Thursday, January 31, 2008

703,000 Footprints = "Slightly" Used?

So what kind of message are you sending your potential customers?

I was driving to work the other day and heard a commercial on the radio that confused me. It was advertising a sale on carpet and called it the "Auto Show Carpet Sale." Thinking this was a normal carpet store who decided to hold an in-store sale while the auto show was in town, I wondered:

  • Do they realize this sounds like they're selling carpet from the auto show?

  • Why would you have a sale for carpeting and attribute it to the auto show? I mean, there isn't much of a connection between the two --> new car vs. new "car-peting"

Puzzled, I did a quick Google search when I got to work. As it turns out, this store really is selling carpet from the auto show. DE McNabb Flooring in metro Detroit is selling the carpet for 25 cents per square foot. It is deemed "slightly" used with 75,000 square yards available (i.e. 675,000 square feet) the first 300 customers each day only (Wow! How exclusive! (sense my sarcasm?) ). After learning this, I began to wonder what residential customer would want to purchase this used flooring, especially when they know the Detroit Auto Show attracted close to 703,000 people...amid freezing temperatures and messy weather. Would you want winter wetness/salt/dirt and 703,000 x 2 x ??? footprints all over your "new" carpeting? I suppose I'm not the target customer for this product.

McNabb calls themselves a service company since they rent flooring for auto shows, trade shows, and special events - i.e. their line of work is exhibition flooring. However, they also supply residential flooring, and this special sale seemed to be targeting those residential customers. Through advertising they are selling "slightly" used carpeting from one event, might residential customers think some of the carpet "remnants," etc. in their store are actually used carpeting from other events McNabb has done? I for one wouldn't want to walk in bare feet or lay on carpeting when I had no idea what was on people's shoes who walked on it prior to my purchase. I don't think this sale is a particularly good move on McNabb's part. Also, I assume the auto makers rent the flooring from McNabb for the event and the rental rates are at a premium (i.e. probably already covers the cost of the carpet). So I wonder what McNabb stands to profit from this deal. I mean, if they sold all of it, they'd get close to $170K. Nothing like renting it out and then selling it afterwards.

Follow-up on 02/18/08: My intuition may have been right on this one...I visited the DE McNabb website and they had a message in the sales section of the page: "Detroit Auto Show Used Carpet Sale -- EXTENDED!!!" I guess the first 300 customers each day over the past few weeks haven't been biting on the oh-so-tempting offer...

1 comment:

Tony said...

Brand Critical is a Marketing blog investigating various companies and their brands.

That's what it says right up in the top right corner of this page, but where is that 'investigation' in this post? You heard a commercial on the radio, made assumptions and clicked ONE link... I hardly think that constitutes 'investigation'.

As a carpet installer in the Metro Detroit area, I can assure you (first hand, not an assumption) that this event is extremely popular. In fact I ran across your spewing during a search for the dates that it would be held. Many people hold off on home renovation projects to coincide with this event and 99.9999% of them are extremely happy with their purchase.

Sure people might have walked on it with their 'icky poo-poo yucky shoes' and other problems you didn't mention (because you didn't bother to investigate) include; tire marks, holes cut to accomodate poles and the occasional candy wrapper. McNabb's knows about these infrequent anomolies and typically include excess product to accomodate such.

To make the narrow minded assumptions you have posted here, you must be the kind of person that would rather pay $60K for a new car than $20K for the exact same vehicle used because the previous owner might have smoked, had kids, drove fast or used it to transport illicit items. I guess it's like my uncle always said "A Fool and Her Money are Some Party!!" (You get the paper hats, I'll get the cake.)

OMG... did you build your own house? Because, trust me, if you didn't things happened there that would give you nightmares!

I realize that your post is 5 years old now and hopefully you've opened your mind a little but I was more surprised that nobody had commented until now. Below I've included a couple of links to sites other than McNabb's, maybe reading the few posts there will illuminate you to the reality that this event has been, is and will continue to be. In the future, I hope your 'investigations' include more 'investigating' and less of your ignorant self-important ramblings. (And don't do Google searches at work... use your own time; just a thought).

-- Looking forward to the next McNabb's USED Auto Show Carpet Event