A friend of my father owned a cake making company many years ago and tried to get one of his products into Manchester’s flagship department store Kendals (yes it was a while back).
He tried a number of times, but each time he got knocked back.
One day he was talking to one of his suppliers and explained his frustration at not being able to convince the buyer to take his gateau.
“Give it to me, I’ll get it in,” said the supplier.
My father’s friend looked at him quizzically, but agreed to give it a go.
So he baked a batch of the cake and delivered it to his supplier.
A few days later his supplier called him up and gave him the good news that he’d sealed the deal. At a higher price than my father’s friend was asking.
“How?” was the simple question from the baker.
“Different box. More upmarket. More in keeping with the store’s brand. More what their shoppers expect to see.”
The same cake, in a different box was now attractive to the buyer, when it wasn’t before.
There are two lessons to be learned from this.
One is that the baker believed the product was his cake. The box was just a means of carrying it and protecting it from getting damaged.
The reality was that the product appeal was determined by the appearance of the cake in the box, because that was how it was displayed in the store. Because the packaging enhanced the appeal of the cake, it made it more attractive to the customer.
The second lesson is that because it was more attractively presented, it was able to command a higher price. Now that is a useful bit of information.
This will work for your business. If you present your products well, promote them well, have good product literature/website and have knowledgeable, helpful sales staff.
Because, often, it’s the entire customer experience that convinces people to buy your products. It’s not just down to the actual product itself. And if the experience is good, it will command a higher price.
This is particularly the case as you tend towards the luxury end of the market. Price becomes less of a determining factor and the experience is everything (how else do you explain why someone would pay £27,000 a night for a London hotel? Do they have better dreams? Maybe.)
We have helped many client companies to enhance their market perception as well as develop the branding and presentation of their products and their businesses.
Not only does it benefit individual product sales, it even works to increase the value of a business ahead of a company sale by building a strong brand presence and giving them high visibility in the marketplace.
Being seen to be successful, being seen to have desirable products, being talked about.
If you’re not doing it, try it. It works.