Monday, November 03, 2008
Pricing of "The Same Thing"
Wow, a post that's not focused on Sophia!
This post may be something that my B-school friends can help me understand....
We were in Target yesterday getting various sundries and I went to grab some toothpaste. Lately, I've been picking up this Crest toothpaste with Scope. Not because I think it cleans my teeth any better, but simply because it tastes better. In my hunt to find that specific tube, I realized that there was a really wide variation in pricing even amongst the same brand.
I'm not talking about a different "kind" of toothpaste, I'm talking about the same paste that's in a tube. There's that gel stuff which comes in a little clear plastic container which stands up on its own. But I'm talking about the basic toothpaste.
So here's what I noticed...the really basic "no name" Crest & Colgate cost much less than all the other stuff. That's not surprising since those basic types have been around forever. But what about all those variations of whitening and mouthwash/minty fresh types? I figured they'd cost a bit more than the plain jane stuff, but all basically be in the same range.
But it turns out they all cost different amounts. The Crest with Scope costs a dollar more than Crest minty whitening stuff which looks and tastes almost the same. Why is that?
A dollar isn't really all that much in the grand scheme of things, but think of it this way...the Crest with Scope costs 33% more than Crest Whitening and 100% more than the plain-jane Crest!
Looking at it that way, I realized I didn't care enough about the Scope-i-ness so I just picked up the minty whitening version and I'm perfectly happy with that. I'd rather spend that buck on fries or coffee.
So B-school peeps...please explain to me how American consumers are put into this position? I doubt most people even realize there's this huge range in pricing for something as simple as toothpaste. I have my own thoughts and it pretty much revolves about marketing, shiny/new packaging, and general failure on the consumer's part to check prices, but man, what a surprise to see this wide range.