1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. WELCOME Grumblers
    Backup is now done at 3PM EDT. You may find the server down for up to two minutes at that time.

Michael's latest ad

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by Bob Carter, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    In our market, this week's tab had a "Buy one Custom frame job at regular price, get second for free"

    Now, before we get the usual suspects posting, can we agree that this a powerful ad and will drive folks in like crazy?

    Yeah, Yeah, I know they inflate 'em to give 'em away stuff, but what can we do to counteract that powerful message?
  2. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    My inclination is to ignore it, unless you have incredible buying power, or you can negotiate help from your suppliers, or you don't mind working for a whole lot less, I don't believe it is something I would want to compete with.

  3. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    My spin on this advertisement is ............ What if the customer only wants one frame? Are they in for a surprise when they hear that price.

    That promotion might even back fire on them and bring more customers to the independents.

    Its not like going to the grocery and getting something for as an example 10 for $10. You will still be able to buy one or two @ $1.00 each.
  4. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Do what Jim and I and some others are doing with our blow up frames. Put them in your window!

  5. Val

    Val PFG, Picture Framing God

    I agree, Jerome. For once, customers will get a true glimpse at their "normal" not-on-sale framing costs. Having worked on the other side of that counter, I can hear it now...."Oh.... That's the price before the discount....right? What about after the discount? Wha'??...That IS the discount?? Holy cow!!"

    This should be interesting. Once again, I really feel sorry for M's framers. From what I remember and have recently heard, from here until after Christmas, every week will be a framing "sale" of some kind. So....are they really "sales" then?
  6. Paul N

    Paul N In Corner

    Yes, on the surface sounds like a brilliant idea.

    Upon further scrutiny or put to the real test, might backfire badly.
  7. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    The only place where I have really seen that type of promotion do well is in restaurants. Then again - not too many people eat alone. ;)

    to add to my previous posting..... how many TV's, sofas, appliances and or cars are sold that way.... buy one and get one free.
  8. Val

    Val PFG, Picture Framing God

    I often buy my groceries that way.....two cans o' peas, please!
  9. UzZx32QU

    UzZx32QU Administrator Staff Member

    The way I beat on them at Xmas time is my Xmas ontime guarantee or it's FREE. M really has a bad raputation in my area for being late that time of year. This year it will be the 10th if an item needs to be shipped and the 22nd for pickup. If I fail to have it ready I will instantly refund the full price of the frame order and will finish the order as soon as I can. This is only offered if everything on the order is instock. I check before the order is taken. Chop orders at not included.

    In my Xmas ad I also use "Please ask about our ontime or it,s free guarantee". If they don't ask and request it there is no guarantee. It must be listed on the invoice.

    Let M match that offer!!

  10. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    Ben Franklin here had an ad for a while that said "FREE FRAMING. All you buy is materials." Now Stevie Wonder could see through that but its the one that don't 'get it' I would worry about.

    That was probably 2 years ago and I havn't seen it again. I'll bet they were hammered with unsatisfied idiots....I mean customers.
  11. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    The more I think about this, I guess it would be a fairly easy one to compete with. The "free" framing would be naturally the lower priced of the two. I think it would actually be rare when people brought in two of the exact same thing to frame, so the discount in reality would probably be, at an average, around thirty percent.

    The message is indeed a powerful draw. I reckon you could just run an ad that claims you will honor any of the chain stores ads. You could also remind people to keep their shopping dollars in the local economy.

  12. Doug Gemmell

    Doug Gemmell SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Michael's Disclaimer

    "The Large Print Giveth, the Small Print Taketh Away."
  13. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    Several years ago, when we were a photo lab only, I sat in a meeting with a newly hired marketing expert who had come from the fast food industry.

    He sadly described his previous job as a twenty year debate about which is more effective: 50% off or two for one burgers.

    I don't think it's any more effective than the half off ads we see every day. Ho-Hum

  14. Candy

    Candy SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Ben Franklin has always advertised free framing.............They just don't charge a fitting fee.
  15. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    DTW here frequently advertises (50)% off custom framing with purchase of custom frame at regular price, which I figure is about the same offer.
    :smileyshot22: Rick
  16. TGFU

    TGFU CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Buy one (at regular price) get the second one free is no different than their usual 50% off ad. The question is will consumer Jane or Joe see that it's the same thing? Probably not the majority of them.
  17. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Another winner from the professional marketing experts, I'm sure. Excellent marketing impact with a lower real discount than their previous ads.

