Normally, when pricing our products and services, we research the market, compare our features and benefits, consider our margins and then set our price. In the previous post, I wrote about the role stories and emotions play in setting the stage for pricing. We commonly call it branding. Its importance is nothing new, but branding is likely minimally five times more important than we think it is. Human nature discounts intangibles and the immeasurable while overweighting tangibles and the quantifiable.
People pay to see comedians, to see movies. What tangibles do they deliver, entertainment? Even when a customer beats us down on price, we sell triumph as the emotion. Yes, consumers will usually seek other rationales explaining their decisions. Still, even most commodities sell security as the likely emotion: buying a predictable quantity with predictable service for a predictable price.
Brand building is relationship building. Both take time. Branding is the emotional stage upon which our products and services operate. Thus, here’s the crucial intuitive question:
What emotions are we selling?
Just as we classify every movie, play or song in a genre possessing a theme or mood, we follow with:
What kind of story do we build around these emotions?
Then, imagining our products and services as characters:
- What are their roles in our story?
- Who are the main characters, the supporting actors?
- What is their relationship to each other: lead, complement or support?
Some firms actually personify their products and services, creating characters or even using the owner, CEO or a celebrity. Personification is a powerful change technique, and when we talk about displacing that pricing anchor in consumers mind, we are talking change.
So, what emotions are you selling?
- Pricing, The Secret
- Tapping Pricing’s Secret (Pt 1): Story, Symbol, Emotions
- Tapping Pricing’s Secret (Pt 2): Setting the Stage
- Storytelling’s Importance in Business Valuations