It’s really a simple strategy: Alter your presentation. This, in turn, alters the way people perceive you and the way they value you. When that happens, your price goes up, and you’re seen as “better” than you were seen before this change.
I once stopped into this coffee house on Lincoln Road in South Beach, Miami. I had my laptop with me and just wanted to do a few things online while using the coffee shop’s Wi-Fi. I specifically targeted this shop after doing a quick google search and expected a Starbucks-type place (with Starbucks prices, since I would’ve bought something small to compensate the shop for the Wi-Fi).
I walked in and got something different.
Their employees all were dressed as if headed to a dinner party, and they seated me. I was handed a menu and offered water. Perusing the menu, the prices at this pace were higher than I’d expected to pay at a coffee shop (the $8 croissant sandwich, for example), but just about what I’d expected based on my first three minutes in the establishment. That’s how they created value.
The same croissant sandwich — same bread, same cheese, and same cheap bacon — sells at Starbucks for $3. What’s the difference? The difference is the point of this post.
The expensive cafe had set their price high, creating a presentation that supported that high price. Have you ever been somewhere that, as soon as you walk into the place, you just know there isn’t anything on the menu for less than $5? Exactly. This place just felt like that.
The atmosphere. Appearance. Presentation.
The expensive cafe’s coffee and food and water are no different than any other cafe’s — I mean literally the exact same items — but the way they’re presented changed the entire experience, raised your expectations, and raised the price.
I ended up leaving without eating at the cafe or using the Internet — there was a Starbucks two blocks away — but the lesson was learned: Your atmosphere, presentation and attitude determine your value before you even state the price.