VAT is here and as per expected, everywhere is swarming with angry, price-conscious shoppers in fear. Most products they usually bought on a normal day has suddenly now fallen off the list – thanks to the ‘C-Tax + VAT’ policy the majority of businesses insist on implementing; a decision I found to be grossly inconsiderate to consumers, inspite of all arguments considered.
How can our products survive this crazy season of vicious price comparisons and slashing shopping lists? Bite the bullet and strike a compromise! Until your old stock is sold, reduce your profit intake and ensure the discount passes onto your customer. If you don’t, your product may very well never be sold before its expiry date.
“It’s still selling, but at a slower than normal pace?” Sure… but think! In the meanwhile, during that slow-coaching, you stand the chance of loosing precious customer loyalty to lesser competitive brands since demand is not likely to decline in the segment. Shoppers are just looking for a cheaper way out.
So now that time is of the essence and your consumers are undecided? Sell! But sell as if you cared about the long term survival of your brand, its customers, and staying in business. Atleast until this ‘old stock’ grievance has passed and the market has adjusted. Consumer salaries are sadly not going to increase, so they can’t afford to be the understanding ones here even if they wanted to be.
If things were different in Guyana, and we practiced a culture of proper ‘brand building’ from the start, price cuts would never be necessary to survive.
Our stronger brands would have ‘equity’, making them invaluable to consumers. The result: price tags become secondary.
Maybe, VAT’s re-arrangement of the marketplace may help us to faster understand the need for better brand standards. Or atleast, here’s to hoping!
Happy VAT, followed by an interesting New Year.