The Anti-laws of Luxury Marketing #11

11. The presumed price should always seem higher than the actual price

It is a telling fact that advertisements for luxury products often show only the product, without any descriptive copy, and certainly no prices. In the luxury world, price is something not to be mentioned. When you are dining in a top-class restaurant, do you select your dishes on the basis of price? Besides, in many such restaurants the guests’ menus do not show prices.

As a general rule, the imagined price should be higher than it really is. It’s the opposite in traditional marketing. Renault announced its Logan model as starting at $8500, but with the full set of options this would bring it up to $11,000. Every seller tries to attract consumers with a low price, a so-called introductory price, then tries to persuade the consumer to go up-range. EasyJet offers the prospect of round-trip tickets from London to Paris at around $45, but the number of seats available at that price are quickly sold.

In luxury, when an imagined price is higher than the actual price, that creates value and this result:

• When someone is wearing a Cartier Pasha watch, everyone around them more or less knows its price, but tends to overestimate it (on account of its aura of luxury). This increases the wearer’s standing.
• When offering someone a luxury gift, the gesture is all the more appreciated for the price being overestimated.
• And lastly, when advertised, the price is that of the top of the range.

Excerpted in part from: The Luxury Strategy: Break The Rules of Marketing to Build Luxury Brands by JN Kapferer and V. Bastien, in partnership with Kogan Page publishing.

Sponsored By: The Brand Positioning Workshop

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