We’re all motivated in different ways but I think there are universal truths. If something is free, it’s questionable. If something ends in $.99 it seems a better value up to a certain price point. Some of us can calculate math in our head. Some of us like to count up and not down when we run on the treadmill. We’re all built differently but I’d bet that most of us don’t do math well in our head and have a tendency to round and rationalize.

Recently we missed the mark. The economy is in a slump and I’ll argue with anyone right now that the recession hasn’t ended.

We’re all motivated in different ways but I think there are universal truths. If something is free, it’s questionable. If something ends in $.99 it seems a better value up to a certain price point. Some of us can calculate math in our head. Some of us like to count up and not down when we run on the treadmill. We’re all built differently but I’d bet that most of us don’t do math well in our head and have a tendency to round and rationalize.

Recently we missed the mark. The economy is in a slump and I’ll argue with anyone right now that the recession hasn’t ended. If it has, most of us aren’t feeling it yet. So, when grocery prices escalated and packaging decreased, we noticed. When gas prices went up and back down, we noticed. We also felt the ripple affect gas prices had on other industries such as airline travel and delivery surcharges. We didn’t need to do math in our head to know that both sides of the equation were changed and we are caught in the middle.

So I suggest and in some cases demand that you and I as markters under promise and over deliver. Give me a bonus, however small. Seth Godin sent his Linchpins a free book today. That was a great, unexpected gift. Tomorrow I will be listening to Tony Hsieh, Zappos.com CEO and author talk about Delivering Happiness. I plan to listen, learn and enjoy. I’m sure I’ll get something small or large.

It strikes me that if you don’t shave off margin on both sides, you’ll have more loyal customers. Don’t decrease size and price only to increase size and keep costs the same down the road. Give us more. It doesn’t have to be expensive but it does have to be important. Sometimes something as simple as counting down your work out time instead of up or visa versa is all we need to give us that extra push in an otherwise chaotic or ordinary day.

It’s easy to Deliver Happiness, even if it’s a few extra chocolate chips in a cookie. Think about the long tail. Something small at a difficult time could last a lifetime. To learn more, consider the book Smart Pricing. Wharton professors and renowned pricing experts Jagmohan Raju and John Zhang offer a powerful alternative to traditional pricing models. The authors focusing on a new set of influencers in pricing strategy: consumer psychology, economics, and marketing. To do so, they draw on their own breakthrough pricing research, as well as their most recent work helping enterprises rethink their approaches to pricing.

Christie J Susko
President
American Marketing Association
Washington, DC Chapter
Member Since 2003