Here’s something that will make you stop and think…
More people would give up sex before they’d give up coffee.
That’s not me making something up—it’s from a book about Starbucks. This little tidbit aside, I think Starbucks has a few things to show all of us about marketing because if you’d rather have coffee than sex, their marketing’s pretty darn good.
Namely, people pay for value. We stand in line and delightfully lay down at least $4.05 every time we stroll into Starbucks. Yet we pay $4.34 for an ENTIRE MEAL at a fast food place. Why is a burger, fries and soda worth only $.29 cents more than a cup of Sbucks?
Look at that cup of coffee the next time it’s in your hands. Starbucks spends a lot of time telling you what special beans they are. Hand-picked from some exotic place. Properly aged and stored to maintain its pristine taste and aroma. Made just for us when we pony up to the barrista.
We hold in our hand something that only Starbucks can bring us. And they tell us that. They are quite busy creating the perception of what their value is…because if they don’t tell us, we’ll make it up ourselves. And most of the time we’d be wrong.
Your job is to create the perceived value of your products and services by creating the context in which we understand what it will do for us, its worth.
We are happy to pay for Starbucks without so much as thinking twice about the price. If Mickie D’s worked half as hard to create value in their meal, I’m betting we’d be more than happy to pay way more for that, too. But the value they are selling us is FAST FOOD and that’s just not worth as much as a finely created, custom-made pick-me-up-like-nothing-else-can cup of coffee.
Are you selling Starbucks or Mickie D’s? Are you taking on the responsibility of defining your value or leaving it up to your customers?
Convey your value and your price ceases to matter much. Show your value—don’t just tell me about it—and you’ll see the end of “you cost too much.” No one but no one does it better than you. But are you sharing that with your clients? Or are they supposed to be figuring it out for themselves?
Show your value and you can set your price, up your profits and have people waiting in line for 10 ounces of what you got.
Go forth and do great things,
Martha Hanlon and Chris Williams