Business 05 September 2018
Why is it that Netflix can announce a slight price increase and the majority of people shrug it away but if the price of a loaf of bread goes up, the masses are ready to riot in the streets? It may have to do with value and perceived value. One thing is for sure, you always risk losing customer’s business and trust with even a slight price increase.
One of the most challenging tasks companies face on a regular basis is to hold their old customers when they increase the price of their products. With the increase in market conditions, price inflation and world economic factors, there is a requirement to also enhance the price of products and services.
However, this is not easy.
There are ample risks involved. Because there are chances that the moment prices are increased, existing consumers will lose their loyalty for the product and look for cheaper alternatives. As a result, the product provider can lose a lot of revenue.
Explanation for Price Hike
If the scenario of the market is such that there is no option but to increase price, then one requires increasing it. For example there can be a situation where the product supplier has increased its prices roughly 10% in the last year. Then you cannot avoid but increase the prices at least by 5%. An explanation can be given to the client base that the product price has been partially increased and not completely and this can help retain your customers.
"It Could Always Be Worse" Comparison
In situations where your competitors have all increased their prices it is important to disclose this information to the user base. A comparison in between the price increase of competitive product and your product will help them understand the actual potential of your product.
Sometimes, your customers will do this for you. Netflix has announced price increases several times during the past 5 years. Many took to social media to voice their opinions. Although there was no lack of complaints, many customers compared the price of Netflix to the price of cable television which is much more expensive.
Another way for a comparison approach to work is to allow some customers to keep using your product or service for the same price, but remove a feature or option. To use Netflix again, in 2016 they announced a price increase from $7.99 to $9.99. Customers who wanted to continue to enjoy Netflix as is will now pay $9.99. However, if some customers did not want to pay that price, they could still have full access to the site for $7.99 but would not be able to view in HD or view in multiple screens.
This type of comparison will allow customers to see the difference in service and they can then decide if it is worth paying the extra 2 bucks to watch House of Cards in HD. By the way, it is.
However, it is possible to increase prices without adding an entirely new service to your arsenal. Instead, deliver an enhanced result.
The best way you can retain old users and increase price is to add something to the product to increase its worth. A sweet deal as it is commonly termed in the business world, this makes sure your consumers remain bonded to your product even if a price change has occurred.
It’s very important that the value that you are adding is worth it to the customer. Adding a feature that isn’t valuable to the customer will just backfire on you. Rule of thumb is to not charge for cosmetic changes. If you produce an all natural line of iced teas, enhancing label designs, for example, is not a good reason to charge customers. But adding pomegranate or acai juice to your tea may be a good reason for customers to pay more.
This is going to be tougher for those of you in the service industry. Adding a service means more time you must spend. However, it is possible to increase prices without adding an entirely new service to your arsenal. Instead, deliver an enhanced result. If you own a digital marketing company, instead of branching out to offline marketing, deliver more exposure for your customers through different social media networks and blogs.
Another trick is to transform quantity. Here one is recommended to offer a big quantity product at lesser price point. The customers will obviously look out for products with high quantity. For example, a customer usually purchases a 4 bottle beverage at a particular price.
Now, since the overall price has been enhanced you compel the customer to buy a 6 pack sealed beverage set at a good price. Hence, cost is reduced but profit is maintained.
A premium or a freemium product is that one which involves price repositioning. Here, customers are recommended to buy an alternative product which costs more but is so attractive that the customers are not lost. For a premium high priced product, a free offer also helps keeping customers bonded with the brand. Hence, the premium product helped you increase your price but the freemium addition kept the attraction quotient intact.
Dropbox is a good example of how to offer a freemium. They allow you to use the software to backup and share files. I first used Dropbox when the photographer who took my wedding photos wanted us to review the photos. I loved it. But Dropbox’s free version allows you to only use 2GB of space. That amount of space can be used pretty quickly. The premium version is $9.99 which is affordable and valuable for those who use a lot of photos and video.
Choose the Perfect Time
Timing is the most crucial aspect in every business. If the price of a product is increased at around a time when the year is coming to an end then it is taken as a natural step. As a result, customers are not lost. People do expect new things in a New Year and hence even if a product’s price is made higher at this time, people accept it naturally. It is because they expect a new value being added to the existing product due to which its price has been increased.
The basic idea is not to rush at all when it comes to price inflation. Prices of products or services must be enhanced gradually and not all of a sudden. A small and exponential growth in price point will not cause adverse effect to your product. It will not lose old customers rapidly. A sudden price hike can cause negative effect to your entire user base at one go thus creating huge amount of loss of money, customer and reputation.
