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HomeNEWSData digest: what is the perception of value?

Data digest: what is the perception of value?

The value of an item is often in the eye of the beholder – or the company marketing it. Take lobster, for example. In the 17th century, lobster was a food served to lowly prisoners and servants and only became a luxurious, exotic dish after a rebrand in the late 1900s. We look at how the value of a product is created and perceived.

It will be a shock to some that lobster was once so abundant that it was eaten by the poor and even used as cat food.

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But an effective and subtle marketing strategy can change everything.

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Once lobster was touted as an “exotic dish” by enterprising railway companies and served on trains, it began a journey towards becoming a high-class dish.
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Now days, lobster is a hot commodity and is usually the most expensive item on the menu.

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By emphasising how a product or service is provided, like serving lobster in a fine dining carriage far away from the ocean, businesses can change the perceived value of the product through its story.
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rnThis also occurred with diamonds. Before 1870, diamonds were very rare, but then diamond pipes in South Africa were discovered.

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Some were worried their value would decrease, so a clever cartel called De Beers took control of the influx of diamonds and created the perception that they were still rare.
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rnThe cartel also paid movie producers to have scenes where a diamond was featured, such as a man gifting one to a woman.

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This led to Marilyn Monroe’s ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ performance.

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This, paired with an ad campaign declaring that ‘a diamond is forever’, created huge exposure and demand for the product.
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rnAs of last year, 75 percent of American brides last year wore a diamond engagement ring at an average of US$4000.
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rnGoing against the grain

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Ancient grains aren’t a newly discovered commodity, as people have eaten them for many centuries and yet sales are surging for them.
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Consumers associate the ancient grains with health and simplicity, which is a great attribute to be linked to, as being health-conscious is increasingly trendy.

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An article published in USA Today polled 30,000 consumers and found younger people are more concerned about everything from food ingredients to organic foods than previous generations.

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Almost half (41 percent) of Generation Z, which is individuals under 20 years old, would be willing to pay more for healthier products.

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A third (32 percent) of Millennials were the same, while only 21 percent of baby boomers would pay more.

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In terms of ancient grains, nutrtionist Cynthia Harriman says if they’re mentioned on a product label, you can increase the price by 50 to 300 percent.
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An example of this is the New Zealand made ‘Chia’ drink, which is made up of the ancient grain, chia seeds.
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It uses an interesting backstory to market its products as a ‘real food’ endurance sports drink.

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According to the company’s website, chia seeds helped the Tarahumara Indians of Northern and Central Mexico in their long distance runs through the desert.

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 It retails for around $6 a pop, so it isn’t in the low-ball price range.

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It is now stocked in more than 400 cafés and speciality food stores nationwide, with Chia orders having doubled over the past six months.
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rnAbout 10,000 bottles of the jelly-like drink are produced per week.
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rnYou’re drinking what you’re thinking
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rnAccording to Vouchercloud’s infographic, the top reasons why customers pay more for the same products are:

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  • The products are easier to buy
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  • The product arrives more quickly
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  • The product brings the buyer prestige
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  • Lower cost of ownership
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  • Friendly customer service
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Despite the quality of the product itself, consumers will rate products as higher quality if they come from a company they’ve perceived to have higher brand value.
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rn Research has also found that “charm prices” increase sales by about 24 percent when compared to nearby, rounded prices.
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Some sense can be derived from these customer choices and perceptions, but a lot of the time, they can’t even be explained by the customers themselves.
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rnImage Centre Group executive director and New Zealand ad guru Mike Hutcheson says, “You’re drinking what you’re thinking”, as often this is the case, even if it’s subconsciously.

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A study involving wines actually proved this was true, as it found more German wine than French wine was bought when German music was played in store.

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When the customers were asked why they chose the German wine over the French wine, none of them mentioned the music as a deciding factor.
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rnInfographics provided by Vouchercloud

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