Industry News: Black Friday, and how to manipulate your customers…

Manipulating customers has been an age-old trick, to create a furor about your goods or services. Undersupply to the market place (such is the way of the console and electronics industry in particular) has long been a clever trick to increase demand and value held for a product, on launch. By increasing frustration with fans, you increase desire for a product, hence increasing its value. iPhone’s still sell for around £1000 on eBay, when supply is still lower than demand. Naturally if these phones were available in the shops, this wouldnt be possible, but it is human nature to resort to extreme tactics when something you really want is not available.


Holding your prized limited edition goods infront of queing consumers is a proud moment for the lucky few given the chance to buy one of these items. The products already have a brand and design that attracts its market perfectly, but limiting supply on launch is enough to create a scramble in the aisles at midnight in every electronics store in the country.

Now, we see a new phenomenon reaching our shores. Black Friday is a day we have all known of for a few years, that has started to take the States by storm. Originally a day that statistically has shown purchasing is at its highest, the first Friday after Thanksgiving, and generally the last Friday in November around the last payday before Christmas. All these factors have led to consumers flocking to the high street and online shops in their droves, spending their last paypacket before Christmas, and soaking up the freshly festive atmosphere.

But now the retailers have got hold of it. Google ‘Black Friday’ and not only will the usual Wikipedia results come up, but you will get a long list of retailers listing all their special’ Black Friday’ offers. Stores are opening for 24 hours, and on-line shops are offering massive discounts. Shops are even closing to allow their staff to go shopping elsewhere to give them the chance to make the most of the massive savings available on Black Friday!

It’s a fascinating phenomenon. There is no doubt that the high street  is suffering during the economic downturn, but now ‘Black Friday’ that has come about naturally over the last decade has been turned into something forced. From a marketing perspective, you would imagine the aim would be to drive sales up for longer periods than just a day, or maybe to increase sales during quieter periods, but instead the trend is to bring even more people to stores with bigger and bigger discounts on a single day.

But wait! It seems that an extra day has been added to this forced event! “Cyber Monday”. Apparently the Monday following Black Friday is the busiest day of the year for online sales, so now we have a conveniently framed weekend to bring business to the retailers. A hectic 4 day period of Black Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Cyber Monday.

As a retailer, or even a supplier, I would dread this weekend. Quiet spells throughout February and March, July and August, and almost certainly October before the festive season hits, and then retailers predicting that 10% of their annual turnover will happen over 4 days of the year, thanks in the main to marketing spin! It fascinates me that we all need to buy gifts. We will all buy presents for Aunty Mable, Uncle Rodney, Mum & Dad, and personally I won’t be buying any more gifts than usual simply in response to a few extra sale days. I’ll just end up paying less overall for anything I do coincidentally buy this weekend, thanks to these Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. So it begs the question, who is buying more as a result of these sales to bring such an influx of revenue? And why? Some people are more susceptible than others to influence, and some aren’t, and the trick is to isolate these people, and target them in different ways, and know how to work them to your advantage.

Products, brands, businesses, people: they all interweave so intrinsically, and for sales to be a success you need to understand each element perfectly. Find the links, and the point of influence, and leverage it to your advantage to ensure that you, your business and your product succeeds more than your competition.

We have the experience to give your product the design and marketing edge. We know the industries, and we know how to flick the switch in your consumer to help your product achieve all the right goals on Black Friday, Cyber Monday or any day for that matter! Call us now to find out how….