    Of course it's the same old 50% discount, at best. But as Jay said, the real discount will probably end up being considerably less than that, as the #2 frame would be the less costly of them.

    How would I respond to that ad? Mostly, my strategy is -- and has been -- to promote framing of things of personal value that don't come in two's.

    Thanks, jPaul, for pasting my photo into your post. Hopefully, that will bring a few consumers my way, too.
  18. Baer Charlton

    Baer Charlton SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    We put a small sign in the window... "Yes, Virginia, we will be taking orders for framing in Dec and delivering them for Christmas." Our cutoff date.... hmmmm 10am on the 24th... Michael's cut off was the Monday after Thanksgiving. I think at the peak, they had three framers..... no one wants to work for them any more I guess.
    Now where did that sign go...... :D

  19. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    The dolls, Baer?
  20. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God


    Baer I think yours are stranded in the snow covered passes between the warehouse and you! :smiley:
  21. Harry FKA Harry

    Harry FKA Harry CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

  22. Harry FKA Harry

    Harry FKA Harry CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    There is no doubt that this is a powerful advertising message. I beleive it will be effective too. Yah, some people will see through it, but most won't because they don't want to. Many people will understand/beleive that they are overpaying for the one they are getting but, hey, they are getting one free, so, what the heck. It's like the Oreos in the supermarket. "Buy one package at $4.99 and get one free". Now I know Oreos should not cost $4.99 more like $3.50 or so, but I figure hey, ones free so what the heck.....

    In the end, it will drive traffic to the custom framing counter. A lot more than will come to mine in that week's time. Even with the one's they turn off, they still acheive a net gain. Or they wouldn't do it.

    So how do I combat it? Well Sir, there is the question that if I hade the answer to, I could be teaching your class in Vegas this winter.:D
  23. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Harry, take a look at this thread http://www.thegrumble.com/showthread.php?t=27448 the contact info is there. Make sure you tell them you are from the Grumble and the opening min. order is waved. You only have to order 12 blow up frames. Very affordable.
  24. Harry FKA Harry

    Harry FKA Harry CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Thanks j paul.
  25. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    The two frames I inflated Friday are still holding air. Tonight I will re-do the whole window and take a snapshot if I can find the &%$# camera in all this mess. (spend weekend installing some new-to-me fixtures & equipment).

    I must have used too much pressure when I did the first two, and caused leaks. Can anyone blow up these things manually? I've always had good lungs, but I couldn't get the darn things more than about 25% inflated...so I used compressed air.
  26. Barb Pelton

    Barb Pelton SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    "can we agree that this a powerful ad and will drive folks in like crazy?"


    I think we all know it works and are just fooling ourselves by hoping that maybe 5% of their customers are unhappy enough to come to us, seeking an alternative. Sure, we could probably manage on that 5% plus the customers who never turned away in the first place, but personally, I never liked being "2nd choice".

    I don't know how to reach the masses on my wee budget, so I will offer events....market directly to my current customers....get out in the community more....offer "value framing" along with the regular selections (that works very well for us in our neighborhood) and try like heck to have something new and different ALL the time.

    (I might even launch my own "buy one get one free" and give 'em an inflated "FREE" frame....ok, maybe not, but I usually DO send my best customers a special gift and give out smaller gifts to customers starting with the holiday open house. Something like very fine chocolates...)

    Last but not least, I will listen closely to the words of wisdom from others more successful than I.
  27. Barb Pelton

    Barb Pelton SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    "You can say that again"
    ...but don't.
  28. Elaine

    Elaine SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Just had our first Michaels and AC Moore open within 10 miles of my shop. Both had soft openings and will have a grand opening. That was 9/30, and I just had one of the best weeks in a very long time. Future impact, not sure, but I went for a visit, and they were overstaffed and looking severly hungry!

    Their ad in the window - in large print "50% off custom framing" in small print "when you buy the custom frame. I find this deceptive, and I think the consumers are becoming more savvy to the ads the longer they are out there.


    I do like the blow up frames!!
  29. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    Yes. There is a flap at the base of the valve that you have to pinch while inflating or deflating. Saves a lot of air whilst trying to get the stopper in the end of the valve. I would guess the air pressure in these to be about 2-4 lbs...Amazed that you didn't pop them Jim.

    Has anyone tried Helium? In the Instant Masterpiece Inflatable frames that is.

