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There is a concept that I teach called the ‘perishability’ of services.   Can you provide services at 9am today if it’s now noon?   Nope. The ‘inventory’ has perished- just like food might perish (be spoiled and tossed out) if it stays in inventory too long.    On the flip side, can you book three clients for one of your prime-time slots if you can only work with one client at a time?   Nope. So, you have excess demand at the prime time and excess capacity at the slow time which can’t be carried over.

So, smart marketers do things to shift the demand.

Things like early bird specials to move demand for dinner from 7pm to 5pm.   Or matinee rates at the movies.   Or offering bonus services to clients who come at off-peak days and times.  Or limiting client hours to those that are peak and doing something else valuable with the rest of the time (and perhaps raising the rates for those time as well!)

Similarly, you might have plenty of capacity when you’re offering a group event.     Here we see ‘bring-a-friend’ for free; for 50% more; etc.   Or, early bird pricing discounts to ensure that you meet your minimum revenue to cover your costs and a decent profit before you have to finalize commitments for the venue, etc.    Or bonuses for early registration.

In all of the cases, we still want to protect the brand as much as possible so people don’t start expecting a discount if they wait long enough.