Good, Better, Best – Do It Right!

Apple_-_iPhone_-_Compare_Models

It is a great feeling when readers tell me they’ve implemented good, better, best because of what they’ve read. (Actually it’s a great feeling that people read the blog, let alone take action.) Then, when they went on to describe what they had done, it became obvious I left out an important detail.

Several times in the past couple months I’ve heard from people who implement good, better, best by creating low, medium, and high priced offerings. The low priced product had the least number of features, the medium had more and the high even more. So far so good.

Then they went on to describe what features made up each package. It almost seemed random as to how the features were assigned to which offering. As an example, the low end product had some features that were not in medium or high. This is not best practice in good, better, best.

The problem with this implementation is we force buyers to make a difficult choice.  They must choose between a lower end package that has a feature they want and higher end packages that also have other features they want.  They are trading off features between packages, trying to decide which package has the features that are most important.

The power of good, better, best comes in its simplicity. Buyers who have a hard time deciding, buy the one in the middle because it’s better than the good product and less expensive than the best. However, this only works if the product offerings build on each other.

In other words, your better product should be everything that is in good plus more. Your best product should be everything that’s in better, plus more. Don’t make your buyers think too much.

Let’s take a look at iPhones. Apple always offers 3 versions of each model of iPhone based only on the amount of memory. This is a wonderful implementation of good, better, best.  When someone buys the one with the most memory, they get everything that’s in the lower offering plus more.  It’s simply a price for feature decision.

However, Apple also gives you the choice of the iPhone 5s, the 6 or the 6+. This is NOT good, better, best. Even though they are low, medium and high priced, they do not build on each other. If you want a phone that is not “too big” you will purchase the 5s or the 6, but not the 6+.  Even “rich” people may prefer the 6 to the 6 plus.

Good, better, best is a powerful technique to structure your products and prices, but you want to be sure to do it right. One goal is to simplify the decisions your customers need to make. The only trade-off they should be making in their minds is price for features, not choosing between features.  We do this by making sure the best product has everything the better has plus more and the better has everything the good has plus more.  Good luck.