My (Coronavirus-related) Mistake
I’ve worked with plenty of brands big and small over the years. Some catered to legitimately poor consumers and others appealed to multi-millionaires who just considered themselves poor. For a while, I even worked closely with a billionaire who loved Cuban cigars and Dilbert cartoons.
This experience has let me see consumer behavior in its many forms.
To understand how different groups think and act. Often in ways that defies easy categorization.
And yes, different groups are different from each other in many ways. But we also all share a few things in common.
For example: Human beings only see value in proportion to what they’re willing to give to get it.
Or, more simply, we don’t appreciate what we don’t pay for.
The more we pay for something – either in terms of money and/or effort made to get it – the more we value it.
On the flip side, the lower the relative price (as compared to our income), the less we appreciate it. And what we offer for free often gets no appreciation at all.
This is true in the fashion business. It’s also true in my own fashion-brand consulting practice, as I was recently reminded. As the world went into lockdown, I saw many of my colleagues giving their time away for free. And because I enjoy teaching, I did the same.
But I noticed something: the people I connected with weren’t valuing my time (or theirs). They weren’t doing anything with what I had to share.
Contrast that to another area of my business where I didn’t pull the price. I kept the $100 application fee for a program that costs about $10,000.
Of the last three people I’ve talked to, two of them bought the program right away. And they actually acted on my advice.
Was it because a $10,000 service is more valuable than my free advice? No. But it was seen as such. And that’s what made the difference.
The same dynamic plays out in the fashion world. By discounting your product, you (unconsciously) tell your customer that your product doesn’t deserve to be higher priced.
And so, whenever your product is “higher” (i.e. regular) priced, they shy away.
I get that you need to produce revenue right now. But over the years, I’ve helped clients make millions of dollars WITHOUT discounting. There is a better way.*
A lot of fashion brands are struggling. Many will die before the recovery comes. But the ones that survive will be stronger than ever.
Why shouldn’t you be one of them?
Coronavirus "Sur-Thrival" Series
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