What does, “it’s too expensive,” mean?
“It’s too expensive,” rarely means, “we can’t afford it.” Often, it actually means, “it’s not worth it.” This is a totally different analysis, of course.
Culturally, we create boundaries for what something is worth. A pomegranate juice on the streets of Istanbul costs a dollar, and it’s delicious. The same juice in New York would be seen as a bargain for five times as much money. Clearly, we’re not discussing the ability to pay nor are we considering the absolute value of a glass of juice. No, it’s about our expectation of what people like us pay for something like that.
Start with a tribe or community that in fact does value what you do. And then do an ever better job of explaining and storytelling, increasing the perceived value instead of lowering the price. (Even better, actually increase the value delivered).
Over time, as influencers within a tribe embrace the higher value (and higher price) then the culture starts to change. When people like us start to pay more for something like that, it becomes natural (and even urgent) for us to pay for it too.
(1) “Start with a tribe or community that in fact does value what you do.” Cf. The biggest risk of freemium.
(2) Thank you Daniel Reidler for introducing me to Seth Godin’s remarkable blog.