Tag Archives: pricing

Out Of Box Experience

cardboard shipping box Apple recently announced another blowout quarter, where sales ($46.3 billion) and profits yet again exceeded analyst’s expectations (how boring). It sells as many iPhones and iPads as it can make and its Mac computers are gaining share with both consumers and businesses.

Apple has become a premium brand – one which avoids the commodity trap and can charge higher prices than competitors such as HP, Samsung, Amazon, Sony, and Nokia. In an era of commoditized technology, how can it continue to do this? More importantly, how can you?

We needed another computer at the office anyway, so we thought we’d see how Apple seemingly defies gravity and what they do that you can too.

Let’s say you just picked up a new product – in our case an iMac. You could struggle with it in any number of ways.The box might be tough to open (clam shell cases), the instructions confusing, the package incomplete (you need special tools or supplies), the website fraught with unnecessary steps, the product too difficult or confusing for a typical customer… The list goes on and on.

If the experience were bad enough, you might return it. If it’s not that bad, you might keep it, but not get another of the same brand. Nor would you recommend it, and you might even pan it. First impressions count, so they should not be left to chance.

Apple has clearly thought long and hard about making a good first impression. Here’s what they do:


You may not be a firm on the scale of  Apple, but at least some of your competition is probably as ham-handed and flat-footed as major manufactures, retailers, and service providers. They find it easier not to bother with the rough edges of being their customers. You don’t have to. What are you going to do to make your out-of-box experience delightful?

Driving Into A Ditch

Hertz car rental joins Alamo, Enterprise, and National in raising rental by about 10%. Hmmm, we are in a recession, both business and consumer travel are decreasing. The cost of new vehicles of the type bought by rental companies are also falling as Detroit tries to unload its products.

Let’s not accuse the (in this case) car rental industry of being overly alert. According to today’s Wall St. Journal (10/29/08, p D5) other companies are “…going to wait and see what competitors do and then consider raising rates…”

This could be an opportune time to increase share and loyalty by keeping prices level. Speak to your customers concerns about the economy. Social networking programs would be particularly cost effective here. If your competition wishes to drive into a ditch in tandem, for example, by increasing prices at the wrong time – so much the better.