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Marketing: Why Price Doesn’t Matter & What Actually Does!

By: Rebecca Hamilton, Owner Of Chick Boss Cake

Ever wonder why the heck your BFF spends all her money on the latest eye shadow palettes, even though she already has like 50 with all identical shades? (haha totally me #sorrynotsorry).


Or why your sister forks out $500 for a new Coach purse each season?


Or why your dad insists on upgrading phones every 6 months?


I’ll tell you why & the answer is simple: a feeling.


That’s right. It’s less about the actual product and 150% about how the product makes them feel. They’re probably completely oblivious to this fact and that’s perfectly fine. That’s the power of exceptional marketing doing it’s job.


The biggest & best businesses in the world get this concept & it’s no different for your small business. My motto is if you want to be successful like the big business’ you gotta do what they do. 


So price doesn’t matter. What actually matters are two things:


1. Your understanding of where you fit into the marketplace- are you higher end or lower end?


2. Your emotional connection between your brand and your customers.


As human beings, we are emotional creatures who make decisions based on our feelings and our shopping habits are no exception to this. Think about the things that you buy that you don’t necessarily ‘need’ but you buy it anyways. It could be something for your kid that you know will bring them joy or a new workout outfit that will make you feel untouchable during your next workout or a new eye shadow that’ll make you feel extra beautiful. Everyone spends money on what matters to them. You might care less about a new workout outfit because you still rock the same sweats you wore in gym class ’08 (I mean, if you still fit into them then you’re doing something right anyways) but the things you decide to splurge on is meaningless to someone else.

I’d like to point out that your initial reaction might be to judge people for spending their money in ways that you personally deem as irresponsible or a ‘waste’. Like, how the heck does your friend Karen spend hundreds of dollars on a coach purse. Doesn’t she know that Walmart has their own fairly decent purse isle? Probably not. She’s way too good for Walmart, she’s probably never set foot inside the store. Karen, have you ever even heard of Walmart?


Not only is this not nice. At all. But how would you like it if Karen judged you for that 105th toy you bought your kid that they will play with for 1 week, get bored & forget about it? Why did you buy that 105th toy for them? Did you think that 104 wasn’t adequate? Or did you really believe they needed it this time and it would be the last toy you ever bought because they’d be happy & content with it forever?


Karen buys the purse because it makes her feel happy. She loves the coach brand, she relates to it & it makes her feel special, important & confident. Sound a tad materialistic & superficial? Maybe it is, but it doesn’t change how it makes her feel.


You bought that 105th toy for your kid certainly not because they were lacking in the toy department, but because of the pure joy & happiness you feel in your soul when their eyes light up- even if it only lasts a week.


So people spend money on what matters to them. Price doesn’t matter. Don’t judge people for how they choose to spend their money.


Let's dig into my 2 key points as mentioned above:


1. Your understanding of where you fit into the marketplace- are you higher end or lower end?


Now that we have a basic understanding of human shopping habits, where do your products fall in the spectrum of high end vs low end? There’s nothing wrong with being at either end, in fact, most of the time product quality is p-r-e-t-t-y darn similar regardless of what end your at… Even though Nike would like to have you believe that their shoe quality is far superior to Sketchers, they’re likely made with similar materials in a similar warehouse. The marketing illusion is that a higher price must mean a superior product. Sometimes it’s true & sometimes it’s not, but what matters more than that is the feeling attached to the brand or product.


If your products are considered cheap in your market space for example, your customers could be people who value low prices, great deals, sales, bargains etc. The feeling they get from buying your product could be ‘happy’ that they got a great deal, ‘relieved’ that they spent less than they thought, ‘excited’ that they got to take advantage of the awesome sale, ‘grateful’ that they still have money left over to spend elsewhere.


If your products are considered high in your market space, your customers could be people who love to treat themselves to the finer things, value fancier products, name brands etc. The feeling they get from buying your product could be ‘happy’ that they got exactly what they were looking for, ‘relieved’ that they don’t have to waste time shopping around, ‘excited’ that its fancy, ‘grateful’ that they can afford to splurge on it.


2. Your emotional connection between your brand and your customers.


You need to establish an emotional connection between your brand & your customer. You need to. For the sustainability of your business, for the success of your business & for the longevity of your business. Any business that does not establish an emotional connection with their customers is soon-to-be outta business. You know why? Because people who don’t care about your brand or product aren’t buying it. They’re looking for something better. Something that they feel emotionally connected to. Not only are they not buying it but they’re also not recommending. People who feel emotionally connected to you, your brand & your products are passionate people. Passion=emotion. These passionate people on the other hand, are always buying your product, they’re loyal to your product, they’re recommending your product & they’re raving about your product. See the difference between the two? 


Ok, so you get it, but how do you establish a connection with your customers?


This part is so simple & fun. Just look at them. Talk to them. Engage with them on social media, check out their profiles (in a non-creepy-stalker way), find out what they care about, what lights them up, what gets them excited. Once you really get to know all about them, use it against them (I mean this in the most kind-loving-fun-friendly-positive way possible I promise). If they’re moms for example, your brand needs to clearly communicate to them how it will enhance their life as a mom. Will it provide joy to their kids? Will it save them time so they can spend more time with their family? Will it create a happy memory for them & their children? Does your brand understand what moms needs/wants/priorities are? Does it post relatable content for moms? What kind of emotions can your brand provoke in moms?


In my business, our customers fall into one or all of the following categories: 90% female, a lot of them moms, obsessed with everything “instagram-worthy”, have a high level of appreciation for creativity & art, love high end products, are a little bit “extra”, care about community & greater good, love to treat themselves or their friends/family. (Disclaimer: these are statistics based on our demographic of customers and in no way to be “noninclusive” or completely “indicative” of our customers as a whole. We are 100% inclusive & proud to serve anybody & everybody. These are just the cold hard facts). So you’ll notice in our business we create products that spark joy, excitement & happiness that are creative, artsy & a little bit (or a lot depending on who you ask) “extra”. We always make our community a priority because our personal values match our customers’, and we make sure everyone’s experience is over the top and that they’re treated as the precious, important being that they are. We help create magical memories & we know that memories are priceless to our customers.


I encourage you to pay closer attention to different brand’s ads and commercials. How do they make you feel? How are they trying to relate to you so that you establish an emotional connection with them? The more understanding you have of your own personal shopping habits & emotional connections to brands, the more you’ll be able to draw the connection to your customers with your own brand.


So, if you thought price mattered…Think again. Connection matters. Emotion matters. Relatability matters. People spend money on what they deem valuable to them. What one person is willing to spend on a cake, another person is making it themselves.


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