When brands play the lottery.

on Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Finger crossed. Via

The lottery. Something that takes place on numerous occasions during the week and something that 1000's of people participate in. For what? Essentially a quick fix to their problems, you don't need worry about the bills or any of life’s other problems if you win it. You can make a lot of money quickly; after all, the draw takes seconds. The main problem however is that usually only one person wins, for the rest it's as the image indicates; it's about crossing their fingers for the following week. 

Now, not everyone plays the lottery. There are other ways to get a yacht, a villa in an exotic location and some really nice sports cars. However, this takes a lot longer, a lot more work and can be more of a risk then  £1. But who wants to do that?! Surely it is easier to put your money into a short term gain and hope for the best? You would think that wouldn’t you.

Being a advertising-y blog, I suppose I have to relate this to brands and show why it doesn't work. So here it is:

Often brands are in a position where not a lot is going right for them or they need a boost to their bottom line. So they take a gamble, obviously it costs a lot more than a £1 in this situation but essentially they are after the same result. Something that will elevate them from their current situation in a short period of time
picture via  

A great example is Starbucks. A while back they bought out an instant coffee brand. This was done to grow Starbucks sales. Now, when you consider the whole point of going to Starbucks is to get a good coffee, surely instant coffee would damage the brand in the eyes of the consumer. 

Instead of looking for ways to solve their core problems they continue to damage the brand by looking for a short term fix. Starbucks sales aren't suffering because people are buying instant coffee - they are suffering because Starbucks is expensive! They need to address this issue instead of gambling and hoping it works out. This is a recent attempt by Starbuck's. Much the same as the instant coffee idea in my opinion....  

Brands need to realise that by l utilising these quick fix tactics for short term profit they are damaging their brand in the eyes of the consumer. If not in the present then definitely in the long run. Instead they need to focus on your core problems, improve their brands offering and understand the people who interact with their brand. 

I'm now off to buy my lottery ticket ;)  



By being so ubiquitous people feel they can go to any of the other Coffee shops and get the same atmosphere and pretty much the same quality whilst saving money.

There is a logic to the instant coffee idea, but I think they would be far better reminding people why they felt it worth spending that extra money in the first place.