There's a bit of magic involved in pricing, particularly if you're a luxury brand. Charge too much and you'll alienate a percentage of buyers. Charge too little and people may wonder if your product is up to snuff. But regardless of your sweet spot a few tactics can help you nudge consumers into opening up their wallets. That's according to David Noto, owner of Altaneve, a premium Italian sparkling wine that launched in the U.S. a year and a half ago and to date has sold 2,400 cases in more than 100 northeastern U.S. locations, with plans to expand into Las Vegas and California within the next few months.
Here's Noto's advice on how you can convince consumers that your product is worth their money.
Think about the why.
In Noto's case, it involved teasing apart what it means to be the highest quality sparkling wine. "What makes one brand better than another?" he suggests asking yourself. "And that links back to brand story, brand promises, packaging [and] marketing, etc."
Be as transparent as possible.
Once you have identified what makes your product special make sure you're communicating to potential buyers about the time, energy, resources and care that goes into delivering it. "Consumers should be able to see this and know why they're paying the price for it," he says. In other words, tell the story about your high-quality materials, special production methods or exemplary expertise.
Connect with customers in person.
Noto says that while he has employees who act as brand ambassadors, really the person most passionate about his wine is himself. It's the reason he does as many in-person events as possible in addition to sharing photos from wine tastings with fans on social media.
Perfect your packaging.
Take a cue from Apple--this is another area in which you can impress people. Noto spent about a year designing Altaneve's bottle, label and cartons to make the packaging look upscale and communicate through a clean snowflake design and a unique clear bottle that the wine comes from the steep foothills of the Italian Dolomites. "If there is a certification [it] should also be clearly identified on the packaging so people can see as quickly as possible that your product is better," he says.
Find unique ways to reinforce your brand promises.
For example, through events such as mini sailboat races in Central Park or black-tie ice skating in front of the Statue of Liberty Noto seeks to plant the idea in customers' minds that his Prosecco creates an occasion out of the ordinary and makes life sparkle. "But it's somewhat elusive because brand promises don't have to be something that you ever tell a consumer," he says. "It doesn't have to be outright[ly] said but it's something that really guides your company."
Luxury brands: Never let consumers think they're getting your product for free.
Altaneve partners on events with other luxury brands such as Bulgari, Ferrari, Canali and Maserati, but to the consumers attending them it always appears as if the wine is provided at a premium. For example, the company sponsored an event hosted by the Italian Chamber of Commerce but the people who attended paid $500 a plate to get in so "free" is the last thing anyone likely associated with Altaneve. "I've been very careful about what I sponsor because when you give things away for free your product has zero value in people's minds," he says. "So the mental anchor point for your product has to be a high value if it's luxury. And to do that you can't give it away."