The Australian Small Business Blog

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Increase Your Prices by Packaging Value



In any buying decision, this is question that must be answered by the buyer: “Is the product or service worth it?” Or more generally, is the offer made by the seller is equal to the dollars that they are asking for it.

Let’s take a simple example, water. If you wanted a drink of water, and you went to a pub, and they served you water from a tap, what would you expect to pay? It would probably be free. If you went to a kiosk, you could buy bottled ‘mineral water’ in a basic plastic bottle, and it might be $2-3.

If you were at a boutique restaurant, you might be able to get water from the Greenland icecap, presented in a special designer bottle with a stunning label, a bottle that you would like to take home as a souvenir. It might cost you $87.


It is still just water. Only a chemist, with certainty, could tell the difference between the three by measuring the levels of trace minerals in them, (although the tap water may be obvious if it has a lot of chlorine in it).

Is the water from Greenland worth it? Sure there is cost to get it from Greenland to the restaurant in Australia, but the cost of the water, the packaging and delivery might be $10 with bulk production, compared with $0.50 for the bottled Australian mineral water production and delivery. You also have to pay for the restaurant’s overheads, but they usually provide water free anyway. Even if you could you really tell the difference between this water and the water from an Australian mineral spring, how can it be worth $85 more?

So why would people pay for $87 for a bottle of the Greenland icecap water? This water could not even be considered rare, since the Greenland icecaps are 3km thick and contain enough water to raise global sea levels by 100m, but it is novel and ties into the quest by some people for the natural and unusual. It would be for the ‘experience’. To be able to say that they have tasted it to their friends. They have the beautiful bottle on display at home as proof and an opportunity to recount the experience to whomever will listen. Perhaps to impress their guests. There may have been other reasons, but I bet it wasn’t because they were thirsty.

Do you think they would have paid $87 for the water if it came out of the restaurant’s kitchen in a plastic cup? Of course the waiter would have treated opening this bottle in the same way as an expensive bottle of wine, and it would be served in beautiful crystal water glasses. The waiter would have poured it reverently, stepped back while you tasted it, and nodded your satisfaction. In this process, the waiter is acknowledging your good taste and sophistication. This would have all been part of the experience— and the packaging!

While packaging is one of the most common ways to increase prices of a product, it also applies to services. You can either sell your time by the hour or package it and sell the value of your service, at a higher rate. To do this however, you must change your service so it can be offered as a package.

[This is an excerpt from Issue 106 of the Small Business Achiever – Business Owner Brief where strategies for packing your products and services are explained in detail. The Small Business Achiever is your Unfair Business Advantage, where all the steps are revealed.]

May Your Business Be – As You Plan It!

Dr Greg Chapman

Over to You. What do You Think? Post Your Comments Below.

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and The Australian Business Coaching Club and is Australia's Leading Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems. He is also the author of The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success.

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