Friday, May 24, 2013

Bait & Switch…maybe

I travel back and forth from LA to New York on a regular basis and have had many friends on both coasts complain about the $47. massage.

My experience is that the going rate for a massage is around $60. or more for an hour. I think the American standard is set by those one-hundred thousand plus skin and nail care salons that are scattered across our great nation. When I go to mine, I am encouraged to run up the bill one minute at a time. An extra ten-minute foot, hand or shoulder massage is always tracked by the little egg timer… a dollar per minute.

Several months back, I was taken by a sign outside “The Massage Place” that read $47. massage.  “The Massage Place” is a west coast company offering this proposition. I’m no fool. I know a bargain when I see it. I called, confirmed the $47. one-hour massage and booked it.

When I arrived, the place was busy and I was asked to wait for a few minutes. While doing so, I did not notice a very small sign in a frame on the front desk. That little sign became relevant an hour later.

I was called soon, introduced to my massage therapist and received a very good massage. Upon completion, the massage therapist thanked me then left the room. I dressed and as I did, I noticed a large sign on the wall next to the door that recommended I tip the massage therapist $20. I got the impression that I had just rented the room from the “The Massage Place” and now needed to compensate the massage therapist separately. I did the math. Forty-seven and twenty are sixty-seven which is no bargain. I felt duped. And yes, this is what the little sign in the lobby was all about.

This is not the old Bait and Switch. That is where they simply trade you up to something more expensive. This was close. This is a clever twist on it to be sure and is what my friends were complaining about.

So, ask yourself. Is this cheating? Is it an unfair trade practice? Should something be done?

I say no. It’s really smart marketing and I love it. These people have stimulated the massage category with a simple change to the Selling Proposition. I do it all the time.

As a consumer, I am an incurable early adaptor and I always go for the deal. Even knowing I had encountered the age old “if it’s too good to be true” pitch, I still went for it. I love watching Locked Up Abroad on TV and am always blown away with the total disregard for a little scrutiny even when faced with a prison term in a foreign country.

My hat is off to the folks at “The Massage Place” for rejuvenating the massage category…our economy needs the boost.

The learning here is to take a good look at your sales message to see where you can rework it to make it appear Remarkable to your target consumer.


Keith Chambers

Keynote Marketing Speaker
Creative Marketing Consultant
(310) 473-0010

follow my blog by clicking one of the links below

Add to Google Reader or Homepage

No comments:

Post a Comment