I’ve been having very similar conversations with quite disparate companies of late. Regardless of the specific industry, manufacturers keep running into the same problem. Many of the companies I talk to are small and they know the exact niche they want to remain in over time. They want to stick with making high quality products in smaller quantities because that is what they excel at doing.
The problem is that there are many manufacturers moving up in the world who weigh the bottom line more than the quality of the products they make. These manufacturers tend to cast broad nets because they don’t have a particular sweet spot to target. They pitch based on price, and often they will “poach” other companies’ customers with the idea that those companies can save lots of money if they just make the switch. Customers who buy these products often know that the quality is not as good, but the price is just too hard to beat. They figure any problems that arise will still cost less, in total, than buying more high-quality products.
How do you market yourself in this scenario?
If your industry is basing purchases primarily on price but you don’t want your company to be the “low price guys,” how do you market your products successfully? First and foremost, you need to be transparent about the fact that your prices are not going to be the lowest. This might sound counter-intuitive, but it’s better that information come from you directly versus from a competitor. The fact that you are putting that information out there for your audience to digest will probably be enough to raise their interest anyway. Talking forthrightly about pricing can also be helpful because without using the word “cheap,” you can indicate that your products are high quality, while other products may not “last as long” or may not be “as durable” as yours.
The other piece of the puzzle in these scenarios is to talk about what your customers are getting for those extra greenbacks. Why are your prices higher? Some of the companies I’ve talked to spend a lot of money on quality control procedures and equipment, and those costs need to be passed along. That’s good for customers to know, however. Maybe your processes are substantially different from that of your competitors, so you need a little more time or a few more people involved. Perhaps your commitment to customer service, which saves your customers time and money over the long term, is the differentiator you want to highlight.
You will not convince everyone interested in pricing that they should pay a little more, even if it might save them money over time. We’re in an instant gratification society. However, customers that end up with results that are subpar will remember your honesty and transparency, and you might earn their business after your competition lets them down.
Does your company work in a dollar-driven industry? How have you handled that thus far? We’d love to hear from you!
Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cassidynorvell/3199016/ via Creative Commons