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Season Passes (All)
Two Resorts, Two Ways to Market the Exact Same Product

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I may have had to take English 1010 twice (I’m sure a record snow year and a season pass to Brighton had nothing to do with it), but I do know what a synonym is: two words with identical meanings. For example: snowing, dumping, and puking. Snowing may be an accurate description, but puking tells a much better story. There might be an official term for the parallel I want to draw but I’ll skip the 5 minutes of Google-ing to find out and simply call them “marketing synonyms”.

The Offer
Last week I wrote a post about Seven Springs offering a season pass and a half. The deal was, if you bought a season pass for next year, you’d basically get to ski most of the rest of this season for free. Not a bad deal. The official way they described it was “buy a season pass now and ski march for free!”

The Synonym
Yesterday I was perusing the website of Song Mountain, NY (the ones that are the sole direct sellers of lift tickets on eBay). I noticed an offer that, at first glance, looked like a deal that was too good to be true. As my brain wrapped itself around the actual offer, I realized they were offering almost the exact same thing that Seven Springs was but using very different words. “2 YEARS FOR THE PRICE OF 1 – Buy a 2010-11 Season Pass NOW, Get 2011-12 Season Pass FREE.” A marketing synonym.

Can you see the difference? Can you feel the difference?

And this is clearly not an isolated incident. One resort may say “2 for 1” while another says “Buy one day pass get the second one free” and yet another says “come with a buddy and you’ll both get half price day passes”. Same offer, three ways to say it.

When we make an offer, there will always be multiple ways to put it into words. The trick is to use the one that tells the best story. Maybe put it in the format of one of those awesome GRE questions:

Snowing is to Puking as
“$79 Ski-n-Stay Package” is to ________________________.

Sales copy doesn’t have to sound like a monotone press release. Come up with a few zippy marketing synonyms for your current offers, ask for some opinions, and go with the one that tells the whole story for your next promo.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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