Personas and Pricing

Buyer-personas

Pragmatic Marketing’s October highlighted activity is personas.  So how does this relate to pricing?  In many ways, but let’s split this topic in two’s, buyer and user personas.  Recall that in general, we build products to solve problems for user personas and we market our products to buyer personas.  

But before we start pricing for personas, remember the general rule, Charge what our customers are willing to pay.

User Personas and Pricing – Different user personas have different willingnesses to pay.  This is logical because different users have different problems they are solving which drives a different value proposition.

For instance, imagine we are selling lawn care products to two different personas, a homeowner and the greenskeeper of a high end country club.  The expectations of results are very different.  The homeowner’s problem is to keep the lawn green enough that the neighbors don’t complain.  The greenskeeper on the other hand needs the lawn to look perfect so new members will join and current members will not go find a better place.  Two different user personas, two very different problems, two extremely different willingnesses to pay.

The solution to charging homeowners and greenskeepers two different prices is usually to create two different products.  This is one reason why in many industries we see the “handyman” versions and the “pro” versions of products.

Buyer Personas and Pricing – To price well for buyers, we must understand their buying process.  Different buyers use different processes.  Although it is very difficult to generalize on this topic, here is one of my favorite examples.

Imagine buyers at two different companies, a huge multinational conglomerate and a small company.  If you were to ask which one is more price sensitive, the answer may surprise you.  The huge company hires purchasing agents that are brutal negotiators.  They get the best deals possible on everything that matters.  Note the last three words, “everything that matters”.  For large volumes and large dollar values, the huge company is very price sensitive and will undoubtedly get the best price possible.

However, for small volumes, huge companies are horrible at negotiating and finding the best deals.  It’s barely worth their time.  Yet, for small volumes, our smaller company cares a lot about the price, because they only buy in small volumes.  The small company will shop around for the best price, stock up on cheap inventory, anything they can to keep their costs lower.

When you understand the buying process each buyer persona uses, you have the opportunity to capture higher prices.  In PragmaticPricing history you will find many posts on how price segmentation works.  These are the techniques we need to employ to charge different buyers different prices.

To summarize, knowing your user and buyer personas will effect your pricing decisions.  We frequently create different products (at different prices) for different user personas and we should use price segmentation techniques to charge different buyer personas different prices.

 

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