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The psychology of pricing is more relevant than you’d expect. The fact that some tricks have been used since cavemen drew $9.99 on walls, surprisingly doesn’t make the tricks less effective today. So today we’ll recall what we know about the psychology of pricing, i.e. the forces that make people perceive the product as cheaper, better, or just feel that "the price is right".
I have a friend who is a passionate FC Barcelona supporter. Once, when his team lost, I found him in the kitchen wiping tears off his face. So I asked a logical, or so I assumed, question: how did he become a fan? My friend stopped crying and visibly concentrated. “I think it all started when I bought the FC Barcelona T-shirt”, he finally said. I kept wondering: “So first you bought a T-shirt and then you became a fan?” He nodded.
We know that loads of our buying choices are emotional rather than rational. However, when it comes to specific emotions, such as sexual arousal or fear… Things get much more complicated. Sure, sometimes these messages work. For anyone that doesn’t believe in the power of a fear-based message, conventional marketers suggest going into a building and screaming "fire". However, for marketers, knowing that something works in some cases is not enough. We have to know when, how, and with what products you can scare the customer into going for it.