This is a classic example of the 4Ps of marketing. Product, price, place, promotion. A couple of weekends ago I was in London with my family. As we rounded a corner, we came across a lovely Christmas market (PLACE), with wooden huts festooned with twinkling lights and tinsel.
One of the stalls was demonstrating miniature drones (PRODUCT) – remote controlled mini-helicopters with 4 propellors. They were very cute, and the vendor was sending them right up into the sky and down again (PROMOTION).
My son was transfixed! After a very long day walking around London he had been trudging along, looking forward to getting back to our apartment, but suddenly he was alive again, desperate to have a go. We got chatting to the guy on the stall, and he explained how robust these little toys were, and how much research he had done before settling on this particular model. He seemed really keen and genuine, and had us hooked. My daughter even offered to contribute to the cost of buying one so that she could have a go.
Worth the price?
They were selling for £25 (PRICE) – £5 over the agreed ‘budget’ for weekend treats. However, with my daughter’s contribution, we all left happy with a drone in the bag and instructions to check out YouTube for loads of ideas on how to play with it.
My husband had been hanging back though – he was evidently thinking ‘You could get those cheaper online’ but didn’t want to spoil the fun. And that was exactly the point. Although we could have got it cheaper (by £10 it turns out), we wouldn’t have had the same experience. The festive, friendly atmosphere, the excitement on my son’s face, a souvenir of our trip, our relationship with Craig, the vendor, following him on Instagram and seeing lots of pictures of the drones in action, getting it straight away and playing with it.
In actual fact, within half an hour of getting it home and playing with it, it stopped working … but because we believed that Craig was a genuine guy, we took it back the next day. He greeted us warmly, and asked how we were getting on. When we explained, he immediately apologised and replaced it, with no hesitation at all.
Ordering it online would have meant a couple of days delay for it to be delivered in a brown, generic box. No personality, no memories of the experience – just click and deliver. If it had broken, we would have had to package it up again, post it, wait for a replacement to arrive.
The moral of the story
For me, the whole experience was well worth the extra £10. It was the right product, in the right place, promoted well and therefore we happily paid an inflated price.