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Tag Archives: Compassionate

sympathetic pricing

Sympathetic Pricing

Trevor 2 comments

Life has its challenges, and people yearn for a brand that understands that. As companies try to convince consumers that they DO care through their CSR initiatives, they are now expected to show their human side in their pricing as well. With so many initiatives out there, it’s hard to identify brand messages as it has reached saturation. Not only are consumers numb, but a quick search would prompt not only a company’s CSR initiative but also their immediate eco-socio-economic impact.

As online stores phase out Big Box Stores, consumers expect flexible, personalized and transparent pricing; and not only are these stores dying, so are malls. White Flint Mall in Montgomery Country, Maryland is on its last leg despite being in an ideal location.

Amy Ginsburg, the executive director of Friends of White Flint, a nonprofit looking to transform the mall and its surroundings, suggested that the gradual decline of malls speaks to a desire to reclaim an older way of life. The era before malls “was this lovely, Norman Rockwell-like situation,” she said, “and I think people miss that.”


SYMPATHETIC PRICING | Flexible and imaginative discounts that help ease lifestyle pain points, lend a helping hand in difficult times, or support a shared value. (Definition from trendwatching)

infographic trendwatching

Innovative Companies

From Trendwatching 


Brahma #Movimento11

Discounts help Brazilian football fans watch the start of the World Cup

In May 2014, Brazil-based beer brand Brahma (known as ‘Brahva’ in Guatemala) launched a campaign intended to address the inconvenient clash of two events due on the 12th June 2014: Valentine’s Day (known locally as Dia dos Namorados) and the first day of the FIFA World Cup. The beer brand encouraged Brazilians to celebrate Valentine’s Day one day earlier to avoid the ‘clash’ between these two important dates by using #Movimiento11 campaign. As part of their campaign, participating local businesses offered a discount to those people that celebrated Valentines Day on June 11th instead of June 12th.


The Wolf & I

Free drinks for patrons with parking tickets in Melbourne

Every Thursday, on Local’s Night, Melbourne-based restaurant The Wolf & I will give a free drink to anyone who received a local parking fine on the day.



Discounts on air conditioning for hot apartments in Argentina

In December 2013, home electronics brand BGH launched the ‘My Home is an Oven’ summer campaign in Argentina, offering discounts on air conditioning systems to people with hot apartments. Consumers could use a website to track their apartment’s exposure to the sun, with the sunniest apartments scoring the biggest discounts. The campaign ran until March 2014, and agency Saatchi & Saatchi say it led to USD 14 million in sales.



Japanese pub offers discounts to balding customers

Opened in Japan during April 2014, Otasuke (“Helping Hands”)  is a pub offering discounts to balding customers. A sign posted outside the establishment explains its support for “hard-working fathers losing their hair” due to job stress. Each bald customer gets JPY 500 (around USD 5) off their bill, with a secret perk saved for balding groups of six.


Community Shop

Discounted products for less affluent British consumers

Opened in December 2013, Community Shop is a British supermarket that sells discounted branded products to families receiving government welfare. The project is supported by high street chains and brands such as Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Asda and Tetley, who provide stock for the store from surplus products that don’t meet their standards. Typically this stock would end up in landfill or be turned into animal food.



Service goes free for laid off New Jersey journalists

In April 2014, online platform Pressfolios announced it would make its service available for free to journalists affected by a staff lay-off by New Jersey’s largest newspaper, the Star-Ledger. Pressfolios allows users to create an online portfolio. The out-of-work journalists received a Pressfolios Pro account with unlimited storage for three months, at no cost.


Lowe’s Canada

Free trees for consumers hit by destructive storm

In response to a winter storm that destroyed much of Toronto’s tree canopy, home improvement chain Lowe’s Canada gave away 1,000 red maple trees in the city one Saturday in April 2014. The trees, valued at CAD 30 each, were available for free from the parking lots of two of the store’s Toronto locations, and were given away on a first come, first served basis while stocks lasted.


Tienda Amiga

Shops in Madrid give discounts to the unemployed

Launched in Spain in September 2013, Tienda Amiga (Friendly Shop) is an initiative in which small businesses offer discounts to unemployed customers in their neighborhood. Created by theAsamblea Popular de Hortaleza, a community group in Madrid, the project aims to create a more ethical local economy. By January 2014 more than 150 local shops had signed up, offering discounts of between 5% and 20% to those without work.



Discounted onions in response to high onion prices in India

In India during September 2013, Groupon unveiled a promotion in response to rising onion prices in the country. Via the daily deals website, shoppers could purchase 1 kilogram of onions for INR 9 (USD 0.15) – approximately one-eighth of the prevailing cost, including home delivery.



Dutch airline offers cheaper flights to Russia for gay rights activists

In January 2014, Dutch airline Corendon unveiled a promotion coinciding with the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Any passengers traveling to Sochi to demonstrate for gay rights during the Games could obtain a 50% discount on airfares. The fares were available over a one month period, priced from EUR 399 -799.



Free public transport in Paris to combat poor air quality

As an incentive for motorists to leave their cars at home, allParisian public transport was free for one weekend in March 2014. The decision was made by transport chiefs in response to the dangerously high levels of pollution which had engulfed the French capital for days.



App to route around internet blocks goes free in Venezuela

February 2014 saw AnchorFree make Hotspot Shield – its online privacy app – free to download in Venezuela. The US-based software brand’s app allows users to bypass government internet blocks. The move came in response to increasing government censorship of the internet in the South American country, spurred by rising civil unrest.



Sources: Trendwatching, Huffington Post