why Gusto got it very wrong

I got an email from Northern restaurant chain Gusto today.  Their local outpost  is handily located half way between between my house and two close friends so we often choose it as venue and I therefore have their loyalty discount card.

I can see the idea of a diet campaign – they’ll have quiet restaurants in January (mainly because nearly everyone is skint) but also partly because a lot of people are on a health kick and don’t want to spoil it by dining out.  So team up with a nutritionist to create a 14 day diet plan that includes a list of dishes off the menu that you *can* enjoy and still lose weight and hopefully drive some extra footfall into the restaurants.

But it all falls apart when you read the bottom of the email or click through to the website. Aside from the fact that I’ve never heard of their celebrity nutritionist (a quick search reveals she’s been on Sky Living), it appears that Gusto want their customers to cough up £20 for the privilege of having a copy of this diet plan.

Twenty pounds.

Entire hardback diet cookbooks don’t cost that much.  And the last time I checked, most brands were offering their ‘diet plan that benefits our brand’ info for free. Like (*quickly googles*) Special K, Edam cheese and Activia yoghurts for a start.

Either Gusto have a hugely over-inflated idea of the perceived value it’s customers place on the brand, or they mistakenly saw an opportunity to make a quick buck.  Either way, I’ll be very surprised if they shift more than a couple of downloads.  Which is a shame as a free diet plan (with perhaps a discount voucher for dining at Gusto in January) would have shifted a heck of a lot more value in dinners.

All in all, it’s a big, fat fail.

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