God please save us from ourselves.
This decade has taken us all through a transition where the only perception of value left is “how cheap can I get something”. It’s embarrassing. Our parents and their parents in general showed great pride in “real” value and not “perceived value”. Cheapskates are the new rock stars. If they can knock the crap out of a merchant until they squeal and get something for 1 penny less, the numb-skull ends up on the cover of “Yes I Killed Small Business” Magazine and the world cheers him on.
If you don’t think this statement is true, please spend 5 minutes in a superstore. You’ll find yourself in the checkout line with a 15 gallon jug of pickles for 10 cents, an 80 pound bag of Butterfiingers for 75 cents, and no future because your parent’s corner store can’t keep the doors open anymore…but damn those pickles sure taste good.
So where do we go from here?
Let’s usher in an era where innovation and creativity rule over cheap. As responsible business owners, advertisers, marketers, moms and dads we have to make “true value” hip again. An old friend of mine Mr.Thoman used to tell me “you’ll only cry once when you buy quality”. I hope you understand that statement (if you don’t, we’ll see you in line at Walmart). We have to be responsible and let people know that buying cheap will make you cry every day until eternity. We’ve all been there. We’ve all bought something because the price was “so cheap” and then found out why but were too embarrassed to speak up…having played the lead role in “Gotcha Sucker”. Must have forgotten our parents advice “if it seems too good to be true…”. So let’s bring it back around to our world of advertising. Let’s not sell ourselves as the cheapest. Let’s take pride in saying “my widget costs more and here’s why”. If you truly do have a widget that costs less, don’t make price-point your selling tool. Put your “value” flag up and you WILL get traffic. A GREAT PRODUCT or SERVICE at a FAIR PRICE = A TRUE VALUE! A happy customer will tell 2 people, and they will both tell 2 more people…the rest is history. Good “old school” principle. Steady and predictable. I hope you get my point. The key operative in this story is responsibility. Let’s hold ourselves responsible for our messaging and the impact it has on our community and our families. Let’s challenge the status quo. That is the end of my rant. But I’ll leave you with one last thought: we have all been unconsciously programmed to believe cheap is good, and if you don’t believe that…question yourself as to why you decided to read this…did the title “FREE Stuff Here!” trip your trigger?