Sales Are Important, But so is Consumer Trust

No doubt you’ve heard about the backlash surrounding 7-Eleven’s free Slurpee day on Monday.

Many consumers went to multiple stores looking to receive a free 7.11-ounce sample of the brain freeze-inducing treats, but left empty handed when samples ran out.

Sure, no big deal, we all know these things come with a “while supplies last” caveat, but not “while free cups last.” Stores stopped giving away samples because they had run out of the special sample size cups, but full-size Slurpees were still available for purchase in many locations.

This left a lot of consumers scratching their heads and calling the supposed “bait and switch” tactic a “scam” on social media sites. Fuel was added to the fire when a USA Today article alluded that the 38 percent sales spike seen during last year’s promotion prompted the company to revisit the promotion again this year.

Sales figures are one of the most critical (who am I kidding, THE most critical) aspects of a company’s success, and while increases in sales are important, so is the longevity of the relationship with the consumer. My guess is the promotion probably hit its sales goals, but is more than likely missing the mark when it comes to increasing consumer trust and loyalty.

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