During last week as most of you probably know, was National Donut Day. Donut shops around the country promoted free or discounted donuts on Friday only. I, of course, stopped by my local donut shop to get a donut. Who doesn’t want a free donut? What I found was an extremely successful marketing ploy.
This shop’s promotion was, buy any drink and get a donut free. Mind you, a donut costs merely $1. The line was out the door and the donut supply was running thin. Customers were going in with the intention of getting their free donut, but walking out with boxes of donuts and other products.
While some customers may be regulars, my guess is that the majority of patrons came for the free donut. They may have been “saving” $1, but they ended up spending way more than that on other items. A woman in front of me purchased over $100 in donuts!
This ploy is genius because it costs the stores next to nothing to give away a free donut, when they are largely exceeding a normal day’s profit due to new customers coming in for the promotion.
I’m no math wiz but if you give someone a $1, free donut, and they buy $100 worth of donuts, that $1 “loss” is well worth it.
If you’re anything like me, you refer to these holidays as “Hallmark holidays” but trusty Wikipedia proved me wrong on this occasion. National Donut Day follows an event started by the Salvation Army in 1938 to honor those who served donuts to soldiers during WWI. I think that’s definitely worthy of standing in line for a “free donut!”