What Kobe Beef Teaches About Flower Pricing

Looking at how people respond to Kobe beef teaches a lot about how customers react to premium options/prices, and that can help sell more flowers.

What Kobe Beef Teaches About Flower Pricing

Think about you may have reacted to first hearing about Kobe beef.

First – surprise. It never occurred to most people that beef could be so expensive.

Next – curiosity. If it’s that expensive it must be good, right? Here we see the automatic association between cost and quality. We generally assume higher cost equals higher quality.

What happens next? It depends on the person.

For some, nothing changes. They’re perfectly happy eating the beef they have always known.

At the other end of the spectrum there are the people that have to try it. They had no idea that they wanted a more expensive beef option but, once presented, it’s almost irresistible. They have to try it and, if they like it, they become regular consumers.

In the middle are people that might try it if the opportunity presented itself, at which point they might become convinced of the value and become more regular consumers.

For the people that do end up trying and liking it there is one other potential outcome in the form of Wagyu beef*. Better and more expensive than regular beef, less desirable and less expensive than Kobe beef Wagyu represents an acceptable compromise.

This also illustrates how important Kobe beef is even if it doesn’t sell. Just by being offered it makes Wagyu, which would otherwise seem like the insanely expensive option. Kobe beef puts the price of Wagyu in perspective, and makes it more desirable.


*For the purposes of this discussion, Wagyu signifies premium and Kobe signifies ultra premium. Strictly speaking Kobe beef is a specific kind of Wagyu beef. All Kobe beef is Wagyu, but not all Wagyu beef is Kobe beef – much like all AIFD designers have their CFD, but not all CFD designers are AIFD.


Pricing In The Flower Business

Flowers aren’t so different. Most people have an expectation of what is available based on what they have seen in that past, or what they hear promoted on the radio at Valentine's Day. They’re like the people that were content with regular beef because they didn't know anything else was available.

It’s important to introduce them to the floral equivalents of Kobe and Wagyu beef. That might mean bigger arrangements and/or more interesting and elaborate designs and/or exciting new varieties – the common thread in a pricing discussion is that the prices will be higher.

Some people will remain content with their dozen roses and coffee mug arrangements. Others will be intrigued and hump in right away. Most will be in the middle, excited to have a more interesting Wagyu arrangement for less money than the full Kobe version.

Product Differentiation