The #1 Reason a $6 Product Can Sell for $79

October 16, 2019

nautical bracelet

A piece of ship rope. A button clasp.

How much do you think those simple materials cost?

I’d guess about a buck…tops.

Let’s toss in a little labor to make the product.  How about $5 per product?  Now we’re up to $6.

So, riddle me this:  How in the name of all things good and holy can a company take $6 worth of materials and labor and turn it into a product that sells for $79?

I stumbled on this company when I was in Amsterdam recently.  While prowling the shopping streets looking for interesting businesses, I discovered Pig & Hen.

Pig & Hen takes ship rope of various sizes and colors and turns it into bracelets for men and women.  To create an image for their brand they have photos on their walls of an unusually handsome, rugged, pea-coated, impressively bearded man, of course, wearing various Pig & Hen bracelets.

The two salespeople in the store were making bracelets right there in front of me, in addition to the ones displayed throughout the store.

Okay, this is fun, and they are doing a good job of creating their brand’s image.  But it’s still $6 worth of materials.  I’ll toss in about $10 for building a fun, unique brand in their store.

But that’s still not $79 (and btw…that’s one of the cheapest bracelets; others go for more).

How can they possibly ask…and get…$79 for a nice piece of rope?

Create an even more distinctive product.  Put it in a smart looking wooden box.  Stamp the box with your Pig & Hen logo and note the product is “handmade in Amsterdam.”

Still not a $79 product yet, is it?

Here’s where the real value is created.

Pig and Hen story

They tell a story about the bracelet.

In the early 1600s, the Dutch were the leading nation sailing to all parts of the unknown world in search of new people, great adventures and opportunities for trade.  Going places you’ve never been means you’re going to run into some surprising, and perhaps, big obstacles.

To protect themselves, sailors tattooed a pig and a hen on their feet.  They believed this would enable them to survive if they had to abandon their ship, that they would be able to find land…

…just like the pigs and hens who were kept in wooden crates and floated!  The tide would bring them to land.

Great story.

And here’s where they bring it home and boost the value of what they are selling.

Pig & Hen will save my life, too!  Even in tight situations!!

My Pig & Hen bracelet will help me find my way through life’s ups and downs.  It will aid me in living life on the edge.  The bracelet will metaphorically allow me to swim with the sharks, throw down in the mud, sail across oceans, drink a bit too much and seek whatever my thrill might be.

I know all of this because that’s what the card in the box tells me.

Now…I ask you…isn’t that worth $79????!!!!!!!!!

I’m sharing this story with you for a reason.

Stories sell.  Facts tell.

If Kor and Anna (the two people working in the store) had just built the company on facts, they’d be selling $25 bracelets.

Instead, they crafted a story.  And their product sells for $79 (and more).

What is the story your brand, your business is built on?  A story about the results you achieve with your clients.  The story about what you stand for.  The story about a symbolic client, their journey and their change through their efforts and yours.

Your customers buy for emotional reasons.  They buy because of the outcome of working with you…which they want for themselves.

If you’re not engaging your prospects emotionally, you’re leaving one of the most critical elements of buying out of the story you tell.

Not to mention you might be undercharging for your services and products.

Tell me a story.


Go forth and do great things,

Martha Hanlon and Chris Williams

Martha Hanlon and Chris Williams