It’s Not About Low Price


Very few business owners we work with, set out to be the low cost provider in their category. So how come there is much focus on promoting low price when there is a proven way to charge more for the exact same product and still make the sale?

One of the themes in my book, The Four Keys to Advertising Success, is the overwhelming evidence that a brand can influence consumer behavior with an emotionally engaging creative message.

In other words, a business can charge more money for the exact same product simply based on how that brand influences the psychology of consumer behavior. To put it more simply, certain brands charge more for the exact same product based solely on how the make the consumer feel.

Target Stores charge more for Tide Laundry Detergent, Dawn Dishwashing Liquid and Kleenex Tissues than what Walmart charges for the exact same product, size and quantity. Target customers report they like how they feel when they shop at a Target.

How does Rolex charges thousands of dollars more for an old fashioned gear and spring watch when a $50 Timex keeps more accurate time with a quartz crystal?

It’s all about how it makes the consumer feel.

Now comes new proof that you can charge more for everyday products simply by using a creative message to influence consumers about your brand.

The Payless Shoe Company, a well known discount shoe vendor, recently rented a vacant location in Santa Monica California used to house an Armani store. They stocked the store with regular Payless shoes but changed the labels on the shoes and the name of the store to Paylessi, a new high end shoe designer.

The fake store, Paylessi, via DCX Growth Accelerator, invited groups of influencers to the grand opening of “Palessi” and asked their opinions on the “designer” wares. The guests who attended the party paid between $200 and $600 for Payless shoes that are traditionally priced between $20-40, and many of the guests commented on how their purchases were “sophisticated” or “made with high-quality materials.” More than $3,000 worth of shoes were sold during the store’s first few hours of opening.

The goal of this ruse was to capture the impression of these influencers on video at the very moment they found out they were actually buying Payless shoes. The videos will be a part of new campaign to remind customers that Payless is a place to shop for affordable fashion. Payless is not traditionally a brand that influencers associate with high fashion.

The reactions will appear in a series of ads for the retailer on cable networks such as Lifetime and Bravo as well as social media.

And as for all those purchases: the influencers who made the purchases won’t actually be charged for those buys, but they did get to keep the shoes.

The retailer “wanted to push the social experiment genre to new extremes, while simultaneously using it to make a cultural statement,” said Doug Cameron, DCX Growth Accelerator’s chief creative officer.

Payless CMO Sarah Couch says the chain aimed to tackle the brand’s perception issues head-on at a time when retailers are feeling more heat than ever from giant ecommerce sites. “The campaign plays off of the enormous discrepancy and aims to remind consumers we are still a relevant place to shop for affordable fashion,” Couch says.

The lesson for the rest of us is this, people make decision based on emotions and then back them up with logic. It is human nature. You must learn to work with the psychology of consumer behavior, not against it.

Remember, it’s not about low price. It’s all about how you make the prospect feel. If they feel you are truly trying to help them and not just “make a sale”, you will attract more new customers.

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