    Bob, Yes a strong message, but it assumes a huge gullibility on the part of the public:icon9:. Are we really that poor of a comsumer?
    Buy one get one (of equal or lesser value) free isn't nearly the deal as 50% off. Same smoke and mirrors...different angle.
  30. FrameMakers

    FrameMakers PFG, Picture Framing God

    Elaine, that means it must be a custom frame job and not custom mats in a readymade etc. If a customer does a job like you or I would take in they will get 50% off their price.

    I am suprised how many still don't get it. Everyone loves getting a deal, most of the time it more about getting the deal rather then the amount of the deal.

    I remember before all of the BB sales, we ran a 50% off the moulding deal on LJ frames. We worked with LJ and got chops at our length price. During the sale our average ticket went up considerably. We would tell them "that comes to $366.20 and is a savings of $182.27". If I had said to the same customer not during the sale "that would be $366.20" I bet they would have walked or downgraded the design.
    Unfortunatly those days seem to be over, everyone now expects everything to be on sale all the time, and if it isn't at store A i'm sure that it is in store B & C.
  31. Cretin75

    Cretin75 CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Exactly. :bdh:

    It doesn't mean you pay for the custom frame at full price, then get the glass, mats, mounting and finishing for 50% off. It means the whole sha-bang is 50% off.

    It's not deceptive at all IMO.
  32. Meghan MacMillan

    Meghan MacMillan SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    But there's "fine print":

    "*Includes frame, moulding, glass and labor. Second order must be of equal or lesser value. Payment required when order is placed."

    I take that to mean that mats, and fillets (if offered) would not be discounted.

    Don't know what the overall implication of that is, but is seems like an important detail, to me.
  33. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Okay, so most have deemed this as a little shady; that consumers are smarter than that.

    Then, answer this riddle; How do they average 5 times the average volume of we independents?

    I'm not picking on Elaine, but if I had a dollar for every shop that had a "best week ever" when M's opened, I could buy World Series tickets for the DBacks

    We have all had great sport pointing out the flaws of their campaigns, yet, they thrive

    Part of the disucssion ought to be what can/we should do to combat that message (presuming that you even care to) or what can we do to exploit that same 'gullible" customer. After all, if a fool and her money are soon parted, aren't we answering a higher calling to tke it with our higher standards
  34. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

  35. Elaine

    Elaine SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    A couple of things...

    A) It wasn't a best week ever, it was a good week compared to the many past weeks. AND, I can't say that I can attribute anything that happened at my store to the opening of these stores. October is usually always a decent month here. I would be curious to know how the shops located within a city block fared during the openings.

    B) I read the fine print on the ad - it was 50% off the custom framing with the purchase of a custom frame (frame was not discounted). I interpret that as 50% off of the mats,glass,fitting when you pay for the frame at regular prices.

    If this is subject to misinterpretation, then I do think it is deceptive. You don't know until they total you up at the counter. There's the hook - how many people will just walk? Probably not many, they came there with a purpose and they complete their task. Hooking them in is what makes their numbers huge. How many become repeat customers is another question. Their numbers may reflect a lot of "one hit wonders"

    Bob, you can pick on me all you want, but I'm warning you that I'm cranky today!!

  36. Julia

    Julia CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Of course it will drive traffic, IMHO

    I have Aaron Bros ad in front of me as well as two ads from my local competition. They all must be using the same advertising agency: if you place them all out on the table and covered the business name, none is distinguishable from the other.

    I have been collecting the ads for the last six months in order to analyze what they're doing that works better than what I'm doing.

    My astute husband brought up the fact that that might be the point. Aaron Bros/Michaels/etc. drives traffic with these great deals. As mentioned earlier, we all love a deal, you can't get away from it. What if your ad looks just like theirs? Would you capture some of that market by default? Or do you play upon the fact that what you offer is different?

    Or, do you buy smarter and then offer the same deal to capture that elusive 93% of people who have never had something custom framed?

  37. Paul N

    Paul N In Corner

  38. Val

    Val PFG, Picture Framing God

    I just spoke with Michael's here. The deal is moulding and all, does not require Masterpiece to qualify. First frame at "regular" (not discounted) price, second frame of equal or lesser value for free. Custom framing only, does not count with a readymade frame, mats, glass, labor, etc.

    She also said that many people are coming in with only one item, which doesn't give them a break at all, and shocked to see how much their "regular" prices are. Or trying to use a dinky small order for the first and a big piece for the "free" one, and disgruntled to find it doesn't work that way. In those cases, that particular store was given permission to offer any prints for sale in the store at 50% off, and it will qualify for the second job with free framing.

