Fact or Fiction: Expensive products are more effective.

Written by Catherine Atzen, CIDESCO, MBA, founder of ATZEN Superior to Organic™ Skin Care

Throughout history and across cultures all over the world, people believe that they get what they pay for. In a competitive market, goods are priced a certain way because there is a correlation between what the consumer gets and what the consumer pays for. There is a lot of competition in the skin care market; there are many large and small brands, none of which are dominant. For the most part, the market forces set pricing for skin care products.

 

 

There is a wide spectrum of prices for skin care products. On the low end, a cream can cost a few dollars; on the other side of the spectrum, a cream can cost $600. The demand exists for all price points because they provide a certain set of values to the consumer. It is also relative, however, to what consumers and skin care professionals are willing to spend.

Some high-end ingredients cost manufacturers several thousands of dollars per pound. Furthermore, one ingredient exists in different qualities, with the higher-quality ingredient costing more. Those realities justify a higher price point. Nevertheless, consumers and professionals cannot just accept and judge the effectiveness of a product purely based on its price. Do not accept that premise on faith alone; do the research and determine whether vendors are over-pricing their products. Do not get fooled by companies that market their brand with enormous advertising budgets, benefit from brand recognition, and, because of that, command an artificially inflated price.

Pricing a Skin Care Product
When it comes to pricing a product, the determining factors are the product itself, including the cost of the ingredients, packaging, manufacturing, and testing; the company's overheads; and the brand. For a lesser-known brand, the cost of the product may represent about 95 percent of the pricing while the brand represents only five percent. For a high-end and well-known brand, the cost of the product will represent about 30 percent while the brand is about 70 percent of the cost. For a mid-priced and well-known brand, a significant percent of the price is still represented by the brand.

People are willing to pay more because they perceive that they will get better results; it makes them feel as if they are partaking in a luxurious lifestyle and belong to an elite group. In short, it makes them feel valuable.

Three Main Groups
Consumers and professionals fall into three main groups. The first group is afraid of expensive brands because they feel there is no value in them. They believe all products are pretty much the same. It is likely that they have never tried high-end products and have no experience in comparing them with the less expensive products with which they are familiar and comfortable. They will, most likely, never buy high-end products.

The second group is convinced that if the product is not expensive, it is not good; they will only buy well-known, expensive brands. Even if they are presented with a $100 cream that is a better product, they will, more than likely, not believe it and not buy it.

The third group has experience with both expensive and inexpensive products and is better equipped to judge the difference. They compare ingredients and ask questions about the percent of actives in the product. This group does research; spends time on manufacturers' websites to learn about the company and their values, product development, philosophy, and differentiation; and acquires detailed product information. They do not trust companies that do not disclose all of their ingredients and only list a few ingredients perceived as desirable.

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