by Kim Taylor
I’ve never been a hardcore bargain shopper. Of course everyone likes a deal, but I wouldn’t exactly say that I’d break a sweat to save a few bucks. But, fall 2008 that changed. The recession changed my perception of value. Suddenly retail stores—desperate for sales—were slashing prices and offering discounts often reserved for Black Friday. Nearly two years later, the economy slowly rebounding, I’m realizing I’m adjusting to the ‘new normal.’ Now, all-be-damned if I’ll buy something at retail … why should I if I can wait until tomorrow or next week when I know it’ll be 40 percent off.
This isn’t a blog about retail trends, so perhaps you’re wondering what this has to do with PR. Nothing exactly. But, I’ve read several posts lately from social media consultants I admire (and some I don’t) about everything from incentive-based pricing to picking a consultant’s brain to the “audacity of free” and it reminded me of the retail dilemma. The common theme among the aforementioned posts is that social media creates a connectedness and familiarity we’ve never seen before; and a familiarity that seems to breed the expectation of something for nothing.
What I’d argue, however, is that businesses have been doing this since the first cowry shells were exchanged. Remember your dad’s friend the mechanic who’d look at your car for free when it was making that weird rattling sound? Or, your best girlfriend who’d cut your bangs between clients?
Now, as the chief-person-in-charge-of-money at Curley & Pynn, I can assure you that we are running a business; a business able to employ talented professionals because of paying clients, but also a business whose founder, Roger Pynn, often exchanges nuggets of wisdom over a cup of coffee to paying and non-paying clients alike … the audacity!