Free food for a year? Who wouldn’t sign up for that? That’s exactly what companies like Denny’s (win a “Grand Slam for a Year”) around the U.S. are banking on to get customers in their door and spending money during the recession. Subway is giving 71 customers free sandwiches for a year to promote its “Five Dollar Footlong” sandwich. The marketing strategy is cost effective (the promotion adds up to about $260 per year, per customer) and successful. It’s estimated that 30% to 40% of free food coupons are redeemed as compared to just 1.5% to 2% of coupons offering discounts. And speaking of coupons, coupon redemption is up a whopping 27% from 2008. That amounts to the largest year-over –year increase in twenty years since they started keeping records. So, what have we learned? Free food and coupons work in a tough economy (duh)! Let’s find out how companies are adapting and how consumers are responding to recession marketing.
Burt Flickinger III, manager director, Strategic Resource Group
Lori Walderich, principal and chief creative officer, IdeaStudio
Carlos Illingworth, manager of public affairs, or spokesperson, VONS
Matthew Tilley, spokesperson, Inmar Inc.
Teri Gault, Founder and CEO of TheGroceryGame.com