Glenn Beck Does Daily Deals

Discussion
May 24, 2011
George Anderson

Glenn Beck, the radio and television personality perhaps best known for his seemingly endless string of conspiracy theories, has gotten into a completely new line of business with a daily deal site intended to take on Groupon, LivingSocial and others.

Markdown.com is the latest venture from Mr. Beck and his company Mercury Radio Arts. The company launched its very first deal with $20 worth of chocolate on Chocolate.com for $10. Another deal from LifeLock, an online personal security service and  long-time sponsor of Mr. Beck, is planned for later this week.

"Markdown is a way for people to connect with companies and products that respect their values, and respect their hard-earned dollars," Mr. Beck said in a video to introduce the service, which sports the tagline "Value and Values.”

"If we want to save our country, we have to save ourselves, which means we have to align ourselves with things that are true, and I think we have an opportunity to save people money and unite with each other and create something new, with real value, to help," he said.


 

Chris Balfe, president and chief executive of Mercury, told Business Insider that the company has been looking at getting into an e-commerce venture "for a really long time" and that the success of other daily deal sites "emboldened us to take faster action."

Keith Ferry, president of Markdown.com, said the site is not looking to be a clone of Groupon or other daily dealers. As an example, the site would not be pushing local deals choosing to focus on national promotions.

Mr. Ferry told Business Insider, that the site would focus on "curating deals and products with our audience in mind… What will our audience like?"

While Mr. Beck has a built-in audience for his new venture, he also brings some baggage. Some of his positions have been highly-controversial and Mr. Beck’s show on Fox News is coming to an end as his audience numbers fell over the past year. There is no doubt, however, that millions continue to tune into Mr. Beck’s broadcasts and The Blaze, a news site he launched last year.

Discussion Questions: What do you think are the prospects for Markdown.com? Does the association with Glenn Beck help or hurt the prospects for success?

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11 Comments on "Glenn Beck Does Daily Deals"


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Bob Phibbs
Guest
9 years 11 months ago

As Barnum said, “there’s a customer born every minute.” I’m sure Beck will make money on the deal–but at what cost?

From their chocolate offer, “…you’re also helping hardworking entrepreneurs to keep their dreams alive, an idea we love almost as much as chocolate itself.” Really?

How exactly is that accomplished by discounting–marking down like so much last year’s Bohemian chic? There are a lot of risks to deep discounts but that isn’t at Beck’s level–it’s at the small businesses’ level.

Gene Hoffman
Guest
Gene Hoffman
9 years 11 months ago

Glenn Beck will bring many of his followers to Markdown.com and the site will find a niche. This new entry strikes me much akin to proliferating grocery store formats these days and so are the offerings via the Internet.

Markdown.com’s association with Glenn Beck will be much like William Shatner’s to Priceline. com but it’s much later in the game. Hey, folks, what’s new about enterprising people chasing a buck wherever and whenever they legally can?

David Biernbaum
Guest
9 years 11 months ago

Glenn Beck will do fine because he has a cult-like following that will patronize Markdown.com.

Mark Burr
Guest
9 years 11 months ago

Glenn Beck’s venture in this area and the other new areas he is entering will do just fine.

Herb Sorensen
Guest
9 years 11 months ago
All forms of selective mark downs are typically a manifestation of hi-lo pricing, a very inefficient business model that purports to help shoppers by giving them low prices. Decades ago Mr. Sam of Walmart gave the lie to this mess by driving inefficiency out of the system and driving for consistent low pricing, rather than “deals.” The net result was the world’s largest corporation, a success almost beyond imagining. But shoppers love a deal, just like gamblers love Las Vegas. Neither are actually winners for the players. (The money you gamble in Vegas, stays in Vegas!) Never mind that every household in America saves something like $700 a year, even if they NEVER shop at Walmart, thanks to the impact on true pro-customer efficiency that Walmart has forced on the industry, with Walmart’s lower prices. I know, I know–it isn’t always true, and Mr. Sam has been gone a long time. It’s a long story, but I’m addressing the salient points. I have fairly compared bargain seekers to gamblers. But there is a more pernicious… Read more »
Sheldon Glazer
Guest
Sheldon Glazer
9 years 11 months ago

The more competition, the better.

Doug Fleener
Guest
9 years 11 months ago

Clearly the next great opportunity is for those companies that aggregate all these deals for consumers. If not, it’s going to be a full-time job for consumers to save money.

Larry Negrich
Guest
9 years 11 months ago

Beck’s celebrity (and following) brings Markdown.com something that can help to separate it from the pack. The difficulty that these companies face is how to create some separation from their competitors. Like him or not, bringing in Beck will get Markdown.com some attention in the marketplace.

Jonathan Marek
Guest
9 years 11 months ago

Seems like a pretty late jump onto the rocket ship, but perhaps just in time for the ride back down?

Lee Peterson
Guest
9 years 11 months ago

Well, at least this leaves no doubt about the guy: he’s a salesman, pure and simple. And a good one. Now, some of you might say “shameless huckster,” but I would say he’s just great at spotting a business opportunity and nailing it. This is America after all, and he (kind of) knows its history: survival of the fittest. And right now, fittest = cheapest.

So I’m sure he’ll do well…unless of course he damages his brand by selling out.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest
9 years 11 months ago

My initial thought was this might work for (wired) online but not for wireless, since people in caves probably don’t get very good reception, but upon actually reading the story, I find my sarcasm may not be so misplaced after all: I’m unclear on how a 50% discount on chocolate will “save the country”…maybe I’m just not the right demographic.

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