Small Businesses – Should You run a promotional campaign with Groupon ?

Following our tip about how a London gym’s clever daily deal protected the value of her regular monthly subscriptions, a hairdresser in Bondi asked us for advice on other ways of achieving a similar outcome if she ran a promotion with Groupon or LivingSocial.

Our advice: be like Batman and Robin and form an epic partnership

The risk of devaluing your brand (making customers reduce the price they’re prepared to pay after the deal finishes) due to the size of the daily deal discount is one of the most common issues large and small businesses seem to worry about – and rightly so!

We’ve seen success with a second great way to avoid this risk, whilst still opening yourself up to the benefits of daily deals with the likes of Groupon, LivingSocial, or any deal provider: a strategic partnership with another local business to create a “bundle offer” Daily Deal.

Strategic brand partnerships are common in real life – think movie tie-ups with breakfast cereals, for example – and you suddenly unlock a whole new flexibility to create the kind of offer that will stand out, feeding your ability to exploit the publicity benefits of running a deal.

Bundling products from two or more local merchant partners can provide customers – and yourself – with great value whilst protecting your brand.

This is because a ‘brand bundle’ will allow you to mask the underlying value of the Deal and make it very difficult for customers to directly compare the price they’re getting the deal for with the regular price of your products and services.

Local collaborations also bring together the power of two brands and allows each to leverage off the other, allowing each brand to subtly tap into new channels and demographics that match their product – potentially resulting in a further uplift in sales.

Our advice is that these Daily Deals make customers feel they are being offered something extra special that they cannot get anywhere else and are sure to attract plenty of interest. For example:

Our Bondi hairdresser might target new clients by partnering with a local wine bar and offering 2 haircuts + 2 cocktails for ladies plus a friend. The deal should be cross-promoted to each business’ respective databases (and in store) for maximum exposure, relying on the daily deal site to convert potential customers into buyers.Or a restaurant might partner with other local businesses to bundle a meal for two from a new, custom menu with a glass (not bottle) of wine, a discount on babysitting or a complimentary taxi home <10km.

A side benefit of this second strategy is that the deal will only attract local customers, who are more likely to be your repeat clients in the future than bargain hunters who will drive across the state just to get a cheap meal, but never return!


Some more advice: make sure you and your partner brand are very clear about how the daily deal will work, especially who receives the money from the deal site and how each partner is paid their share.

A simple way to get around complexities here is to agree to run two deals with your partner business; one led by you, the other led by them, with the relevant roles reversed to ensure both get a fair shake of the old sauce bottle.

If conceived and executed correctly, these partnership Deals can also make local consumers warm to you as a pillar of the local retail community, which has ongoing benefits that will outlast the deal itself. Plus they’re a great way to make new relationships with nearby merchants that could even score you a free haircut or two of your own. Ask around and see what people think!

P.S. A great example of this “bundle deals” will be if these small companies  who offer complimentary products combine their marketing efforts – NameSilo offers super cheap domains and InterServer offers top notch quality hosting. They can partner up and offer a nice neat “bundled” deal for their potential customers.