Archive for the ‘PVP Concepts-Frameworks-Examples’ Category

Next time you open a menu … spot how they’re playing with your mind.

July 15, 2010

In his new book, Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It), author William Poundstone dissects the marketing tricks built into menus—for example, how something as simple as typography can drive you toward or away from that $39 steak.

1. The Upper Right-Hand Corner
That’s the prime spot where diners’ eyes automatically go first.

Restaurants often use it to highlight a tasteful, expensive pile of food.

2. Pictures

Generally, pictures of food are powerful motivators but also menu taboos — mostly because they’re used in downscale chains like Chili’s and Applebee’s.

Red Lobster ditched pics when it started trying to inch upscale

3. The “Anchor”
The highest priced item on the menu may not ever get ordered.  That’s ok.  It’s purpose is to make everything else near it look like a relative bargain.

4. In The Vicinity
The restaurant’s high-profit dishes tend to cluster near the anchor.  They’re items at prices that seem comparatively modest (when compared to the anchor).. They’re the items the restaurant really wants you to buy.

5. Columns Are Killers
It’s a big mistake for restaurants to list prices in a straight column. “Customers will go down and choose from the cheapest items.”

Consultants say to omit “leader dots” that connect the dish to the price; and to drop dollar signs, decimal points, and cents

6. The Benefit Of Boxes
“A box draws attention and, usually, orders.

When you see an item in a box, think “high margin”

7. Menu Siberia
That’s where low-margin dishes that the regulars like end up. They’re there, but relatively easy-to-miss  … or so the restaurant hopes..

8. Bracketing
A regular trick …  it’s when the same dish comes in different sizes.

Because youre never sure of the portion size, you’re tempted to to trade up … especially from small to “regular” size.

* * * * *

Excerpted from Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It), to be published in January by Hill & Wang, an imprint of Farrar, Straus & Giroux. © 2010 by William Poundstone.

Pricing magic: the power of a “decoy”

July 13, 2010

In a classic pricing study, researchers assigned quality levels ranging from zero to 100 to unbranded beers (think wine ratings).

For the first test a  “regular” beers was scored a 50 and offered for $1.80 per bottle, and a premium beer – scored at 70 – was offered at $2.60 per bottle.

Survey respondents opted for the premium by about 2 to 1.

In a second test, a “cheap” beer– scored at 40 out of 100 and priced at $1.60 — was added to the mix.

Though no respondent picked the cheap beer, there was a mix change.  Suddenly, the regular — now the mid-priced beer – was picked by more people..


In a third test, the cheap beer was replaced by a super-premium – scored at 75 and priced at $3.40.

Now, nobody picked the regular (which was the “low end” of the 3 picks) … only 10% picked the super-premium …. 90% picked the premium.

So, by adding a “decoy” – a product that isn’t ultimately bought but which sets a high-end price impression in people’s mind – the researchers were able to get respondents to “step up” from regular to premium – and increase the “price realization” of the regular and premium beers by 16%.

The theory of the case: “Aversion to extremes” … often, people conclude that the cheapest product is, well, a cheap product … and that the highest priced product may not deliver enough added benefits to justify its higher price.  So, the safe bet is to buy the mid-priced product.

That’s pricing magic, for sure.