So Wednesday we went to see the Harry Potter studios.
And it was seriously impressive.
I’m not a Harry Potter geek though… my impressedness wasn’t caused by seeing all the geeky memorabilia.
More like the effects of forced perspective, and the animatronics…. the detail they went into on some of their props are incredible too.
Books that had real content in them (only 10 pages of original content in each book, but still… this is detail they didn’t need necessarily).
The story of Hagrid is cool, too… but that’ll be for another day.
But what was ultimately impressive, is just how … well, masterful they are at “extracting” money from you.
When I say masterful I mean it… I could see what and how they were doing, yet still I went along with it.
The first “extraction” occurred minutes into the tour.
You came up to a series of green screens, with broomsticks, and of course, you (or your children, in my case) got to ride the broomsticks and have a scene from Harry Potter played on a screen next to them.
OF COURSE… you could then buy said video.
And some photos.
And some frames.
And some posters.
And … yeah.
I didn’t go in for the whole deal, but I did yield and buy the video and a photo.
For each child.
So after I remortgaged the house, we moved on.
The next stop was a reasonable amount of time after the last one, perhaps half an hour or so.
Enough that you’d almost forgotten you’d just spent some money, as you were then presented with a toy shop.
After that extraction, we moved on – armed with a wand and an owl – both kids were now happy.
Then we got to the train from the movie, and very interesting it was too.
BUT THEN…. you see more green screens.
And you know what’s coming.
On the kids go, and off they come with a ticket.
To be fair, those photos were remarkably cheap (but then, we got the “additional photos” because we’d already bought stuff before).
Oh and just next door to this green screen was a shop that sold the chocolate frogs, every flavour beans, etc… so obviously we had to get some of those too.
Finally we made it half way.
(Yep…. Half. Way.)
The Cafe/Restaurant, where they sold “Butterbeer”. I’d not paid attention previously to the movies so had no idea what this was, but this is apparently the drink of choice in the movie or something.
It’s like beer with ice cream on top…. it was… interesting.
Anyway, after the final extraction (for us), we realised the time and realised we had to get cracking.
We flew around the last part of the tour and skipped the gift shop at the end….
But what I suspect the studios have perfected over time is:
1] The time / distance between extractions
2] The amount of the extractions – it wasn’t too much to say no to, but it was enough to be a “premium” for what you were getting
3] The quantity of extractions
You see at each extraction point, was a huge queue of people. There was certainly no (or very little) price resistance.
Could they charge more? Maybe.
Would I have paid more? Maybe… maybe not… at least, not for everything.
There’s only so much value a chocolate frog holds.
But this is very much the point.
They know their market, they know they have one chance to sell you stuff (i.e. your whole visit – you’re there once) and they know once you leave, that’s it – opportunity gone.
So they hit you, over and over and over again – with choices at different price points and all with varying perceived value.
After all, when or where else are you going to get a video of your child riding a broomstick over London? You’re not, simple.
Where else are you going to get a photo of your child on the Hogwarts Express train trying to catch a frog in the window?
You’re not. Not easily for most people, anyway.
If the perceived value of your product or service is high enough, price becomes irrelevant.
There’s a cut off point where you think “…. it’s not worth it”.
But it’s that thought that’s important: it’s not worth it.
It’s not that you’re against spending the money, it’s that you perceive the product to be worth it.
At the studios, the price point they chose was low enough that for most it was simply a no brainer.
The value they had delivered was so high, at that the price at that point – it was a mere blip.
And that’s how it worked.
All. Through. The. Tour.
I recommend you visit, if not for the cool stuff, but to see how they seemingly make you feel happy about spending all your money.
Of course the real trick, is to then implement some of this stuff yourself.
How do you go about applying it to your business?
Well, I don’t have all the answers… but I can certainly give you some great advice when it comes to getting the most out of your website and marketing.
A good place to start is to grab a copy of my book… but let me go one better: you can get the first chapter for free, to make up your mind.