I was chatting to a skin clinic owner recently. She has attractive premises, some seriously high-end kit and assured me her team are forever on training courses.
Clearly, she seemed to be offering a top-end service from an experienced, skilled team of therapists.
Brilliant, I thought. Then I checked out her prices.
They were cheap.
Rock-bottom in fact.
And it was then I started to doubt how good this clinic really was…
Mixed marketing messages cause doubt and confusion
“Top quality AND cheap” is not a very believable combo.
Her website and salon social were full of promises about amazing service and super-skilled therapists, yet her prices suggested the exact opposite.
Her prices did not match her service promise.
And this sent mixed and confusing messages to her prospective clients, raising doubts in their mind and damaging trust in her brand.
Faced with a product or service that is cheap most of us immediately assume it is not of the best quality. After all you can’t have it all. People expect to pay for good quality.
You get what you pay for…
Research consistently shows that the price of something determines, to a certain extent, the value/quality of it in the consumer’s mind.
Take this well-known study:
Psychologists asked people to taste a selection of wines, but did not tell them how much each wine cost. The results of this blind-tasting revealed that they slightly preferred the less expensive wines.
However, in a later study, when told a wine was an expensive one, the participants suddenly gave that particular wine a higher rating than previously.
The research showed people were letting the price tag dictate what they thought of the wine – because it was expensive they expected to enjoy it more.
Just telling somebody that something has a certain amount of value makes them start to believe in that value.
We all look to external clues, like price, to help us judge what we should expect in terms of value. So by pricing your high quality hair and beauty treatments and services on the low side you are sending the wrong cue (message) to your clients about how good they are.
Make this work for you
The best (and most profitable) approach is to make your client experience and services the very best you can.
Then charge properly for it.
This way, your prices match your quality promises and prospective clients understand that you deliver excellent quality and value.
Increase prices discreetly
Rather than put all your prices up at the same time, just do a few at a time. It’s more subtle than putting every price up at once.