When did the concept of buy one, get one discounted/free — or BOGO — come into favor?  I see the promotional strategy used in so many places, but I am not a fan.  If I want two, then I want to buy two, both at 50% off instead of being manipulated by the pricing model.  Worst of all is buy one, get one 50% off, which makes me feel like I should buy the second one or I am missing out on a deal.  That, of course, is the point, yet I hate it.

The variation on this is when companies do BOGO but instead of getting one, they are giving one.  Tom’s Shoes is a leader in this arena, having given away over 10 million pairs of shoes to children throughout the world.  The company now donates eye glasses “one for one” and other companies have followed their lead.  WeWood plants a tree for every watch you buy and Smile Squared donates toothbrushes for each one they sell.  Yoobi stationery products also donates “an item” to a U.S. classroom in need for every notebook or office supply you purchase. I wonder how much it is truly driving purchasing behavior or making a dent in poverty.

If you stop buying item #2, I’ll bet the price on the One will start to change. Or if you don’t overpay for products so they can give, I’ll speculate that you’ll have more to give yourself.

Let’s start a movement: Just Say NOGO to BOGO.  

— beth triplett


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