We have some more Top Tips by Ellen O’Hara, Head of Business Development at Cockpit Arts.
There’s no doubt that getting your pricing right is a crucial part of your marketing and business strategy as a designer-maker.
As part of the Pricing Decision series I am looking at three key areas: Cost, Market and Value, as well as how different pricing strategies fit with the overall goals, for your practice and business.
My last post looked at price and the market. This time I will explain how percieved value affects price.
As a designer-maker creating unique work for a niche market, pricing should be most influenced by the value received by your customer.
Your customers will tend to buy from you because your work is different from the other options available. That difference is your value and it can be worth a premium price. So when it comes to price setting, it’s the customer’s perception of value that counts.
Taking a value based approach to your pricing means:
- identifying what your customers value and
- determining what they are willing to pay
The value of your work is derived from the many features and benefits that buying a piece of your work can offer.
So think about what benefits a customer receives by engaging with you and purchasing your work. For instance, some customers may value the prestige that owning a piece of work provides. For others it may be high the quality finish or the technical skill that your work displays.
For other customers, the experience of commissioning work from a maker, being able to meet with them in their studio and co-create a piece of work that is highly personal to them might be what they prize. And they might be willing to pay more than you think!
Large companies use survey methods to help them evaluate customer values. As a maker, you can get to know your customers by engaging with them at shows, exhibitions and other events. Ask questions and solicit feedback. Ask existing customers why they buy from you, what they value and in what order of priority.
If you sell through galleries or other retailers, find out who is buying your work. What kind of customer are they and why does the gallery or shop owner think they like your work? You may have to experiment a little with price levels to begin with, but be bold and don’t undervalue yourself.
Remember that how you price your work sends out messages to your audience about its value. Similarly, knowing what your customers value the most helps to inform how you market and sell yourself. Value is, of course, subjective and not every customer will need your work and its unique benefits. A relatively high price may well deter some potential consumers. However, it will also attract others who truly value what you have to offer. And in the long term, it is these customers that you want to be cultivating.
In the next post we’ll be looking at how price relates to your goals in the final of the pricing decision series.
Let us know how you get on by leaving a comment on your experiences in making your own pricing decisions.