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Brand Experience Review: Groupon Reserve

I've always been a huge Groupon fan. The idea of being able to enjoy the best your city has to offer for less has always resonated with me, and with their other 41.7 million active customers. 

However, something about their business model was working against "premium" experiences, since many well-positioned brands saw (and continue to see) deep discounts as detrimental to their positioning. Today, however, I decided to explore their newest brand extension: "Groupon Reserve", and there's a good chance that it will change the way we perceive Groupon. In regular Groupon deals you prepay the discounted price to secure the offer, and percentage discounts go anywhere from 40-90% (except for Groupon Goods, where discounts are often lower). Groupon has always offered deep discounts in Food & Drink, and these may have scared off pricey restaurants trying to maintain premium brand identities. Having followed Groupon closely, I also witnessed how customers themselves found it an issue not to know when they could actually redeem their coupons. Most deals are "subject to availability" and this often meant long waits for Groupon customers. 

Groupon Reserve, on the other hand, features top restaurants, with "no pre-purchases, no vouchers, and discounts based on when you dine".

This morning I decided to try out the new Groupon Reserve service, and so far it has worked like a charm. I selected my city, table size, date, time and restaurant. I reserved a table at Gordon Ramsay's West Hollywood restaurant at The London, and got a 30% discount on food & drinks. Thirty percent, I must say, is more than enough for a high-end restaurant -- no need for deep (50%+) discounts here. You pay when you get there, and all they collect is your phone number. That's what I all a premium brand experience! With Reserve, Groupon is getting closer to Gilt's City -- and finally offering a premium solution to its high-end customers and subscribers. By all means, we are witnessing a true Brand Story Rewrite, with a new chapter about an urban deal seeker who is willing to sacrifice percent discount for top quality. 

I'll update this post once I dine at the restaurant and get a grasp of the full Groupon Reserve brand experience. 

None of my opinions reflect Groupon's opinions or views. 

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