Price Flexibility–Why there’s never any whining over expensive wine!

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The funny thing about wine is that it makes everybody think they need to act sophisticated.

You’re supposed to detect hints of chocolate and bleu cheese with a leathery finish, whatever that means. If you say it tastes like exquisitely fermented grapes, you run the risk of being called a peasant.

The Stanford Graduate School of Business did a study that measured the brain activity of subjects as they sipped two samples of wine.

Both samples came from the same bottle, but the subjects were told that one sample came from a $45 bottle while the other one cost only five bucks.

You would expect most of the experimental subjects to say they preferred the more expensive wine sample.

And that is what happened, with a weird twist.

You see, the MRI machine revealed increased activity in the prefrontal cortex as subjects drank the wine they thought was more expensive.

This might be a placebo effect, but the result is the same. When you merely think something is more expensive or valuable, it actually causes your brain to experience more pleasure.

You can tap into this phenomenon in your marketing.

Will All Your Clients Pay More?

You’re probably expecting me to tell you to raise your prices. And you might be wondering whether your clients will go along with that, expecially these days when everybody’s supposed to be running out of money.

Luckily there’s an easier way.

Just offer a “deluxe” version of what you already do. Add some extras, maybe even mark up a complimentary service, and you may be surprised at the number of takers who line up to buy it.

If you’re really ambitious, add a continuity program to the mix. (I’ll tell you how in a future newsletter.)

The Stanford Study suggests that some of the additional satisfaction your clients will feel actually comes from the hefty price tag you’re going to put on these extras. So mark up your services. You deserve it.

You’ve probably heard more than you want to about the devastating plight of retailers. Yet the luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Burberry are on a winning streak.

How would you like to be the Christian Dior of your industry? Find a way to charge more, at least some of the time. Go a few extra miles, send your premium clients a bottle of wine every now and then, and brand yourself as the luxury option.


To get ahead in business, you have to stand out from the competition. You have to do something different. You have to be bold.

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