Look K-mart is having a sale!
photo credit: Cosmic Kitty

Many marketers are not in favor of discounting, in fact many of them hate it and do not recommend it. If you still insist on discounting, they do have some ground rules for discounting properly that I have to agree with. Look below to see some basic rules for discounting recently posted on Business Week.

Discount for a short period of time. It is said to be almost like a drug, it gets addicting to not only the customers looking for the discounts but to those of you who are looking for the increase in people rolling through your door. So be careful not to discount for too long or too often.

Do some creative discounting. Rather than hanging a 40% off sign on your products, just mark the overall price down by 40%. Hanging those less than attractive signs off of your products can make them look sad and desperate to be sold. While just marking down the overall price of the product may decrease the long term equity on the brand, it will be less damaging than the 40% sign.

Discount credibly. Handled carefully, discounting can be used to achieve specific business objectives without compromising your brand’s overall value perception. The key is to make the rationale behind the discount credible (and obvious) to consumers, so they don’t perceive it as an act of desperation.