Meeting Brand Experience Expectations

by | Dec 24, 2018

Meeting Brand Experience Expectations

What can we take away from Payless and their Palessi experiment? Matching your brand to your customers expectations can result in them paying more money for a product they would usually pay a reduced amount for.

An exciting thing happened this last couple weeks in the branding world. You may have heard about it. It was actually quite a surprise of who it came from. It came from Payless Shoes. You may have heard about this, like I said, and it’s something that caused a little bit of excitement in the branding world because what Payless did was they wanted to reach out and attract some fashion influencers. What happened with this is they created a fake store, and this fake store, rather than calling it Payless, they called it Palessi. And with that, what they did was they created a whole experience for these fashion influencers to come in, look at their shoes, and to see if they could attract these individuals who normally go out and spend a lot of money on high-end, high value items.

Everybody knows that Payless tends to be viewed as a bargain shopping location, something that’s not higher end where you’re not going to be expected to pay a lot of money. In fact, a lot of times when you go in, their shoes cost somewhere between $20 and $40. With this experience, this experiment that they ran, Payless, under the Palessi name, took a lot of the same shoes that they carry in the stores, in the Payless stores, and moved them into this fake storefront and they marked up the pricing. Now, that’s where it gets exciting is the fact that they took these items that were normally $20 to $40 and they charged upwards of 18 times the amount of money that they normally would have, and people were easily and without any hesitation, buying these shoes priced at $400, $600.

At the end of the experiment, Payless revealed their experiment to the people that were shopping. They gave the people their money back and also gave them the shoes so that way they could keep them. But what this does is it tells us that when it comes to our brands, when it comes to expectations of our customers, we need to pay attention to what our customers are expecting. What is the experience that they’re wanting? And if they get the experience and the expectations met, they’re willing to spend the money that’s appropriate to go along with that. So, what you need to do is you need to go into your brand and you need to decide, all of us need to decide, is the experience equal to what they’re paying?

A lot of times, we might go in somewhere and expect to pay a low amount of money, and we tend to be okay if we get poor customer service or the experience itself just isn’t up to a higher-end value. This isn’t uncommon. That’s why you get some high-end lines such as Apple or Mercedes, Audi, just all these brands that tout themselves as an experience, and when they tout themselves as an experience, they tend to price themselves higher. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of pricing yourself higher is you tend to lose the appeal towards people who don’t have that kind of money, or businesses that don’t have that kind of money. And so, they go looking for lower priced items and they sacrifice their experience, but that doesn’t necessarily need to be the case. You can have a good experience for customers while not charging an arm and a leg.

Unfortunately, you do need to balance the cost of improving that experience with people or for your customers, but you can still offer the best experience possible with the money that they’re willing to spend. I think we all have that experience of going out and looking for items and products and trying to find the best value for our money. If you go to a website and it looks like a lower-end website but then they charge $2,000, you’re going to think that something’s wrong. There’s a disconnect that takes place. Make sure that you look at your experience as a whole, and make sure that your experience fits with the price point that you’re setting for your brand or your product, and that way your customers become happier. If your customers become happier, they’ll spend more money, and then your shareholders or stakeholders, those responsible for maintaining the brand, will be happy as well.

I hope this upcoming week that you’ll find a way that you can improve the experience that you offer your customers. Also, let me know down below of some times where you were blown away or the expectation that you had was not met. And what I mean is, were you expecting to spend more money or willing to spend more money but got a really bad experience because of it? Or, were you expecting to pay a lower amount but you were blown away by the experience, by what the company offered you even though you were spending a small amount? Let me know. I’d love to hear from you. I hope this week finds you well, and let’s make your brand better.

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