So, priceline.com, the successful travel site that allows travellers to set their own price, is killing off its exceedingly popular spokesperson, William Shatner. He's known as "The Negotiator".
Here's the ad that shows him perishing in a bus that plunges off a bridge.
Priceline.com is killing him off because he's too popular. Because The Negotiator is too successful as a spokesperson and as a character for their ad spots (and all other marketing tactics).
No you didn't read that wrong. They're killing him off because he's too good.
See, priceline allows you to try to negotiate your own price for hotels, flights and other travel services, but they also have discounted, set rates for those services as well. Their concern is that too much attention is being paid (because of Shatner's comedic brilliance) to the negotiation option, rather than the discounted, set rates option. So they're getting rid of him.
They're the clear leader in the category... in fact, they created the category! They were the first to facilitate online price negotiation and have that strategy to thank for their success. Now they're abandoning that focus.
They've intentionally diminished their brand recognition and abandoned the face of their business.
All that will do is hurt their business! There's nothing good about that decision.
It would be easier to use that brand recognition (and probably Shatner's character, even though he's known as The Negotiator specifically) to promote their other services. What they've arguably done is imply that the negotiation option (upon which their success has been built) is no longer available. It's dead!
It seems that they've forgotten that the hardest challenge in business is building brand recognition. THE hardest. Once you have it, use it! Don't kill it!
It will be interesting to see to what extent they've killed their own success.
Agree? Or is it prudent business management to diversify their revenue?
This blog is written by Glenn Cressman, Share Of Marketing's founder and Chief Share Builder (bio). It covers all things marketing. Feel free to comment!
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