Monday, 16 March 2015

Never Knowingly Oversold

For many years John Lewis used the strap-line ‘never knowingly undersold’ and would match any price for the same goods. It was a good plan. John Lewis had and probably still has a reputation for being just a tad classier than other stores on the High Street. Waitrose is right up there, just below Marks & Spencer’s in most shoppers’ eyes I believe. Good stuff but you pay a little more would be the general perception and the marketing men like to attack those perceptions a little. I doubt if it cost them much as only a few people would bother to compare prices.

As a B2B marketer, I have always had this weird dream of using the strap-line ‘reassuringly expensive’. For my (many) sins, I have usually ended up working for market leaders who always wanted to focus on value rather than price. And we all know what that means, right?

However, my personal theory is as follows. No one buys on price. Not really. It is part of the decision of course but in a zillion surveys price is always fourth or fifth on the list. Whatever we are buying we want it to do what it says, to last, to taste good, to work and to solve our problems. Especially when we are at work, we do not want problems. We might buy own brand baked beans at home to save a few bob but at work we like to cover our behinds and get it right first time.

And if you are doing something important, something that has risk attached to it, the first thing on your mind is not buggering it up. So if you are choosing a business partner, product or service to help you do something with potential downsides, quality is higher on your list than price. In fact, if the price of something or someone looks too cheap, we are immediately suspicious.

I had this conversation with a client the other week. Our price was much higher than an alternative and he wanted to know why. And as always the devil was in the details. We were intending to go that bit further you see, and for good reasons. In this instance, our price was reassuringly expensive because it proved our attention to detail, our desire to keep our clients completely data safe.

I have said it before and I will say it again, disposing of data bearing equipment is risk management, plain and simple. If your data is breached, you get fined and maybe even publicly humiliated. It’s not good and you want to avoid that, almost at all costs. So you want to work with someone who understands the risks but is reasonable about them.

I never overplay the risks. People are blasé about their data because relatively few get caught. The same thing used to apply to drink-driving and speeding when I was younger. There were no speed cameras back then, no Christmas road blocks to worry about. So people took chances. Businesses take similar chances with their data all the time.

eReco look to eliminate risk. We have two overriding principles, sustainability and data security, and our service offers as close to 100% on both as is humanly possible. That adds costs. It is quite inevitable and, as I tell anyone who wants to cut costs, reducing the price means cutting corners. It is possible to erase data without paying a license fee, but the data is technically recoverable. So that is a risk. Your choice sunshine.

In broad terms, if you are getting rid of a lot of stuff, you will find us more cost effective. If you are getting rid of 2 PC’s and a monitor, it might look a bit steep when you see the bill. That is just economies of scale. But if you are concerned about the law, and about the risks of not abiding by it, you will not be focussed on the price.