This is way off topic for my blog; it has nothing to do with technology.  Feel free to turn around and go home now.  But if you have ever hesitated to buy new clothes because you were planning to lose weight, you might want to stick around.  I just submitted this to Old Navy. I hope they read it and consider the marketing idea.

Dear Old Navy,

If possible, please route this letter to your marketing department.

I have been an Old Navy customer for more than a decade; I've always been impressed with the quality of your clothing. A couple of years ago though, I strayed from Old Navy and bought Levi jeans merely out of convenience.  After a year, the Levis started showing significant wear and quite literally falling apart.  Meanwhile my 5-6 year-old Old Navy jeans continued to be as durable as the day I bought them.  I've put off replacing the Levis for as long as I can, and I plan to purchase more Old Navy jeans within the week; I will donate the shreds of the Levis that remain so that the material can be turned into rags.

You might wonder why I've waited so long to replace my deteriorating jeans, and I hope that you read the rest of this letter to learn why.  I believe the reason for my delay could inspire a new promotion that I'm certain would boost your sales, even in today's weak economy.

A year ago, I was determined that I would lose some weight.  Like most Americans, I made it a New Year's resolution.  During the year, I actually lost over 15 pounds, but sadly, I've gained 10 back.  Now I desperately need some new jeans, but I hesitate.  Why?  Because I "know" that as soon as I spend $100 to $200 on jeans, I'll start losing weight again and these new jeans will be too baggy.

I am not alone.  I've heard many people say, "Oh, I'm not going to buy new clothes now; I'm going to wait until I've lost some weight."  Do we lose weight? No. Do we buy new clothes? No.  Our wardrobes shrink, our waistlines grow, and our money stays in our wallets.  Imagine a new return policy though, where customers were told, "Need new jeans? Planning to lose weight? Buy jeans that fit now, and after you drop a size, you can exchange your jeans for a smaller size at no charge!" The policy should be good for at least a year from the original purchase date.  You could call it the "Get Fit" program, or something else to encourage customers to lose weight and trade their jeans in for a smaller size.

Needless to say, exchanges for larger sizes could not be made (unless already covered within Old Navy's current exchange policy).  But allowing customers to drop sizes and get new jeans at no additional cost would certainly entice customers to buy jeans now.  The best part (for Old Navy anyway), is that few of us succeed in losing weight.  So while there is a chance that customers could be exchanging jeans more often than they do now, the reality is that it wouldn't happen often.  For those customers that do lose weight and get new jeans as a reward: I'm certain they would buy Old Navy again and again.

As I mentioned, I will be buying new jeans within a week.  I will be buying jeans that fit, and part of me will be hoping that I fail to lose weight because I do enjoy having comfortable jeans.  If I do lose weight over the next year, perhaps your store will allow me to trade in my jeans for a smaller size, at no additional cost.

Thank you for your time and consideration,
Jeff Handley