in the fashion and textile industry for over 23 years I have worked with many brands and suppliers, I have always been interested in how a brand forms, grows and develops and have followed many brands in that time, seeing some evolve into phenomenal success stories and others disappear into oblivion.
Starting a business building a brand and growing is not easy to achieve. Almost 50% of small businesses fail within the first year and a further 30% failing by year 3. So what is it that differentiates the ones who flourish from the ones who flounder and what exactly does this have to do with black Friday I hear you ask?
Margin, margin is key to growth and stability, ensuring we achieve a margin which covers our overhead and provides us with the additional funds to put back into the business to grow. Discounting slashes that margin, a discounted sales is a short-term view, which hugely damages the business and undermines the brand. Once you go down the road of discounting you’re sending a message to your customer that you have that option that you have enough room to cut retail prices at any given time and that it’s ok. In return the customer thinks great, if I hold off long enough I will get the lovely top or dress for much less than I should have to pay. And that really is the beginning of the end. Your customer loses faith in you, doesn’t trust you when you state an original retail price and will never buy from you at full price again. You have made a short-term decision and created a long-term problem.
Building a business and building a brand takes patience, time and persistence, building customer loyalty is the same, at FINDRA almost 80% of our range is made in the UK. We design, source and sell a high-quality product that we believe is excellent value for money. We also invest in our team pay good wages and provide a positive pleasant culture and environment to work in. Our team are part of our story and our future. We can only do this if we work hard on our business, protect it, value it and build for the future.
We value what we design, we value what we make and we value our customer.
That’s what why we won’t be taking part in any Black Friday deal this year, because focusing on one day out of 365 is a short-term view and we have too big a vision and too good a future ahead to not see and want the bigger picture.
If we don’t value ourselves how can we expect our customer to value and trust us and respect the product we offer them?
Happy Friday everyone, the futures bright, not black!