A Marketing Lesson

April 21, 2010

Looking at Apple and their products from a marketing standpoint is an interesting lesson.  Here is a company that has repeatedly produced cutting edge tech products, products that have demonstrated some careful thought and incredible work to produce successfully since nothing like them has ever been seen before.   The reputation of Apple products is a known quantity.  So is the price point of their products and therein lies the lesson for all of us artists.

Apple has demonstrated through the years that they produce great products and at the same time, expect worthy payment for same.  How often have artists produced good work and then either because of not knowing how to price that work or feeling that what they’re asking is too much, then discounted that work as if it were less valuable than it is?   If Apple started discounting products I might view them differently.  This would indicate to me that they are always asking for more than they should because clearly they could take less.  Is this the message one wants to give for anything they produce?

Okay so the Apple Marketing Model has been established.   In art, ‘perceived value’ is a huge thing.  Say you are selling earrings for $5 a pair.  A bargain hunter might love this BUT when you get dressed up to go out for a fancy event which earrings would you wear: the $5 pair or the $25 pair?   Some people think this way so it’s something to know.   A shirt that I buy at the thrift store may not have the same perceived value as the shirt I paid full price for at the name brand department store.  Why?  I might wear the less expensive shirt to do a few things in the garden, for example, over the shirt I paid full price for.  The thrift store product is not perceived as popular as the shirt at full price in the store currently.  It isn’t price point specifically driving that valuation as much as perceived popularity/current trend vs. been there/done that or current style vs. last season’s style.  Perceived value is a customer’s opinion of a product’s value.

Market success relies on bringing your target market an offering that it regards as fairly priced for the value it receives.   Pricing something inexpensively doesn’t necessarily increase the feeling that the customer is getting more than they’re paying for.  It increases the feeling that what they’re paying for is cheap vs. inexpensive.   If you offered a painting and some printed cards and envelopes of the painting for the same price as the painting is marked, the customer feels they are getting more for their money instead.  Do you see the difference?  Go forth and use this wisdom to your advantage!  =)


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