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Defining “Sale Deterrents” And Five Ways To Promote Your Business Offline

Defining “Sale Deterrents” And Five Ways To Promote Your Business Offline

A sale deterrent is an element within your marketing that triggers an almost knee-jerk “No” decision as opposed to the more desirable “Yes” buying decision. We see this sort of thing every day without truly realizing how powerful the concept is. After explaining what Sales Deterrents are in detail, I also offer five ways you may promote your business offline.


The Power Of The Sale Deterrent


Terrible advert with a sales deterrent

Do you remember when people discovered that cochineals were considered a natural way to color food? When it became widely known that the natural food coloring for red was made from cochineals (insects), there were a fair few people that wouldn’t eat certain foods anymore.

Nestle Smarties were had the words, “Natural coloring and flavorings” on the box, yet people were horrified when they discovered that their red Smarties were dyed red through using cochineals. So upset were they at feeding their children bugs that Nestle removed cochineal-produced dye from their Smarties and now use an alternative.

Sale Deterrents cover image


Examining The Sale Deterrent And What Happened With Smarties


Let’s take a closer look at what actually happened in the Smarties example. Here are the selling points that were rendered mute thanks to a sale deterrent.

Selling point 1 – A Delicious Treat That Has No Negative Effects
People had been giving their children Smarties for years and had eaten them themselves. They had never known any ill effects and never had a bad experience. There is nothing wrong with the recipe, nor do Smarties harm humans in any way.

Selling point 2 – Everybody Knows About Nestle Smarties
Nestle Smarties are a trusted and established brand that people recognize very easily. They are popular, and many people consider them to be a sweet treat for any occasion.

Selling point 3 – The Added Chemicals Have No Health Effects
There are no negative health consequences that come from eating the red dye that was derived from bugs.

Selling point 4 – The Bug-Derived Dye Is Better Than Most
The use of their natural red dye is far healthier than some confectionery alternatives that use the more harmful red dye 2 and/or red dye 10.

All of these selling points, plus many more that the company has embedded into the public consciousness, were wiped out in some people’s minds when they heard that the red dye in Smarties came from bugs. All these selling points suddenly became mute.

It isn’t a form of insect urine or excretion in the strictest sense of the word, and there were not pieces of crushed insect pressed against the shell of the Smarties. It is a highly refined red dye derived from the cochineal insect, yet it put people off eating this beloved brand of confectionery. It was because it was associated with bugs and people didn’t want to eat bugs. They “Weren’t” eating bugs any more than you are eating cow when you drink its milk.


A Sale Deterrent Goes Beyond Reason And Common Sense


Funny Hitler advert

I love this accidentally terrible advert. You have to love a kettle that becomes a Hitler to people without their glasses on.

Again, bringing it back to the Smarties example, there was no logical reason why people should stop eating Smarties. They had already eaten a lot of red Smarties without any ill effect, and there was no reason why all the Smarties selling points were not still valid. Yet, people stopped buying and eating Smarties because the idea of a dye derived from an insect was a sales deterrent to them. As sales deterrents go, it is easy to understand why people didn’t want to eat Smarties anymore.

There are plenty of examples of similar logic in the past that has helped see products fail because of it. Heinz once made an all-natural vinegar product that was meant to clean windows. People couldn’t bring themselves to buy a cleaning product from a food company, and the fact it was all-natural just added to the confusion.

terrible advert with man and dogs

People couldn’t stand the idea of Colgate Kitchen Entrees because they thought the free samples they were giving out had toothpaste in them. Lifesavers are a sweets company that tried their hand at making fizzy pop and failed because people thought they were selling melted sweets/candy as a fizzy drink. In these cases, the sales deterrent were based on people’s expectations as per what each brand stands for.

For example, would you trust a candy that was made by the same branded company that makes toilets? Would you drink a fizzy drink manufactured by the same company that makes horse medication? Obviously, the toilet company is not making candy side-by-side in the same factory as their toilets, and the fizzy drink wouldn’t be made in the same factory as the horse medication, but what we associate with brands is what sets our expectations.


Five Methods For Promoting Your Business Offline


Promoting your business offline is more exciting than promoting it online. If you have a website or online business, you may not realize the benefits of advertising offline, but consider all the people walking around with Smartphones. They may visit your website whilst they are waiting for a bus or out on a date, and you are not going to get that sort of impact with an affiliate advert. Here are five ways you can promote your business offline.

1 – Make Sure Your Company Vehicles Are All Branded Up

People find it easier to trust brands they have seen. When they see your company vehicles with your brand colors, website and company information on, then they may not take notes, but it will help them trust you when they next need to do business with you. You are turning down free advertising whilst your company vehicles are un-branded and void of your advertising material.

2 – Make Donations To Local Events

Get creative and you can have your brand name plastered on everything from village fetes to car boot sales. All you have to do is find local events that you can sponsor in some way, and the great thing is that the smaller the function then the higher chances you can win them over with your sponsorship (in return for promotional space obviously).

3 – If You Sell A Product, You May Be Able To Use A Bridal Store

It is common for couples to have a wedding list. It is a little sad that people are that materialistic, but that is the way it is, and you can use it to your advantage. Can you strike up a deal with the bridal store? If you produce an exclusive offer for people using the bridal store, then the bridal store can use it as a selling point of their own, which makes them more likely to push your promotion.

4 – Host A Party To Promote Your Goods

It is often done with women’s cosmetics and in Britain there are a lot of sexy parties where women are shown a range of adult toys and lingerie. You can run parties selling a number of things, or you can simply host a party with free food and drinks and put your branding message somewhere conspicuous. How well you organize your party and your branding will determine how much penetration this move gets you.

5 – Gyms Often Allow Leaflet Modules

You can put these leaflet dispensers in many businesses, and gyms often allow them in their establishment if you pay them a little money and/or if your product has a benefit that will help people stay in shape, stay healthy or work out. Throw in a few business cards and/or catalogs to stir interest and be careful of charging people for things such as power-bars and such, when ideally they should be given away free as a taster promotion.

About The Author

Ash The Great

After a varied career in different industries from the hospitality industry to the financial consultancy industry, Ash now spends his days working as a professional writer.

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