These thoughts begin with a friend-of-a-friend tale. I was pondering how to add choice to my offerings in these credit crunch, now recessionary times. Although potentially going against the grain (the one that suggests more choice leads to customer confusion and so lesser, not more sales) in my line I’ve concluded the more the merrier.
When discussing this in the juicer the other day with a pal, he recounted the experience of a school friend of his who during his career already scaled the lofty heights of top Marketing man for a much-loved British brand. Walkers Crisps have long achieved top three status in brand recognition polls throughout the UK. This fella went for a fairly senior marketing position there. During the interview he reckoned the critical question posed was “what’s missing from our product range?”. He answered straight away with “a premium brand”. The resultant examination he believed set him apart. Once installed, their Sensations high-end offering came into being, with much success.
Inspired by this, I thought what a masterstroke this had been. Whatever the ‘spread’ of your wares, there’s likely to be a gap somehwere. Ideally, you’d like that gap to be at the premium end, so as to avoid cannabilisation of margin.
The other bonus of a new premium good, is that when faced with more choice, (although a generalisation) people often rank three alternatives, plumping for the middle priced one. So in one sense, the presence of a premium brand can increase sales of a product positioned ‘below’ it.
And I thought whatever you sell, you could “invent” packages to add a premium option. If you sell a product with associated services, what about putting a pre-packed number of service options together? You’d be surprised how many people took more ‘days’ as a result. Maybe you’re a wholesale-distributor, putting together a kind of PLOF for a platinum selection could generate extra margin in these tricky times.
For me, I’m in the process of ‘packaging’ up various elements of my service to take advantage of this very idea.