Source: Google Images
Source: Google Images

I wanted to purchase a new nail polish as a gift for my birthday. I researched all of the possibilities and narrowed it down to three brands- O.P.I Lacquer, Bourjois and the new Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy- and visited Boots and Superdrug websites to see if the brands were available and in what colours. I eventually chose to buy the Revlon nail polish but at which store? Both had a 3 for 2 special on the nail polishes, club points on purchases and were situated right next to each other majority of the time. So how could I decide?

To make my decision, I considered two things:

Support Services

Superdrug offered triple points on all purchases for my birthday. This offer lasted for two weeks. They also offered a free cosmetic bag on the purchase of any 3 cosmetic products. Boots was unable to match this. This made me think “Why should any of these “extras” even matter?” Then I thought about the theory concerning three levels of a product. A product offering is more than the basic product offered; it is the aggregate of three parts:  Core product, product attributes and support services (Hollensen, 2011). The core is the basic package, whereas the product attributes are the benefits of the product and the support services are the “extras”. Clearly, the nail polish was the same regardless of the store I went to. Similarly, the benefits of the nail polish, such as added shine and being chip resistant, had nothing to do with the store I chose. Superdrug utilised support services to differentiate itself. The company “remembered” my birthday (it was probably an automated process) and gave me a unique offer, making me feel special and more inclined to go there for my next purchase. The added cosmetic bag had a similar effect.

Order online, Pick up in store

The nail polish selection in both stores was limited only to eight colours out of a possible thirty (30) colours (Revlon, 2014). I would need to order unavailable colours online and pick them up in store. So I considered the possibilities. Boots offered a free “order online, pick up in store” option. At Superdrug, it was free only on orders of over £25. The clear choice based on this was Boots. I had come to expect this additional service for free. So many stores like Next, Asda and Tesco offered it for free and so it became a threshold. Remember from Starbucks? I expected the drink advertised on their website to be available in store. This is the same for the free “order online, collect in store” service. The basis of the threshold principle is that thresholds are standards that customers expect a business to have and if they are not present they are dissatisfied (Jobber, 2010). I was definitely dissatisfied.

So what now?  What was the deciding factor for me?  I then considered the consumer buying decision discussed last week. There are several factors: economic, social, personal and technical that we as buyers consider (Jobber, 2010). Being a student, economic factors like price and value for money were top priority for me. The price of the nail polish was the same at both stores. So that left value for money. Who offered the best value for money? The answer was Superdrug. I gained triple points which meant I could save money on a later purchase and I got a totally unnecessary cosmetic bag. Would it have been the same for you? Would you have chosen Boots for the convenience of ordering all of the colours that you wanted and picking them up in store the next day? I probably will choose boots next time – need to try that green nail polish.

My DIY manicure.
My DIY manicure.

See you next time for theory in real life. Feel free to share and comment below! Bye for now.


Hollensen, S.2011. Global Marketing: A Decision-Oriented Approach. 2nd edn. Pearson Education.

Jobber, D. 2010. Principles and Practice of Marketing.6th ed. Berkshire: McGraw-Hill Education

Revlon, 2014. Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy Nail Enamel [online] Available at: <||0>