Friday, August 18, 2006

Price discrimination - the "stupid premium"

I think you can have different opinions about price discrimination. You could say it's unfair to charge some consumers more for the same thing just because their willingness to pay is higher. The common trick in price discrimination is to alter the product in a little way to make it seem different (cooler designed chocolate boxes etc.) and you can identify those people ready to put money on the table.

On my recent holiday in Switzerland, I came across the most beautiful example of price discrimination. And in this case, I find it completely fair to overcharge those ready to buy this product. If you believe in such marketing tricks, you surely deserve to pay a premium for your stupidity.

In this case, the product was as simple as could be. I know there are people who argue that Evian tastes better than Vittel and so on, and that the Norwegian tap water sold in New York for $10 a bottle really is especially healthy, but this was even better. It seems that water is sold under the brand of Carpe Diem with three beautiful side effects. If you feel tired, you can choose "revitalising water". Or, if you're a bit upset, you can pick "calming water". But, my favourite, if you feel confused or missed your last yoga class, you can drink "harmonising water" instead. Isn't the modern world of marketing great? And now you can pay $5 for a bottle of water with a supposedly calming or harmonising effect. I don't know how successful this product has been in Switzerland so far, but given that they are ready to pay $7 for a little plate of tortilla chips ("because they are straight from family Gonzalez in Mexico"!), I'm sure harmonising water will be a huge success.

Yes, sometimes price discrimination is fair. Some people deserve to pay more. I'm enjoying my London tap water instead.

3 comments:

Forrest Gump said...

LOL !

-tvu said...

hehe... I don't know the Gonalez family from Mexico, but I do know the Rameriz family in Southern California, whose chips are WAY better! hehe...

N said...

excellent post