Who wants your money? Everybody. We live on a capitalist planet, and if you need fewer rules to live by in a complicated society, here’s one of the best. “Everyone is out to get your money.”
By hook or by crook, by lies, damned lies, or statistics, or by psychological influence, every company that makes or sells anything wants your money. Including Apple.
This week I came across an article on how Royal Caribbean uses psychological tricks to get passengers to spend more money. What a shock!
We know what products cost, right? We always compare correctly, right? Not so fast.
Mark Matousek explains some of the jibber-jabber that gets us to spend more money.
Behavioral economics, a hybrid discipline that fuses economics and psychology, suggests otherwise.
We’re not as good at comparing prices as we think we are.
Reference points can arise from several factors — for example, you might compare a TV against other TVs in a store, the last TV you bought, and the total price of the goods and services you plan to purchase in addition to the TV.
That kind of thinking distorts the comparison. Even cruise lines do it.
If your reference point for what that cruise should cost is $1,800, then buying the drink package to make your total pre-cruise expense $1,600 still feels like a deal. And once you’re on the cruise, you’re less likely to consider the cost of the drink package when buying other items, meaning you’re likely to spend more overall.
Does Apple do the same thing? Yes.
So, you need a new Mac? A fancy 16-inch MacBook Pro starts at about $2,300; or, put another way, twice the price of a MacBook Air. Or, put another way, the same price as an original iMac in 1998, but in 2019 dollars.
Macs are cheap, right?
That original Mac was priced at $2,495 but in 2019 dollars, the same amount would be over $6,000, or enough to get you the entry-level Mac Pro, or a tricked out iMac Pro.
Were Apple’s AirPods too expensive for you at $169? By comparison, they seem cheap when considered next to the AirPods Pro at $259.
Apple has other weighs to influence our decision-making processes, including simple items like the packaging. Amazon is all about brown cardboard. Most Apple products are packaged in white boxes that are elegant by comparison. Such product packaging tells us that Apple’s products are worth it– regardless of the price tag.
Few companies are better than Apple at squeezing profits from a product, and selling the product in such a way as to make customers feel as if we are making a good deal. It is Apple that is making the good deal. We’re simply buying the feeling.