So what is this pricing secret they forgot to tell you all about?
People don’t buy on actual price.
People don’t buy on gimmick.
People don’t buy on feelings.
People buy because somewhere deep in their brains, on some subconscious level they want it.
Then, they spend the rest of the time justifying it.
That is why it is so hard to trust a survey of your customers when it comes to pricing strategies.
You can ask your audience what they think they would pay for something but since they are speaking from their rational brain they can list any number of rational reasons.
Most of the time it is impossible to actually know what the triggers are because they are subconscious. Ask me why I have to have an iPad and I will tell you because it will make a good tool. It will allow me to read more easily than my laptop. It’s smaller and lighter. I’ll be able to use it wirelessly. I can check email. Keep my schedule with me at all times. On and on it goes.
But the real reason I want an iPad… well, honestly I don’t know. I saw it. Played with one. And deep down inside I just wanted it. I tried to talk myself out of it. I couldn’t. The subconscious emotion was far too great… it pulled me right into a two hour line waiting to buy an iPad.
Now there is very likely a reason I had to have one, clearly it appealed to me in some way. It triggered something in my subconscious brain. I’ve always liked gadgets and I suspect that my love of the gadget played a large role in my desire to have a new gadget. I suspect that when I saw the iPad in action my brain started firing off all those neurons reminding me of how great it feels to have a cool new gadget to play with. Of course the neurons that fire off when a new gadget doesn’t live up to your expectations didn’t fire off at all… hmmmmmmm.
So the question is this, how can we get our customers to buy if buying is an irrational act? Even when we actually need to buy something, like new socks because ours all have holes in them, we shop and look and figure out which we like best. We don’t just grab socks. I mean runners will pay $10 or more for one pair of socks!
How do we tap into that irrational buying button and get people to purchase our stuff?
Simple. Well not really simple, but there are clear things we can do.
1. Know your customer.
All customer groups have buy buttons with specific irrational buy impulses associated with them. Hit the right button and your buyer’s neurons start to fire off. Before they know it… they’ve pushed the buy button.
2. Understand the subconscious value of your product or service.
What is it about your product or service that raises those irrational buy impulses? There are several basic, tried and true impulse buttons. Things like self image for instance. When you tell someone they can lose weight fast or lose weight easy, you’re hitting a big impulse button for many people. Losing weight is a big deal for lots of people. Add to that the “fast” or “easy” idea and it just sparks off desire. Even though losing weight fast and easy are both irrational.
3. Clearly understand the benefits of what you are selling.
Benefits will spark subconscious buy buttons faster than features will. Benefits focus on the outcomes of what using your product or service will provide. In the last example regarding weight loss, the fast and easy are benefits. The specifics or features of the weight loss program are not going to have the same effect. Features of the fast program might include calorie reduction diet and 60 minutes of intense cardio. Clearly those don’t spark emotion like “fast” and “easy” do.
So if irrationality is the pricing secret have you figured out the price angle?
It is simply this, actual price is only a small factor in a large universe of triggers. The reality is that paying $500 for an iPad did take some thought but the buy button trigger was too strong. It overcame price resistance very quickly. Why? Why does price matter but then not matter at all?
That’s its own blog post! Check back to find out. In the mean time…