Price is a fascinating topic.
In the world of SaaS, for instance, there’s a mantra among startups that you should “always charge more.” Don’t change your product, don’t improve your marketing, don’t double support, just charge double or ever triple what you are now.
— Ines Teles (@iteles) July 6, 2016
It’s a stark reminder about the fluid, detached nature of the dollar sign on a price tag versus the dollar signs next to the costs associated with taking a product to market.
But price is just a number.
It doesn’t reflect how many people are actually paying that amount in exchange for the thing they desire.
The tweet below may be the perfect illustration of this disconnect.
— Travel + Leisure (@TravelLeisure) October 11, 2016
But it’s also a clever example of the opportunities that lie therein.
An insane price gets big headlines across the world for a doughnut shop that sells virtually all of their inventory for about $21/dozen. Sound familiar? Especially the doughnut angle?
“For Vail, it’s great. They raise window rates to $159. People pay it. Those who don’t pay it are guided toward equally valuable options to Vail. It increases the perceived value of passes and gets headlines which allows them to reach more people with a dual, inclusive message of “we sell luxury skiing” and “but we have options for everyone.”
In the context of Vail’s overall strategy, it makes little difference if people actually pay $170 for a lift ticket if charging that amount continues to get them on CNBC where they can promote their real focus, the Epic Pass.
But Vail’s prices, unlike that doughnut shop’s, are reasonable. But what if they weren’t. Or, to get to my point, what if YOURS weren’t?
If you have the most affordable ticket prices in the state or region and you wanted to highlight that, I wonder if there would be a tongue-in-cheek way to do that by creating some lift ticket option that costs $2,500/day.
Have it include nothing more than a regular ticket plus the GM giving you a ride on his back to the lifts, but use an exaggerated price to grab some headlines and open the conversation on prices so you can steer it toward your selling point: affordable skiing.
Prices may be firm for your core products, but it doesn’t mean you can’t play the game a bit by creating prices nobody will bite on…except the media.
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