Today’s Illustration: What Is A “Loss Leader”

Mac Donalds BBQ

Loss Leader: “A loss leader is a pricing strategy where a product is sold at a price below its market cost to stimulate other sales of more profitable goods or services. With this sales promotion/marketing strategy, a “leader” is any popular article, i.e., sold at a normal price.

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Mac Donalds introduced and just reintroduced the “McRib” as part of their menu options.  There are different vantages as to why Mac Donald is resurrecting the McRib, and why now!

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One theory is that it is due to low pork prices.
√ Another theory is that they believe that they can make money for a limited period of time, until it peters-out.
The most accepted theory is that it is being used as a “loss leader.”

Many believe that it was reintroduced as a “loss leader” product promotion. It is being sold at a loss to lure customers into their stores, who will then purchase yet other items that yield a profit.

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Key Words & Statements: (from the original article)

  • A “loss leader” is a product that costs businesses more to make than customers pay for it.
  • hopes that they will lure customers
  • Think of cheap printers that require expensive ink.
  • to get customers through the golden arches.
  • McRib just isn’t popular enough to be a full-time member of the menu.
  • The menu item makes money in limited runs, but becomes less valuable long-term.
  • Any combination of these theories could be true. But the mythos matters more than the truth.
  • all of these guesstimations . . . . . 

. . . . . 

Key Biblical Illustrative Thoughts::

  • temptation
  • long-term gains
  • short-term gains
  • long-term losses
  • willing to lose, to gain
  • the cost
  • popular / popularity
  • value / valuable
  • truth / myths
  • attracts
  • sacrifice

. . . . . 

Sermonic Examples:

Businesses are willing to make no profit or even take a loss on the sales of a product to benefit in other ways. It is a sacrificial move. Just as there are sacrifice hits and bunts in baseball, the business world sacrificially offers products. Yes, these “business sacrifices” are self-serving, but not sinfully self-serving.

However, in the ministry, such sacrifices would be sinful. To engage in actions that are portrayed as sacrificial, while actually aimed at advantaging a ministry or an individual, is ungodly and shameful. Self-serving decisions are always sinful when it comes to ministry, serving in a ministry, pastoring a local church, or witnessing to those who need Christ . . . .

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Businesses understand that they’re ways to attract customers.  Do not think for a moment that Satan himself is not as shrewd.  Businesses know that if they can take advantage of a person’s desire to buy a product at a really low price.  They understand that the low priced items will lead to yet other decisions!  It is those other decisions that they are aiming at and seeking to profit from!

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At times in life, whether it be raising children, making family decisions, or reaching out to those who need Christ — you need to be willing to sacrifice, to forget what will be gained and look at it in the long-range.  The “Long Look” is what matters!  The men of this world are wiser than the children of light!

In ministry, forget calculating the cost and even the losses of this-or-that ministry, and begin thinking about the benefit to the Kingdom.  Yes, it costs dollars to cover the cost of the friends of your church youth, so that they can attend snow or summer camp!  But many of those friends have never attended a Christian camp. . . .

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Where are the “loss leaders” in ministry, as pastors, as leaders — who are willing to take the losses which come with serving in the local church.  With far too many pastors and ministry leaders, the ministry is really about them.  They lack the long-look!  They artfully encourage, or subtly suggest decisions which benefit them, not the people of God.  No — not “loss-leaders” but “profit-leaders” — seen in their disingenious agenda. Covid-19 has been a great revealerof that! . . . .

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