The reason that aliens have never made contact with humans is that they don’t think we’re in charge.
I go jogging every other day, and I always see humans walking behind dogs. The dogs are leading the humans along a path, with a rope attached to the human. The humans are following the dog with a plastic bag. If the dog happens to do a poo, then the human stops, picks it up, and keeps on walking behind the dog while carrying the poo. If aliens ever happened to drop into our fair planet, I’m pretty sure they’ll think the dogs are running the show. Any conversation aliens have with a life form on earth would be directed at the dogs, not us.
So what would the aliens think of your startup based on what they see? Would the product tell the story you want? Our customers might as well be aliens, as they can only judge us based on what they see.
What we do, and others observe, is where reality lives. While we might talk a good game, the way we actually play it is far more important.
You should totally read my book – The Great Fragmentation.
A regular marketing tool is to let potential customers know what the entry price point of a product or service is. I was driving into car park in the city when I was exposed to this method of marketing.
Park from $5
I was there for 3 hours and it cost me $38. Which is quite a distance from the initial promise. It turns out that pretty much every retail offer in market use the prices start from premise. Cars, insurance, concert tickets, airline flights, they all do it. And because they all do it, we all know we need to be suspicious that it does not represent the truth. In fact, we know it’s a bare bones offer, a best case scenario for pricing, in which the probability of that serving our needs is very low. In short it’s a trick to gain attention, it’s inauthentic and often misleading. But now that the trick has been used for such a long period of time, people with a level of intelligence simply ignore the message. We know better than to believe it, let alone act on it.
Every now and again we need to flip the way we go to market. Often because the people that came before us ruined it for everyone. Maybe it is time to flip the ‘starting from‘, to become ‘ending at‘?
What if we told consumers what the most expensive version of the product or service was, the one with all the bells and whistles? Yes, the thing we actually want. While this might sound crazy, it would have an important impact on the perceptions of what we are selling. The experience could only get better than the promise, not worse. And instead of generating negative word of mouth or brand associations, it would probably generate some positive ones. Not just from the authenticity and respect we are providing our customers, but also due to the positive sentiment that comes when we realize something is better value than we expected.
It comes down to a simple principal, do we want to create disappointment, or inspire unexpected delight?