A few decades ago, my sister and I plopped our lily-white bodies on a Florida beach — without sunscreen — for several hours.  We were at the end of our vacation, and felt like we did not get enough color.  

By the time we left, we would have paid $100 for a bottle of aloe to soothe the ruby-red that was undoubtedly one step away from sun poisoning.  Twenty years later, the mere mention of Ron Jon Surf Shop evokes memories of our desperation, and willingness to eagerly pay the inflated price for their sunburn relief.

I thought of this recently when a friend had an emergency root canal.  Same idea (only not brought on by her own doing) — but she, too, willingly paid the hefty fee for immediate remedy to her pain.
The value you place on something is determined in great measure to your need of it.  Water at a ballpark or Disney World is inflated from what you would pay at the quick mart.  Gas along a tollway costs more than at stations on a crowded intersection.  Food at an airport is a bargain if you are starving.

Think about what your organization offers and the availability of it to others.  Is there something where you can alter the timing or convenience of your delivery to charge a premium price?  Can you make your services available at “off-hours” and avoid direct competition?  Or what about finding a way to give people what they need, precisely when they need it, so they are willing to do/pay whatever it takes to receive your service?

You don’t have to be an emergency room, but maybe you can use that as a metaphor for how to structure a sub-set of your services.

— beth triplett

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