Keep Your Brand Strong with Effective Pricing

What good is a business without a strong brand? A brand is what helps you define your business in the eyes of a consumer. Without a strong brand identity, your business has no foundation or character. Building a brand can be one of the most exciting parts about running a business, and one of the most useful.

Often your brand positioning defines price, and since 84 percent of consumers cite price as the largest influence on purchase, you could say it’s a pretty valuable aspect to running your business. But why? Why isn’t price based on something more objective, like quality? Well, often times quality perception is formed around a brand. Is the iPhone the fastest phone on the market? It’s debatable and in many ways subjective, but Apple is the most valuable brand in the world, and their prices reflect that.

Be a Social Butterfly

First, you have to look at two things: how you perceive your brand, and how consumers perceive your brand. Any gap between the two is where you can grow. You want to be the ideal brand for hiking, but people only buy your clothes for the sake of fashion? Become more rugged. You want to be a personable brand that people view as “down to earth” but people think your ads are condescending? Be more helpful.

But how do you know what people think of you? And how do you change their mind? By taking advantage of one of the best innovations of the 21st century; social media. Social media breaks down any barrier between you and your customers, and people’s interactions with your page can give you an idea of what they think of you. 

Lots of complaints on your page? Then it’s time for you to change something. Close to 66 percent of customers have liked a page, and 80 percent pay attention to updates. Facebook is the most impressionable medium, so be sure to monitor and respond to complaints swiftly. Three-quarters of customers rely on social media for purchase decisions, and 81 percent of customers are influenced by friends’ posts. Come off as friendly and engaging, addressing people’s complaints and you can change your brand to a more personable one.

Stay Beautiful, Inside and Out

Another way you can strengthen your brand is with your website. No one is going to take a company with an ugly user interface seriously (unless that’s part of your brand identity, of course). Optimize your site for desktop and mobile visitors. Nearly half of smartphone users access desktop websites because the mobile site is too sloppy, so make sure it’s pretty on all screens. A responsive, aesthetically pleasing website with large pictures and in-depth product descriptions are the beginning of a pleasant user experience.

Make sure your customer service is just as cooperative as your website. Approximately 55 percent of upset customers will email you with their complaint, so make sure to respond appropriately. Treat the customer like royalty, after all, they are the reason why you are in business. If they want to return products, offer free return shipping. Show your return policy at the original time of purchase; 66 percent of customers will view it. What are they going to be looking for? Well, 68 percent want free return shipping, and 58 percent want a no-questions-asked return. Just be cooperative, it will add a ton of value to your brand. Speaking of costs, you know what will add value to your brand?

Have a Price that Justifies a ‘Nice’

First of all, don’t shape your brand around price. Let your brand justify the price, not vice versa. Be known as the brand that is prestigious, friendly, and well priced. How can you do that? Understand how you compare to your competitors in terms of price by benchmarking against them. Adopt a dynamic pricing strategy to take full advantage of this monitoring. Dynamic pricing allows you to change prices in accordance with market changes to make sure you have the right product, at the right time, at the right price. Automating the entire pricing process can make sure you are the most dependable, valuable brand in your industry. Dynamic pricing will follow market and competitor trends to make sure your price matches your brand.

Your brand image is crucial, but it’s important to remember how easy it is to compare prices online. A good price on your products can make a customer that much more comfortable with their purchase decision. Nothing is safe from repricing, not even the King James Bible. Reports have shown that Amazon has changed the bible’s price 100 times in 5 years, so you have to stay on your toes no matter what you’re selling. Automating the price comparison process can incorporate business intelligence into your price strategy. Your brand as a retailer can be incredible, but if customers find the same item you’re selling on a competitor’s site at a much lower price, you could lose a sale.

A good brand can spur consumer interest and help you stand out from the competition. Understanding where you stand in the minds of consumers and competitors can help you price effectively and seal the deal. So go ahead, find the sweet spot for your prices.

How else can retailers strengthen their brands with their pricing strategy?

Brian Smyth

Brian Smyth is a former content writer at Wiser, a dynamic pricing and merchandising engine for online retailers. He holds a BS in business with a concentration in marketing from San Francisco State University.

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