Friday, December 02, 2011

Big S'Mac 2...

Yesterday,  I wrote about LivingSocial's Big Mac half price offer [].

LivingSocial, the smaller social couponing website rival to Groupon, is owned in part by Amazon. In an attempt to wrestle the industry lead from Groupon (who has about three times as many subscribers) LivingSocial has been taking big risks.  This one with McDonald's may cost LivingSocia some cash -- and some cache.

The offer that was to cap at a million booklets has been extended today with less than a quarter million takers.

Why the problem? In an unusual move, the company is issuing printed booklets instead of their usual print-at-home offers. This may be take the impulse buyers out. They want to buy it now and use it tonight.

The type of offer is somewhat limited by focusing on only Big Macs. (I prefer the Quarter Pounder. But I haven't eaten at McDonald's for I don't know how long. And given a burger choice, I'd visit BK.)  I get the impression more adults frequent McDonald's these days for their specialty drinks or prefer the healthier fare on their menu.

The bigger problem is that I think LivingSocial probably has a million coupon books in a warehouse somewhere ready to ship. This makes the fiasco an even bigger black eye for LivingSocial.

The whole social couponing world is interesting. It tends to slant younger and draws into businesses a lot of discount shoppers with no loyalty.

So, my guess we'll see that Big Mac offer online for a while to empty the warehouse. So walk, don't run to and see where the numbers are right now.

And be aware that this could happen to your business if you overpromise. Much better to underpromise and overdeliver.

And I'll keep you posted on this marketing tale. I'm one of those 250,000 takers. (So, if you find Big Mac and fries coupons in your stocking from me this year, you'll know the backstory.)

Big S'Mac....

I haven't had lunch, yet. So, I'm a little hungry. Maybe that's why this
story caught my eye....

Crain's Chicago Business reported that LivingSocial and McDonald's are
offering a special promotion today: $26 worth of Big Macs and fries for
$13. (If you're feeling hungry, too, you can get in on the deal at: .)

What makes the story interesting is that Groupon and McDonald's are
based in Chicago, but LivingSocial has managed to broker this deal right
in Groupon's backyard.

Groupon, which went public with an IPO last month, has seen it's stock
price decrease. So it seems LivingSocial, with about a third of the
subscribers of Groupon, has worked this deal to put their name in
headlines and try to boost it's subscriber base. They want to smack the
competition while they appear down.

So, what does this mean to you (other than a good deal if you like Big Macs)?

It means that just because your competition may be bigger than you,
there are still opportunities to position yourself to make a leap forward.
A good way to do that is to ride on the coattails of a big brand. Perhaps
it will have a halo effect on your brand.

Or it could become an embarrassment.

McDonald's is capping the deal at a million. As I write this, 152,440
people have signed up for this deal. That seems like the deal isn't
generating all that much excitement.

I'll give my follow-up on this when the deal is over.

Meantime, I thinking about Burger King...