The price is right. Or terribly wrong.
Moms care about pricing. Not only because they are CFOs of their families, but because they are buying for lots of people. A $399 airfare to NY? Cool. But multiply that by 4 or 5 or 6 and... ouch.
Given the importance of pricing, I'm amazed how few companies price their offerings to fall in favor with moms. A few questions to illustrate:
How much should a snow cone cost?
Mull that over for a sec. Yes, it's water and food dye, two very rare and precious ingredients.
Got your answer?
Okay, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess you didn't settle on $15 as your final answer. Yet that is precisely how much the Barnum Bailey circus charges for a snow cone. I know because the mom who got hit with a $30 bill for two snow cones griped about it on Facebook. Now a few hundred more folks know.
What about noodles? How much should a plate of plain penne with butter and parmesan set you back?
$12, even if the diner is seated in a high chair, if his parents are eating at Caffe Riace in Palo Alto.
I know because, rather than speak to the manager, the mom who forked over $24 of her dinner bill to noodles told all her friends about it and has never been back.
One more: if you cancel an August camp reservation in April, that's plenty of notice, right?
Wrong. If you're attending one of the City of Palo Alto camps, you lose half your camp fee if you don't cancel by the end of April. Four months' notice and I'm out $80.
Conversely, some folks are doing it right. A few highlights:
- Restaurants like Applebees, Friendly's, and IHOP that offer a Kids Eat Free night
- Places like Steve and Kate's Camp that have the following text on their website:
"We pioneered flexible enrollment and automatic refunds."
Don't you just want your kids making lanyards in August with folks like Steve and Kate who don't gouge you in April?
- Companies offering group-buying coupons to moms. Folks like Groupon, GoodieGrab, and Juice in the City that pool moms together to stretch their dollars with deeply discounted deals good for 24 hours or less.
Programs like these -- that save moms money and make refunds easy -- benefit from positive word of mouth through real-world and online social networks.
Justin Lin, Co-Founder at Mamapedia, explains the success of group-buying programs like his company's Sweet Deals which offers 50% off at museums, summer camps, and activities like ice skating for the whole family.
“When it’s a mom, she brings along her family, her kids’ friends, out-of-town guests. And if the kids like it, you can bet she will be coming back.”
You want her coming back...or yelping back? Your choice.