Wednesday, November 2, 2011

a $400 cup of soup, continued…..

You’ll remember me paying $400 for a blender for myself.  And, I actually took one home for my son, who likes to try things in the kitchen. 

That purchase made me think about what I do, the products we make, and the value they bring. 

When we design a sofa, is it about being something that serves it’s owners in a better way?  Can it make our customers, our clients, feel better about their lives?  Can it improve their circumstances like the blender did for me?  Will it help them sleep better?  Will they feel better?  Will they be better?

I paid $400 for a blender.  Can that translate to other products.  Would people be willing to pay $3000 for a mattress?  If you can demonstrate they are buying better sleep, yes!  Just ask the folks at Tempurpedic.

Will I be more comfortable if I buy this recliner?  Yes!  Just ask the folks at La-Z-Boy, who’ve been selling comfort for decades. 

In fact, consumers are willing to pay when given a good reason.  Offering something for 50% off, buy one, get one free, no interest for a million years, is not an argument that leads to a better purchase.  It leads to the bottom.

The next time we offer a click clack sofa for $199, we need to ask ourselves if we’ve done the best we can for the consumer.  When we sell someone a mattress for $199, have we really helped that consumer to a better life? 

We need to do better.  We need not to commoditize everything, but make products that make a difference.  By making price the prevailing reason for purchase is not marketing or selling, but the laziest approach to retail there is.

So, like that blender, we need to remember what it is we’re really selling.  It’s not the blender.  It’s the soup.  And, it’s not really the soup; it’s about better eating.  And, it’s not really about better eating; it’s about quality of life.

And, if you have a product that can sell that, you’ve got something.  It made me pay $400 for a blender. 


  1. Hear hear!

    We've become such a culture of consumption, price has become most everyone's first consideration.

    Granted, in times like these, price matters in many things. But I grew up with parents whose philosophies resided (for the most part, still reside) at opposite ends of the value spectrum.

    Dad was always about saving money even if that meant having to replace things often. Mom was always about buying the best she could afford and using it for years and years.

    I'm happy to say that I take after my mother.

  2. I'm somewhere between your mother and father. For things that are important to me, I will spend. Thanks for checking in.

  3. Being healthy has it's costs as does ignoring your health. I always go for the expenses that keep me healthy and the benefits follow.

  4. This is so true. Pointing our the features and benifits to a potential customer, is what helps them decide to buy. Also listening to their needs and goals, and if you can show them how your product will fill a need and help in acheiving their goals. Better yet, help the potential customer imagine how they will feel from the benefit of your product.