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Industry aware, but distinct

Setting your price like no one else does, without any context, can be a disorienting experience for clients, especially if your market insight leaves a lot to be desired. The problem with that plan is its hit-or-miss character: you could strike it big, or strike out, with not much in between.

On the other hand, pricing exactly like everybody else does means consigning your business success to be determined by a volatile concoction of luck and advertising. The problem with that plan is that it sometimes works, but you can never really count on it.

There is a “middle road” here, and that can be summarised with an expression I learned from my friend Chloé Nwangwu, the brand scientist: Industry aware, but distinct.

To use it in a pricing context, it’s necessary to pinpoint your target market and who you want that market to compare you to. When that’s done, it’s possible to search for and find all of the usual price points:

1) What do the lowest serious price points look like?
2) What is the highest commonly proposed price?
3) What are typical client budgets?**

Once you can gather all that, you will see typical price points for affordable, luxury, and middle-market packages, and therefore be able to position yourself in relation to one of them, with a clear distinction between you and the alternatives expressed in brand communication, including the price.

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