Selling Good, Better, Best
Make It Difficult For Your Customers to Say No
By Lois Boyle
What is good, better, best? It's a selling technique that merchandisers have used for decades, most notably Sears, Roebuck and Co. Correctly presented, it gives customers the ability to purchase the item that most closely fits their needs and their budget. When well executed, it enables marketers to upsell and increase the average order size.
For example, imagine three stereos all providing a quality sound system. Two of them have the added feature of loading up to 12 CDs at a time, but one is clearly the market leader with exceptional speakers. In this example, the merchandiser has provided three unique buying opportunities, hopefully with three unique price points, fulfilling the needs of any customer who might be in the market for a new stereo system.
While this merchandise technique can be very successful, you also run the risk of actually inhibiting the purchase decision. How? By not providing enough information to quickly allow readers to discern the unique benefits of each product and therefore, not allowing for an easy decision path. Instead readers will have to labor through undistinguished copy and will most likely put off the buying decision. Just creating a good, better, best option is not enough.
Telling the Story
Pictures and copy alone don't give readers enough information to distinguish between three seemingly similar products. The only time this might work is when a product's appearance is reason enough to charge more. Even then, you must explain why that particular look is so special that customers should be willing to part with a few extra dollars.
In direct marketing you don't have the advantage of physically explaining to customers all the attributes of multiple product choices or even to demonstrate how one product is better than another. Instead, you must carefully craft your presentation on the printed page so there is a logical decision path that guides readers and explains product differentiation.