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Gas prices are hovering around $4.

You would think people would drive less.

Or be on the hunt for a cheaper gas station.

Actually, the majority of people just resigned themselves to the cost.

Sure, there’s bitching.

But, we still drive 5 miles faster than we should.

I’m in the market for running shoes.

I have a price rang. Nothing over $150.

I could wait another month or so.

As an avid runner, the health of my feet is very important to me.

I pay $80 more if I get value (comfort, less injuries, etc.) in return.

There are cheaper toothpastes than Colgate Total. But I would never buy another brand.

Same goes for Nutella.

When it comes to bigger purchases, I might have spent a minute or two thinking about it.

When it comes to small purchases, no conscious decision was made.

Everything was automatic, pre-programmed.

I had enough good experiences with Nutella, reinforcing the brand promise, making the decision about whether to buy it next time more certain over the years.

Increasing the likelihood to recommend it to someone else. (Buy Nutella.)

Nutella has to continue to provide value.

Or I will look somewhere else.

The majority of purchases are not about price. It is about value.

Value is defined by the desire that a brand elicits.

If the price barrier is lower than the desire, the actual transaction is the value.

Times are tough. But brands that focus on price are communicating they don’t have any inherent value.

There are some gaps that having a large, positive gap between desire and price. Apple, Sony and Mercedes-Benz are representatives for highly desirable brands in the premium space; Huggies, Alpo and Target good example for great value.

And then there are the brands that balance desire and price very well and profit handily: Southwest Airlines and Corona come to mind.

Being considered valuable in the eyes of your customers, transforms your brand into a successful and profitable enterprise.

No wonder nobody cares that much about the price of gas.

$4 per gallon just reinforces the value proposition.

And that’s why you’re not wasting your time trying to find the cheapest gas.