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Dead Meat Marketing

May 21st, 2008 by Bob Bly

The other day I got a direct mail package from Omaha Steaks.

A bold teaser on the outer envelope loudly announced they were having a MID-YEAR CLEARANCE SALE!

Now maybe it’s just me, but a clearance sale on meat seems to conjure the wrong mental image — a warehouse full of pieces of dusty old unsold meat that Omaha Steaks is trying to unload.

I’m not saying it’s accurate, but that’s the mental image I get when I see “MEAT” and “CLEARANCE SALE” combined in a promotion.

Do you agree with me that Omaha Steaks could have found a better label for their discount promotion than “CLEARANCE SALE”?


Or am I just way off base here?


This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 21st, 2008 at 2:29 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

46 responses about “Dead Meat Marketing”

  1. Kyle said:

    I’m with you, Bob. A clearance sale on any perishable item raises an eyebrow. Maybe they should sell the sizzle, as your headlines suggest.

  2. Lorraine said:

    Yes, Bob, “clearance meat” is disgusting.

    Ohmaha is out of touch. In addition to their ill-considered direct mailer, they deliver product in earth-hostile styrofoam packaging. And they don’t even try to address consumers’ growing distaste for factory farmed products.

  3. Brett said:

    Right on, everyone – bad news. Agree they are a bit too old school in their messaging and attitude. Sale priced meat conjures up images of meat that’s on the verge of going bad.

    Something with the BBQ or Spring angle would be much more appealing.

  4. Philip McLean said:

    I hope they were testing “Clearance Sale” against other teasers. The envelope would have landed in my trash can unopened.

  5. Dianna Huff said:

    Why do people buy steaks via mail-order? I have never understood that concept.

  6. SpongeBob Fan said:

    Have you ever been in one of their stores?

    Talk about old-school … no prices, you have to ask someone and get their endless “buy 3 of these and get 1 of these” pitches. Which might work for people with big families or big freezers, but I have neither and – when I told them so – they kept pushing and pushing the multiple buy. So pushy that I finally left the store!

    Now I buy my steaks a couple at a time from the super-nice butcher at our local supermarket. (Roche Brothers … excellent all around. And not a client … just a gush from a very happy RB shopper.)

    Clearance meat – ummm, no thanks!

  7. Bob Bly said:

    Sponge: there’s a company that sells meat mainly at home expos. They do the same hard-sell — “buy this big package of meat and save X dollars” — which since we don’t eat that much meat is a turn-off for us. But they cleverly grill samples of premium ground beef with cheese at their display. My youngest son loves it! We sometimes buy the smallest package out of guilt for all the free samples he eats.

  8. Ted Grigg said:

    They could probably use a more carefully crafted offer. But they have such a good reputation that customers will probably filter out any bad connotation.

    I suspect that the power of the sale will overcome this poorly worded offer.

    Would they get better response using another approach? I somehow doubt it. But it should be tested.

    Branders would certainly advise against it. Yet die hard branders probably would forgo making any offer for fear that the customer might think we are too pushy.

    So a poorly worded strong offer is better than no offer.

    It’s a challenge to get the right balance.

    My take: the pulling power of the “clearance sale” doesn’t get me all tied up in knots because it will probably make them a lot of money.


  9. Craig Hysell said:

    I am not a customer of Omaha Steaks. I have no idea who is, we don’t have them in my part of South Carolina.

    Are these clearance sales something Omaha Steaks customers look forward to? Are most of these customers bulk buyers?

    It’s worded poorly for me, (dare I say, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth?) but maybe it’s worded right for the Omaha customer. Maybe all they read is “clearance sale” and look for the date.

    Bulk meat buying bargain shoppers… There is a niche for everything. I think tonight is a seafood tonight.

  10. Brian said:

    Bob- sounds like the time I drove past the “discount chiropracter” on a trip through Arizona. There are some things I’d rather just pay full price for top quality. Chiropracty and meat are two of them.

  11. Fiona Fell said:

    ‘Clearance’ fresh produce doesn’t sound fresh.

    And nor would I react to the solicitation in a positive manner.

    I would not buy, that is for sure. Even if it really is as great as the other users say.

    ‘Clearance’ on fresh produce reminds me of bargain bins out the front of bargain basement stores! (Not the image I like to think of when looking to buy a thick juicy steak)

    Fiona Fell – The Profit Maximising Web Geek

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