    On the other hand, she said they are having more people walk away than usual, having discovered how much their regular prices actually are. Maybe it might help us little guys after all, even a little. I know I got a couple jobs yesterday that walked away from there. And they weren't mats-only!
  39. Paul N

    Paul N In Corner

    Great research by Val, as usual!:thumbsup:

    I guess we could use more such great ads by Ms!!
  40. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I had another thought............. this will give them a change to sell custom framing at their "regular prices", admittedly very few. to avoid any complaints from state Attorney Generals. Could that be the reason for this adv?
  41. Val

    Val PFG, Picture Framing God

    Could be, Jerome, as there will be some kind of frame "sale" every week until Christmas.
  42. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

    Now we know that almost all independents are very competitive if we compare to their regular price. Almost all would have no problem beating that. But does the consumer know that?

    So it might just reinforce the idea that they are getting a really great deal when they get 50% off the other fourtysome weeks out of the year. Might also make them think "Cripe if that is Michaels regular price, can you imagine what a small frame shop might charge, I better wait for their coupon"

    And then again, I just had a twenty-something in to have something framed for her boyfriend. She told me it was her first time having something custom framed. She didn't blink at my fair price of $151. incld.tax for her 22x36 in #117.
  43. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I love it when we become detectives/psychoanalysts attempting to figure what they meant?

    Do you think consumers give 1/10th as much consideration?

    Bottom line: They are getting 'em in the door

    Isn't that what advertising is all about?

    I wish I could have a portion of that "one-hit" wonders. Awhile back, i privately polled some good friends to review how many clients were repeat or not. I can't remember how many were, but we used the "in the last 12 mons" sorting feature and th overwhelming number of all of us (relatively small sample, granted)had a few very good clients then it dropped off to a long list of one-timers

    Everyone ought to do it; it is so easy

    Personally, I'd love to add a bunch more to that list

    No worries, Elaine.

    Hey JPaul-maybe she didn't blink because she was stunned (LOL). At $151, you obviously didn't include Mus Glass, did you? But, that sounds like a "market" price here, too
  44. Val

    Val PFG, Picture Framing God

    Three more in here today, from there, full custom framing orders. No discount. And it's only Tuesday.

    Cool! ..... :thumbsup:
  45. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    My A.Bros contact tells me that they are about to get visualizaiton in thier stores.

    They are advertsing a 25% coupon this mont for one week only.

    We have many more AB here than Ms, which means more actual upscale-look framing competition. Michaels does everything and the last time I went in the frame area looked...well, not great...and the overwhelming feel of the place was CRAFTS.

    A would-be customer asked Jeff eysterday why our mounting prices were higher than AB. (We have to attempt to fix that) The store was really busy and we are producing a lot of corporate work this month, so Jeff was a bit frazzled and didnt have patience. He said "because AB has the national buying power of AB and Michale's combined and we are an independent frame shop giving superior customer service and quality." Guy said, OK then, I'll go get the cheap stuff.":faintthud:
  46. Harry FKA Harry

    Harry FKA Harry CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Well that just seems dumb if you ask me.

    Thanks for the homework Val.
  47. j Paul

    j Paul PFG, Picture Framing God

  48. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    There are a few ways to compete with the Always On Sale framers:

    1. Report their tactics to Consumer protection, asking them to take action based on possible violation of Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practice (aka, Baby FTC Acts).

    2. Buy from them. Then display the actual invoice in your store and in your print ads, showing "Their Price" and "Your Price." The perception of the public needs to be changed. What better way to do it than to show the evidence. Create your own Pepsi Challenge.

    3. File an Anti-Trust action.
  49. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I guess my point was that I felt this was a powerful ad that would resonate strongly with conumers furthering the argument that "frame shops are expensive, But, we (M's) are not"

    I am surprised that so many wish to see the trees blocking the view of that giant forest
  50. PaulSF

    PaulSF PFG, Picture Framing God

    It will, Bob. Just like the sale Aaron Brothers has every year, where they sell ready-mades for a penny. Now, we all know that those ready-mades are excess inventory that AB needs to clear out, but so what? A frame for a penny, in any size, is a great deal. If it breaks 10 minutes later, or 10 years later, who cares? People lose more money in the washing machine than that.

Share This Page

Sponsor Wanted