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BizReport : Advertising : November 05, 2010

How to increase sales without focusing on price

We see it every day: huge display ads with slashed prices or loud radio/television ads telling people that Retailer X has the lowest prices. While it has been the norm to advertise sales and lowered prices, one industry expert insists that leading with price can kill your campaign's momentum - before it gets started. How?

by Kristina Knight

"Discounting, especially repeatedly, isn't sustainable," says Dan Hill, President of Sensory Logic. "One of the key advantages of a sale is the element of surprise [but surprise is] brief and followed by...a 'wow' or a 'yikes'."

The Yikes Effect is the effect that can kill campaigns, Hill says, and the reason that brands should lead with alternative openings.

"Price-leading advertising creates quality problems for the offer," says Hill. "[A lower price] might help to shape perceptions that...the existing offer was never worth what people have been accustomed to paying."

First, don't focus on the number of the price, focus on the value. Sure, your brand's car cleaning solution may undercut competitors by $3 or more, but does the value hold up? Rather than allowing ads to scream about cut rates, twist the ad copy to focus on the value of the product: it lasts twice as long, gives cars a deeper clean, adds in a wax element, etc.

"A brand on sale is a brand with an integrity problem," says Hill. "With price-leading advertising a company's identity becomes fuzzy. Suddenly, you're either a discount brand or a are signaling a lack of confidence never very attractive." Hill went on to say that leading with price can hurt the loyalty of the existing and future customer base.

Second, show the versatility of the product. Rather than focusing on a low price and devaluing the brand, Hill suggests that advertisers focus on how versatile the product is. Can a cleaning product be used on cars and bathrooms? Does a vacuum work as well at home as at a busy hotel?

"Leading with price suggests you have nothing else to say or show," says Hill. So, rather than focusing on price, focus on other aspects of your product.

Tags: advertising, Dan Hill, price based advertising, Sensory Logic

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  • I am often contacted by other virtual assistants who say, "Should I lower my hourly fee to gain more customers?" I always say, 'no' for every reason you have listed here. Even though your post is about a tangible product, I find that the information is helpful to those who offer professional services.

    I tell VAs to focus on value, as you stated. If any VA services can be packaged, such as article marketing or blogging, then offer a fee-based option instead of an hourly.

    This is a great quote from your piece, "Suddenly, you're either a discount brand or a are signaling a lack of confidence never very attractive."

    I'm going to share this with my fellow virtual assistants.

    I also believe that if a client does not accept the monetary value on a virtual assistant's fees then they can't afford the help and/or the VA services are not viewed as valuable. I tell clients, "Sorry, this is not Let's Make a Deal!"

    Thank you!

    Janine Gregor

    Virtual Assistant.

  • Great insights about focusing on providing value ... thanks!



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