Chris Fabiszak
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Grow arts and culture revenue

Ask Me Anything: Decoy Pricing

Ask Me Anything Question

I've heard that some organizations use "premium pricing." What is the rationale behind having a high top price?

Chris Fabiszak’s Answer

Have you ever gone shopping for a luxury item, let’s say dress shoes, and had a clear budget in your head? Of course. You know that you’ve decided on around $100 to spend on a nice new pair. But when you get to the store there’s this gorgeous, glowing, beautiful pair on display that would look great on you... for $350. That’s far too much but right next to them is a pair that’s almost just as nice and on sale for $199! Wow, what a deal, you should definitely get those even though it’s twice your budget.

You’ve just been introduced to decoy pricing. The store never intended for you to buy the $350 pair. That was just bait; they always wanted you to get the $199. So could you use this same tactic in your org to get people moving into better locations within your house? For example a small premium plus location in your house that you could price much higher than your top price (a section most often purchased by subscribers anyway). Then the top price looks like a great deal and people feel they are getting a greater value for a seat they might have written off in the first place.


JCA Arts Marketing collaborates with cultural organizations to increase revenue, boost attendance and membership, and grow patron loyalty. We provide consulting and software services to hundreds of cultural institutions across multiple genres, including dance, museums, opera, performing arts centers, symphony, and theatre. We can help you achieve your marketing goals.