You’ve probably heard of the McRib. A condensed meat patty, drenched in barbeque sauce and the envy of every fast food company. This oddly popular menu item, featured at McDonalds, is what is known as a limited-time offer, or LTO for short. But what purpose does the LTO serve for individual businesses and for brands as a whole?
It’s no coincidence why fans of the McRib will line up and wait for hours just to get their hands on this sandwich. The pop culture food phenomenon has worked its way into the American psyche, not by mistake but by a carefully planned and executed LTO program.
LTO campaigns are a great way to build excitement and give business owners something new to talk about that will help them leverage the sense of immediacy and boost sales. According to an article by QSR Magazine, “Quick serves have discovered that a good limited-time offer can boost brand excitement and even singlehandedly drive sales.”
Types of LTO’s
There are a variety of different types of LTO’s and reasons for offering them. Here are a few and where Maui Wowi’s fit into the scheme of things.
- Seasonal. Some are launched as seasonal or holiday options to bring a particular item out for a short time, depending on the time of year.
- Maui Wowi’s Pumpkin Pie Latte, Peppermint Mocha, and Gingerbread Latte are examples of a seasonal LTO. They create excitement for the fall or winter months and can be easily removed from the menu when the seasons are over.
- Trying new menu options. Other LTO’s can be offered as an extension to a company’s existing product line, without the overload of adding too many permanent items. If the LTO is unsuccessful, it won’t be as detrimental to the brand and can easily be removed and used as a tool to learn about what their customers want and how to meet their needs in the future.
- Maui Wowi is currently running the Maui Mountain Roast coffee as a limited-time offer and has previously offered Pacific Passion coffee, and the Orchard Peach smoothie.
These are great examples of generating an interest in new flavors and blends to keep customers wanting more. Trying new menu items, flavors, roasts, etc. are excellent ways to remain fresh and give people something to look forward to by re-energizing the menu.
If something as unusual as the McRib can create a frenzy of excitement, then you know that behind the scenes, every element is working together to turn that LTO into a success.
For small businesses, it’s not just about getting attention, it’s about giving customers what they want and creating a positive experience each and every time.