paperclip marketing

When you have nothing else  to offer, price is what people use to make a judgement about which alternative to buy.

Yours or someone else’s alternative?

However, most people also recognise that you get what you pay for, and that what you pay for is not always just more widgets in the box. Sometimes the widgets last longer, fit better, are not the same as everyone else has, are the first seen, the box just looks better,  and sometimes it is a bit of all of these, and many more factors that may influence the purchase.

Every person will have a different definition of what constitutes value in any given set of circumstances. Purchase of a box of paper clips has a different set of circumstances driving it than the purchase of a new car, but the process is the same.

Last week I watched a lady in one of those supermarket type office supplies places make a choice of a box of coloured paper clips over  the standard ones, paying a substantially higher price for her choice. Same number of clips, same size and shape box, just a more colourful design on the box, and of course, the coloured clips.

Well you say, it may be just a couple of dollars,  so it does not matter much, which is true, but when I chatted to her at the checkout and asked why she chose the coloured clips,  she did not say they were only a dollar or two more, she said she “just liked them better”

Surely our job as marketers is to find those little things that lead our customers to say those magic words  “I just like it better”, and give them what they like.

Price is so often used as an excuse for a lack of imagination that it makes me cry.