The most recent issue (July, 2011) of Entrepreneur magazine includes a gratuitous article about “social coupons”, an extremely hot topic of late. The piece focuses specifically on the newest trend in daily discounts, real-time deals. Groupon is currently testing a project called Groupon Now in its home city of Chicago. Rather than argue the validity of Groupon’s business model or if it’s a ripoff for business owners (that’s for another day), I’d like to point out a very important lesson learned from its approach to daily deals.
When users open the Groupon Now app, they are prompted to choose one of two sentiments – “I’m hungry” and “I’m bored”. This, naturally, leads them to instant discounts for either eateries or activities. I think this model will be extremely successful for both customers and businesses; impulse buying will become less risky for consumers and perishable items can be moved easier and with less long-term commitments for businesses.
But at the end of the day, this approach is all about anchoring a service to human emotions. The app could easily just list daily deals upon opening it. Instead, Groupon decided to invite feelings into the equation right off the bat. And when you tap into “why” someone is making a purchase and the emotional factors at play, you position for brand as something much more than just a product.