Actually weighing your food vs. the competition will narrow your pricing options.
Weigh your food offerings. I’ve done this with individual products and combo meals across all dayparts. Take your featured combo meal, and purchase your competitors’ most comparable offerings. Remove the packaging, and weigh each piece separately, then collectively.
In comparison to competitive meals, where do you stack up in terms of the amount of food versus price? Where do you want to stack up? Stay the same, or offer better value? Where do your customers expect you to stack up? What about your premium?
Yes, at first glance, this discounts any real or apparent value of the product ingredients. But the amount of food for the price is a good starting point because it’s an objective method to compare one value measure. And remember, this starting point allows you to adjust in either direction: more premium, or more value.
One of my clients operates as the value leader— it’s what their customers expect. Conducting the weight test on a new combo meal with the original, proposed price (non-researched), we find we are more expensive per amount of food. We then adjust the price to position us as the best value.
We then look at the food and the offer, then think about how our customers think (i.e., Does this sound like a good deal? ). Now we know how to respond.
We conducted the weight test after receiving negative feedback during the first proposed offer. After the weight test, the second proposed offer had all the attributes customers responded to. And they did. Positively.
YOU have to be the voice of the consumer. Analytics and consumer research are great tools. But you also have to use your “experiential data.”
I was part of a launch where the test market numbers all pointed toward success. However, given the knowledge of our customers, it was difficult to believe that the promotion was attractive. A debate ensued, and the numbers won out. And the promotion fell far short of expectations when rolled out.
This is NOT saying to distrust the research. It is saying that when your experiential data indicates something significantly different, dig deeper into the numbers to get on the right track.