Improve worth or scale back amount?
I hope my nutritionist doesn’t read this article: in an act of total extravagance, I decided to buy a package of my favorite snack and eat without guilt on my conscience. And, supreme selfishness, without sharing with anyone.
Off I went, intrepid, to the palace of sins, the goodies section of the nearby supermarket.
As I haven’t been there for a while, maybe for a few kilos, I thought it was amazing to see that the price remained practically the same.
But the thing is, I ate much faster than before, and the urge to eat more was still with me.
Easy to understand: am I still greedy or was there less product in the packaging? Simple answer: both. Only that I like to eat more only undermines my Nutritionist’s confidence in me. But less product in the package undermines the confidence I have – or had – in the brand.
Chicken salad without chicken
It’s not the first time I’ve seen companies reduce quantities or change ingredients to maintain prices. In the same week I ordered a salad that came with chicken and so far the chicken has not arrived.
The reality is that costs rise and companies are faced with an uncomfortable decision: better to increase prices or reduce delivery?
We have to build two situations here. Often the service or product is aimed at an audience that is less sensitive to price, and that will understand that everything is more expensive. You may not like it, but you understand. And he prefers to get what he always gets in terms of volume, flavor, quality, even if his wallet gets thinner.
Another situation is that of customers who look at the price above all else, or who buy that type of product in a highly competitive environment; zillions of offers honking over there. That’s my snack.
Hence the price comparison ends up being bigger. Increasing the said whose (the price!) can be very dangerous.
deceive the customer
At the end of the story (I don’t accept the word story) what you pay at the cashier is what you paid before. But what you take home is something less, or a lot less.
The company that makes this decision, without informing the customer clearly (no small letters) that the quantity has been reduced, is assuming that it has chosen to keep the price but, of course, deceiving the customer. It might even have secured that sale back then. But it corrupted the relationship, the trust.
The best option
I never think deceiving the customer should be the chosen path. I clearly understand the dilemma of taking a high risk by raising prices. But isn’t it greater risk to lose the customer forever? Is getting the customer back via future price adjustment (or assuming competition will also increase) not more reasonable than deceiving him?
In what circumstances did the company damage the relationship the most? Raising prices is not dishonest, if there is an explanation. The customer may not like it, but when the new prices settle, he returns. Reducing volumes or removing ingredients without warning is dishonest. The customer rarely returns. What seems to be the option that will slim your brand the most?
If you want to comment, question, praise (hopefully!), talk about your experience on the subject, contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org