When It Pays to Pay

September 4th, 2014   •   no comments   

Courtesy of Brinks Blog

I love Seth Godin’s inspirational riffs, and his recent thoughts on price just rocked my socks.

Quoting from his post:

Price is more than an exchange of coins. Price is a story, a powerful tool for changing minds and one way we persuade ourselves to make a change. Lowering your price (all the way to free) isn’t the only way (or even the best way) to move your market.

It is true that FREE attracts attention. People love FREE. Like an alluring and addictive drug, FREE grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go.

However, as sagely Seth has shared, paying for something makes us treasure it more. It increases our level of commitment, heightens the value of our experience, and lengthens our joy.

Payment is a sign of trust, assurance, and confidence. It reveals that we’re willing to forego a future opportunity for a present promise.

Moving the world of buying and selling, payment can also come in other forms of “currency”. You contribute your time, emotions, and effort in your work. You invest your feelings and thoughts in a relationship. You commit your resources – financial, physical, and spiritual – to building a new home.

As marketers, we need to go beyond the lowest common denominator of “lowest price” or “50% off”  selling. We need to create products and services with such high intrinsic and extrinsic values that discounting would be an insult.

Take a couple of minutes to ponder the following:

1) Are we appealing merely to our customer’s wallets, or are we also connecting to their hearts, minds, and souls?

2) Are our “wares” merely physical utilitarian goods and services or do they represent something deeper and more intrinsic? Is an umbrella merely a shield against the Sun and rain, or does it epitomize fashion, protection, romance, and passion?

3) What value do we bring to our customers beyond convenience, satisfying of a primal urge, or relieving of acute pain?

4) Can we transcend Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, to go from meeting physical and social needs to fulfilling our customer’s aspirations and dreams?

5) Are our brands “relational”? Do our customers see a bit (or a lot) of themselves in what we offer? Can we safely say that our logos are “badges of honour” rather than mere advertisements?

6) Do our customers have to spend more than their money with us? Can we engage their emotions, intellects, efforts, and artistry?

7) Are our products and services able to improve lives? Can they enrich and educate our customers beyond a momentary consumption experience?  

In a world obsessed with the relentless drive towards being cheaper but good enough, consider how we can create objects of such beauty, value and spirituality that they give more than they take. Let us set our standards so high that payment becomes a privilege.

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