Knowing when enough is enough and anchoring on the right price point were beautifully illustrated to me by a mechanic called Steve, who simply wants to provide value for money.

The guy that services our cars has been in his business for the 20 years that we’ve known him. We were referred to him because he was thought to be specialised in something we needed. He is, and he’s kept pace with car technology so there’s been no need for us to look elsewhere.

And another thing: if we do see a trend in car technology, we ask him what he thinks before we go to a main dealer. He doesn’t sell cars. Selling cars is all they care about.

At one point, Steve had to tell me a car hadn’t passed its MOT (road legal certificate) because the catalytic converter had failed. That car was worth about £2k and a new cat is £800. Rock and hard place.

We mulled it over for a few days, and Steve had a think too. From the serial number in the engine bay, Steve realised that our car had been built in Spain, where catalytic converters are required. In the UK, for whatever reason, the rule was different for cars of this age. So Steve suggested something. We took the cat off, stuck on a straight pipe and resubmitted the car for testing. It passed.

Enough was enough. Better was simpler. That car is now ten years older and still runs around our town problem-free.

The other benefit to Steve and me is that I trust him. His pricing – at £40 an hour, versus the main dealer £110 an hour, for workshop time – means I’m completely loyal. He has made more money out of me in 20 years than main dealers have, even when they’re the ones selling me cars. Whether he knew it or not, as a study in value proposition design and price anchoring, this is about as compelling as you get.

Keep it simple, keep it honest, focus on the consumer need, engender trust and a sense of value, and watch me become loyal beyond reason.

Steve did what was best for me, not him. Let’s face it, he could have stuck a margin onto the retail for a catalytic converter, hit me for half a day in the workshop and I may still have gone back to him – but the way it is, I won’t think about it. Consumer-centricity at its best.

So, here we are. An honest chap called Steve and a little Suzuki Samurai show us how to use value-based pricing.

Steve’s example is why we (room44) give you half a day of our time gratis when you start to think that we might be good to work with as you kick off your innovation journey.

It’s why we publish our price schedule in our newsletters.

It’s why we attract repeat business from existing customers.

Click here. Sign up for our newsletters and see what we do.

Future thinking. Future proofing. #room44innovates

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