The best way you can retain old users and increase price is to add something to the product to increase its worth.
The Free Trial Approach
The last way to do this task is to undergo a trial and error method. But here’s a warning; no matter how much you plan, there still remains a risk of losing a few customers on the eve of a price hike. Hence, it doesn’t do much good to worry about it. If the requirement of the price enhancement is such that it is absolutely mandatory then you must moderately increase it.
A little shift in price will not affect the business adversely. To conclude, you must understand market conditions and the activities of your competitors in order to take strategic decisions about price inflation. Feedback from your own customers can also help you gain priceless insight about your product and its price point.
This article was first published on StartUp Mindset.
3 Min Read
Thinking of ringing up your ex during these uncertain times? Maybe you want an excuse to contact your ex, or maybe you genuinely feel the need to connect with someone on an emotional level. As a matchmaker and relationship expert, I was surprised at the start of the coronavirus quarantine when friends were telling me that they were contacting their exes! But as social distancing has grown to be more than a short-term situation, we must avoid seeking short-term solutions—and resist the urge to dial an ex.
It stands to reason that you would contact an ex for support. After all, who knows you and your fears better than an ex? This all translates into someone who you think can provide comfort and support. As a matchmaker, I already know that people can spark and ignite relationships virtually that can lead to offline love, but lonely singles didn't necessarily believe this or understand this initially, which drives them straight back to a familiar ex. You only need to tune into Love Is Blind to test this theory or look to Dina Lohan and her virtual boyfriend.
At the start of lockdown, singles were already feeling lonely. There were studies that said as much as 3 out of 4 people were lonely, and that was before lockdown. Singles were worried that dating someone was going to be off limits for a very long time. Now when you factor in a widespread pandemic and the psychological impact that hits when you have to be in isolation and can't see anyone but your takeout delivery person, we end up understanding this urge to contact an ex.
So, what should you do if you are tempted to ring up an old flame? How do you know if it's the wrong thing or the right thing to do in a time like this? Check out a few of my points before deciding on picking up that phone to text, much less call an ex.
Before You Dial The Ex...
First, you need to phone a friend! It's the person that got you through this breakup to begin with. Let them remind you of the good, the bad and the ugly before taking this first step and risk getting sucked back in.
What was the reason for your breakup? As I mentioned before, you could get sucked back in… but that might not be a bad thing. It depends; when you phoned that friend to remind you, did she remind you of good or bad things during the breakup? It's possible that you both just had to take jobs in different cities, and the breakup wasn't due to a problem in the relationship. Have these problems resolved if there were issues?
You want to come from a good place of reflection and not let bad habits make the choice for you.
Depending on the reason for the breakup, set your boundaries for how much contact beforehand. If there was abuse or toxic behaviors in the relationship, don't even go there. You can't afford to repeat this relationship again.
If you know you shouldn't be contacting this ex but feel lonely, set up a support system ahead of time. Set up activities or things to fall back on to resist the urge. Maybe you phone a different friend, join a virtual happy hour for singles, or binge watch Netflix. Anything else is acceptable, but don't phone that ex.
Write down your reasons for wanting to contact the ex. Ask yourself if this is worth the pain. Are you flea-bagging again, or is there a friendship to be had, which will provide you with genuine comfort? If it's the latter, it's okay to go there. If it's an excuse to go back together and make contact, don't.
Decide how far you are willing to take the relationship this time, without it being a rinse and repeat. If you broke up for reasons beyond your control, it's okay. If your ex was a serial cheater, phone a friend instead.
If there was abuse or toxic behaviors in the relationship, don't even go there. You can't afford to repeat this relationship again.
As life returns to a more normal state and you adjust to the new normal, we will slowly begin to notice more balance in our lives. You want to come from a good place of reflection and not let bad habits make the choice for you. Some do's and don'ts for this time would be:
- Do: exercise — taking care of you is important during this time. It's self-care and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- Do: shower, brush your teeth, and get out of your sweats.
- Don't: be a couch potato.
- Don't: drink or eat excessively during this time. Again, remember to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Do: think positive thoughts everyday and write down the 3 things you are grateful for. Look at the impact of John Krasinksi's SGN. It's uplifting and when you feel good, you won't want to slide backwards.
- Don't: contact a toxic ex. It's a backward move in a moment of uncertainty that could have a long term impact. Why continue flea bagging yourself?