Packaging your products and services can be a powerful marketing technique to sell more and add extra value.
By packaging, we're not talking about how you wrap up the package. We're talking about the 'package offer' you present to your customers (sometimes called a 'bundled' offer).
A great example of this strategy is presented to you at fast food restaurants. When you buy a 'combo meal' for your child, you are buying a package deal. Instead of purchasing a soft drink, chips, and burger separately, it all comes together in a meal package. Packaging is so common in the fast food industry that 98% of all sales are package sales.
The benefits of packaging or bundling
Assembling multiple products or services to sell in a package not only increases your overall sales but also:
- gives you the ability to sell slow-moving merchandise
- automatically sells your customers more without you having to work for the sale
- lowers your marketing costs because it allows you to move multiple types of products or services through one advertisement
- in a joint venture it exposes your product or service to a new list of prospects
- promotes a higher perceived value to your customer
The list of benefits is long. Packaging and bundling provides a huge leverage in your business and your marketing efforts.
The psychology of combining products and services
The idea behind creating packaged deals is to combine products and services together and offer them at a lower price than you would pay if you purchased them individually. Bundling goods at a discount price plays a few psychological tricks on your mind and triggers your impulse to buy. When you see a bundled offer of interest your mind says:
- I want that product or service
- I'm going to need an extra unit of that product or service anyway (or, I'm also interested in the additional product or service that's being offered)
- they're offering me a pretty good price if I agree to buy more than one unit, so I will end up saving money in the long run
- I might as well save some money and take the bundled offer right now
Common examples of this are the 'Buy one, get one free' or '3 for the price of 2' offers frequently offered by supermarkets. Remember, marketing is simply a psychological battle that goes on in the mind of a consumer. It's a fight for balance between price and benefits. The winner will be the option that provides the best balance between those factors in the mind of your prospect. In other words, the best value in the mind of the consumer always wins.
What is value?
It's important to know what value is when developing packaged products or services, so let's take a moment to explain the true definition. Value is:
- always variable depending on the customer
- based on perception rather than reality
- a trade-off between price (the consumer's investment) and benefits (what they get)
Value is like an equation: value = perceived benefits/price.
Now let's play with the value equation to see how it works in the mind of a consumer.
Scenario 1: If price increases, and perceived benefits stay the same, value goes down.
Scenario 2: If perceived benefits increase, and price stays the same, value goes up.
Scenario 3: If perceived benefits increase, and price decreases, value goes right up.
As a marketer, you always want to position your offer with the value increasing. To do this you must either lower your price, increase your benefits, or increase your benefits more than you increase your price. Whatever you do, your value must increase, because that's how consumers choose you over your competitor.
You may be getting tired of the theoretical stuff, but it's important to understand this when creating a bundled offer. Why? Because if you bundle your products and services right, you will be able to add even more benefits to your customer at a lower unit price, thus dramatically increasing the value of your offer in the mind of the consumer.
Examples of packaging and bundling are everywhere. Just look around you when you go out to shop for men's and women's clothing. Merchandisers have figured out that people will buy matching belts, ties, scarves and even jewellery in different stores just to match the outfit they purchased at their store.
That's why you see men's suits with matching ties and shirts for one low price.
Using joint ventures to bundle products and services
If you don't have (or can't offer by yourself) multiple products or services, you may consider joint venturing to provide additional products or services from other businesses to bundle together with your offering.
For instance, if you run a men's clothing store, you could bundle the services of a local clothing tailor and a dry cleaner to provide a 'perfect-suit programme'. Your clothing shop sells the untailored suit, the tailor fits the suit, and the dry cleaner cleans it. Everyone benefits, resulting in more sales and new customers.
Suppose you were a marketing consultant and you noticed that many of your clients not only had marketing issues, but also bookkeeping and legal problems. Instead of doing a simple referral to other businesses you may consider forming a joint venture and offering a small business diagnostic service that all 3 parties (consultant, bookkeeper, and lawyer) sell to their clients.
How to develop a package offer
To develop different package offers, think of the problems that your customers often experience and the potential solutions that you offer to help solve them. Then think of something else you may be able to add to the package that costs you little but adds great value.
For instance, the following are 3 common problems that customers of various small businesses face and examples of potential packages that might be offered to solve each problem.
Example 1: Garage - customer problem - car deterioration in cold winter weather
Package offer - 'winter package'
Winter Silver Package:
- flush radiator
- new coolant
- oil change to lighter viscosity
- new window wipers and fluid
- mend windscreen damage
- Winter Silver Package + rust sealant package
- Winter Gold Package + new set of winter tyres
Winter Gold Package:
- Winter Silver Package + rust sealant package
Winter Platinum Package:
- Winter Gold Package + new set of winter tyres
Example 2: Hair salon - customer problem - need to look your very best for your wedding
Package offer - 'wedding day miracle makeover' (for brides and bridesmaids).
Wedding Day Miracle Makeover Basic Package:
- hair cut
- hair wash
- hair style / put up
Wedding Day Miracle Makeover Fashion Package:
- Wedding Day Miracle Makeover Basic Package + full facial + nail restoration
Wedding Day Miracle Makeover Supermodel Package:
- Wedding Day Miracle Makeover Fashion Package + beauty makeover
Example 3: Grocery shop - customer problem - you're hungry!
Package offer - 'chocolate sale special'
Chocolate Value Special:
- two 200g bars of chocolate
Chocolate Mega Value Special:
- two 200g bars of chocolate + 2 more 200g bars of chocolate
Important packaging and bundling principles
Now that you have reviewed these 3 examples, I hope that you get the idea of how to package products and services for maximum value and price. Let's take a moment and review each of these examples and pick out the important principles that you need to keep in mind when creating a package offer.
Principle 1 - all the packages offered were a solution to a customer's problem. Don't offer a packaged product or service unless it offers a solution to a problem. Why? Because people only buy things that solve problems they are experiencing.
Principle 2 - each offer actually had other offers that could be added to the lower-priced package. Giving the consumer choice is what packaging and bundling is all about. Providing options with increasing value is what motivates consumers to 'up-sell' for themselves by choosing the more expensive option.
Principle 3 - the names of the different packages denoted increasing value: silver, gold, platinum. Notice that each word has increasing value. Also notice that the name of the lowest package denoted value. That's why we started with silver instead of bronze. It says that even the lowest option is valuable.
Principle 4 - the products or services that can be added on to the basic package have a low cost to you. The 'add-ons' need to be cost effective because the incremental price you are charging needs to provide significant margin to the package.
Principle 5 - the chocolate example shows that you don't have to have different products to create a package. You can just add more of the same product.
Look around for packaging options
Yes, you do have packaging options in your business. You just need to open your eyes to find them. In some way, shape, or form, you can create unique packages of your product or service that will solve one or more of your customers' problems.
Packaging creates a higher perceived value by increasing the benefits and lowering the unit price. Examples of packaging and bundling are everywhere. If you don't have enough products or services to create a package offer, consider joint venturing with a business that does. Remember to provide a strong 'up-sell' option in your package by offering multiple options, each progressively more valuable and expensive.
This information is meant as a starting point only. Whilst all reasonable efforts have been made, the publisher makes no warranties that the information is accurate and up-to-date and will not be responsible for any errors or omissions in the information nor any consequences of any errors or omissions. Professional advice should be sought where appropriate.
Erthygl wreiddiol - CobWeb Info