A few years ago, I was driving to a speaking engagement in South Carolina when I stopped to get gas.
Waiting in line for the bathroom at the gas station, I looked at large bins of over-the-counter medicine—pain relievers, antihistamines, sleep aids, etc.
They were cheap—approximately $1 apiece for a small box of each—but not a great value at 4 tablets per box. Still, I admired their marketing appeal as an impulse purchase.
The sleep aid was in a blue box and the antihistamine was in a pink box. As I continued to wait for the bathroom—the person ahead of me was taking forever—I noticed something odd.
Same Drug, Different Packages
The blue and pink boxes contained the exact same drug. Different dosages, but the exact same drug.
Through different packaging, people would buy them as two different products, to solve two different problems—”I’m itchy” versus “I can’t sleep.” This applies to your work, too!
Look at Your Agency’s Packaging
Look at your agency’s services. Are you packaging them the right way? Does your marketing language resonate with your ideal clients?
I’m helping a client develop packages for their agency’s services. They serve two types of software startups—early-stage and Series A.
Those clients have very different expectations; early-stage software startups are building their product, while Series A startups are focused on growing traction. Yet the two kinds of startups have overlap when it comes to the agency’s services—they need strategy, implementation, and training. They also need help moving their products forward.
Ultimately, my client decided to have a single services page with sub-pages to appeal to each client niche. The goal is to show each type of startup that the agency “gets” them.
Packaging Impacts Value, Which Impacts Price, Which Impacts Profits
Consider job titles—content strategists tend to get paid more then “mere” copywriters. Should they get paid more, or is it just marketing? It depends on the person—but they’ve illustrated the power of language.
Value: Making $25,000 or $125,000?
If someone is organized, they could be an administrative assistant—where they’ll make $25,000 to $40,000. Or they could be a project manager—and make $40,000 to $125,000. Or they could apply the same skillset as an executive assistant—and make $60,000 to $100,000.
The higher-paying rules require more experience and, importantly, higher levels of responsibility. But in any ambitious person’s career arc, there are times when they lever-up to make themselves more valuable.
Marketing Advice… Business Advice… or Business Results
Does your agency sell marketing advice? Or business advice? Clients pay more for business advice. And they pay even more for business results.
Higher prices imply higher value, and leads to client self-selection. One agency owner mentioned that his $4,000 clients often have more unreasonable expectations than his $75,000 clients.
Are you satisfied with where your agency is today, or do you aspire to more? Packaging (and positioning) isn’t just marketing—it’s a choice about self-identity. What do you choose?
Image credit: Karl Sakas