Are you one of the millions and millions of shoppers that automatically assume that “expensive = higher quality”? It’s a common equation that experienced marketers understand and profit from daily. Consumers are vulnerable and marketers employ tactics that are specifically designed to capitalize on this behavior.
Some of you will remember the story of the 1930’s Drubeck brothers, Harry and Sid, owners of a downtown men’s clothing shop. Sid was the cunning salesman and Harry the head tailor.
Whenever a new customer would come into the shop and try on a new suit, Sid would be very friendly and always admit to a hearing problem somewhere in the light hearted conversation. As he conversed with his “prey” Sid would repeatedly ask the customer to speak more loudly to him. As soon as the customer found the suit he wanted and asked about the price, Sid would yell to his brother at the tailor’s station … “Harry, how much for this suit?”
Looking up from his sewing machine, and always greatly exaggerating the suit’s real price, Harry would yell back … “For that beautiful custom wool suit, forty-two dollars. And don’t wait – it’ll be gone by tomorrow!”
Cupping his hand to his ear and pretending not to hear, Sid would yell to Harry again … “How much?”
So Sid would say to his customer “I think he’s crazy, but Harry says twenty-two dollars if you buy it today!”
Many, many excited customers would rush to buy the suit and dash out of the store with his bargain purchase in hand before poor old Sid could discover his “mistake.”
Fast forward to today. Do any of these marketing statements ring a bell?
“I could sell this bundle all day long at $99, but for you, today only, steal it for just $7!”
“Add up the value of all the bonuses, and the real world price should be $7, 950!”
“You won’t pay $997, you won’t pay $797, $397, or $197. We’re doing a marketing experiment and for the next 3 buyers, you get everything for a ridiculous $17!”
“While I was out of town, the secretary posted the wrong price on our sales page for Product XYZ. It’s my mistake that translates into huge savings for you …”
Well, these are just a few of some of the marketer’s approaches to increasing the value perception of their offer.
Could a $997 product really sell for $17? What do you think?
The very best to all of you,