Not all deal sites are created equal, said Beth Ellard, general manager of lifestyle website and newsletter DailyCandy.
Speaking on an Advertising Week panel on women and marketing, Ellard talked about DailyCandy's version of the now-ubiquitous daily deal. Other sites take "a little bit of a scorched earth approach," in the sense that they'll offer any kind of deal without caring as much about quality. So even if a site like Groupon sends customers to a mediocre spa, "you're not going to hate Groupon, you're not going to say 'I'm never going to use Groupon again.'"
DailyCandy doesn't have that luxury, Ellard said, because it has a stronger connection with customers, and they expect higher-quality curation.
"I am happy to have that higher standard, because that means we're building a business for the long term," she said.
Panel moderator Susen Credle, the chief creative officer at agency Leo Burnett, wondered if those deals have a limited value to most businesses. She recalled talking to one client who said they shied away from deal sites because it wasn't their goal "to give my stuff away." Ellard, however, said that samples and promotions "have always been part of the marketing mix."
Businesses are also struggling with the fact that the definition of loyalty seems to be changing. Ellard recalled a recent survey where most women said that "brand loyalty" means sticking with a brand for six months to a year—they're not exactly lifetime customers. In that context, Ellard said brands have to work to "earn that loyalty every day."