During windows of opportunity, while her newborn son was napping, Auckland-based Scottish lass Desiree Durrant transformed an idea that had been simmering in the back of her mind for years into a reality. Enter GoneOut: a stylish little booklet of discounts you can use all year, and it's only $20.
GoneOut differs from the Entertainment Books and GrabOnes out there by offering its discounts for a full year. This makes the product particularly attractive to advertisers. While voucher emails have been a boon for discount-hungry consumers, they don’t usually pay off in the long run for the businesses offering them. GoneOut will bring businesses repetitive custom over a sustained period of time, as well as giving consumers competitive discounts, says Durrant.
Because the vouchers are not torn out, the design and production requirements of the booklet were very specific. The finished product is an accordion-fold booklet of vouchers, tucked tidily within a pair of magnetic covers.
Finding a manufacturer who could execute this was the first major hurdle. After researching local manufacturers to no avail, Durrant turned to Asia to find a solution. That was about a year ago and was followed by hurdle number two: creating a brand from scratch.
Durrant admits the creative side of this process was not her strength, but after working with a designer called Leo Perez in her previous life in advertising, she decided to approach him with the project, giving him carte blanche to develop the idea. Perez designed the logo, developed the brand and built the website.
Approaching clients and trying to persuade them to feature in the first Auckland edition, without any statistics about how well GoneOut would perform, was another challenge. But after explaining the benefits, says Durrant, businesses both large and small chose to come on board. GoneOut includes vouchers for bars such as Hard Luck Café, Belgian Beer Café and Fort Street Union, as well as food chains Oporto, California Burrito Company, and more.
Durrant explains that given the low cost of the booklet, consumers will easily make their money back the first or second time they use it. And she imagines that it’s the sort of thing people can use several times a week, whether it’s for after work drinks, a quick lunch or dinner. By using it this often, savings made should reach the high hundreds, if not the early thousands, says Durrant.
After the year is up, existing customers may be able to swap their old booklet for a discount on 2014’s edition. The old booklets can then be recycled. Future versions of GoneOut may cater to schools or corporate businesses, but for now the focus remains on strengthening the core brand and creating an edition for every major centre in New Zealand.
The next cities to get their own version of GoneOut are Wellington and Hamilton, provided the little one keeps to his napping schedule. Oh, and there’s another baby on the way, too.
You can order the Auckland edition of GoneOut here.