The other day at the grocery store, I hesitated when spending almost a dollar on a packet of my favorite French vanilla cocoa mix. But while I was there, I couldn’t help thinking that at Starbucks, I don’t bat an eye at spending over $5 for my soy vanilla spice latte.
In the grocery store, where the place is designed to make me super aware of price and “bargains”, I hesitate. At Starbucks, where the atmosphere is designed to make me feel comfortable and a little indulgent, I happily hand over my card every single time.
As someone who makes artisan products, I want my brand to resonate on the Starbucks side. Yet I see so many makers whose supporting materials (display, fixtures, sales presentation, etc.) are more like the maker equivalent of the grocery store.
Creating more freedom in your business comes from being able to charge more. And being able to charge more comes from your brand.
Everything in my trade show booth is meant to tell you that I am not a bargain brand. The walls, the paint color, the custom display fixtures, the way I display the work itself, what I wear, and how I style myself. Before someone even walks into my booth, they know that I’m not cheap.
When I tell someone to raise their prices, I often hear that “people won’t pay” or that “the market won’t support that.” But the truth is that’s it’s likely that their brand won’t support higher prices. Building the brand takes work, and it’s definitely easier to blame outside forces for price resistance.
It’s the whole package (your brand), not just your products, that tell people how much to value your work. And if your package screams “cheap and easy,” people won’t value your work very much.
I work in very inexpensive materials, especially for the jewelry industry. But that doesn’t mean I can’t style my brand to appear higher end. In the context of the whole package I’ve built, even my materials seem richer.
It’s not a coincidence that the clearer I’ve gotten with my brand, the less price resistance I’ve gotten. When it comes to price, context is everything.
Building a brand takes work. It takes a clear aesthetic vision, strong messaging, and well considered details repeated over and over again. But the payoff is huge. The stronger your brand, the more you can charge for the work you make. And the more you can charge, the more free you are to create more of your best work.
Having a strong brand is the difference between slinging cans at the grocery store or artfully crafting lattes for your customers. Which would you rather do?
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Does your brand need work when it comes to supporting higher prices? Check out, Raise Your Perceived Value: Increase Your Prices, my class on Creative Live!