Hugh Mackay once told me as a young marketer something I have never forgotten:
“Allen, attitudes follow behavior, so work to change behavior, and attitudes will follow” .
He went on to give several examples to convince me that the advertising I was planning at the time was a waste of money, despite the promises of the ad agency, the determination of the MD of the business I was working for at the time, and my own naïve assessment of what was the right approach.
This pattern has proved true time and time again, and has a brother.
When we expect something, we are very likely to see it, much more likely that we are to see the alternative.
A bottle of Grange, all $600 bucks worth will always taste better than a bottle of its poorer half-sibling, Bin 389, at about $80, (Grange is Shiraz, 389 is Shiraz with a splash of Cabernet) except when you swap the wine in the bottles around. Do that, and by most people, the 389 will be assessed as better than the Grange.
The power of the expectation built by the brand.
So, ask yourself again if the investment you are making in marketing is properly directed? Should you take the easy road, and just discount the price to get the sale today, or the harder, long term road to build a brand that creates expectations that delight customers.