The Groupon Guru: Turning Coupons Into Committed Customers



We spoke with photographer Randy Taylor of Taylor Made Photography to discuss his innovative use of Groupon to keep his 31-years-young studio fresh.

In an industry with tremendous turnover, Taylor Made Photography maintains an elite position decade after decade. They’re always aware of ever-changing styles and trends, and now use Groupon to stay visible and exciting.

Taylor Made Photography is an approved corporate member of Groupon, the online enormously popular coupon powerhouse. They can connect with all customers through Groupon, but especially those who may view the studio as out of their price range. At least three times a year, they offer a one-outfit photo session, complete with a 5 x 7 gift portrait and Animoto slideshow for $39 on Groupon ($230 value):

Taylor Made Photography Groupon

It’s been a spectacular success, giving the Taylor Made name more visibility; doctors, professional athletes and even a Broadway star have found Taylor Made Photography through Groupon, with an average upsell of greater than $500. These aren’t your Costco free-sample stealers; these are customers who take the coupon and then buy much, much more.

Randy Taylor notes, though, that he initially feared joining the site because he’s wary of death by discount and did not want to devalue the brand. He worked closely with Groupon associates to find proper price and coupon maxes — and contends that he is “not giving a discount, but an opportunity.”

A Taylor Made piece of advice for new Groupon members: always have a plan. Don’t just start throwing discounts out there without a more long-term hope for those customers. The ultimate goal “is to create good customers” and “figure out what you want to sell, what you want to upsell.” Discounting is dangerous because you run the risk of completely blowing up and outstripping production means… at a reduced price. But Taylor Made Photography has found a beautiful balance, turning coupons into committed customers.

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