We are making a series of ethical moves to create a new standard for marketing based on trust + honesty.
Our first pledge is changing our pricing from 'charm prices' ($297) to round numbers ($300).
Judgments of numerical differences are anchored on left-most digits of a number. Charm prices use the left-digit-effect to make a product appear cheaper than it is, bypassing the conscious choice of the buyer. They are only created to generate more sales and do not benefit the buyer in the least.
This is our first pledge because it is a simple choice: 297 is manipulative, 300 is not.
- Prices have to round up from .8 and above (anything above 8 rounds up to 10, 80 to 100, 180 to 200, etc). We are still researching the effect of prices ending in 5 and 9.
- Prices can include or exclude tax, as long as it is clearly communicated.
- Currency has to be clearly recognizable (ie CAD/USD vs $).
- For people bound by a price box (Amazon, Apple, etc): we accept pledges by businesses that communicate round numbers on their website/marketing materials, even though the price at check out might differ.
This pledge is about taking a stand for an honest marketplace and generating awareness on the pervasive nature of manipulation. We understand that some prices have spiritual or sentimental meaning that have nothing to do with tricking people! Let us know if you find yourself in that situation.
Our next moves will be looking at tactics using urgency ('last chance!'), scarcity ('only a few seats left'), comparison (4 packages to sell the 3rd), ...
These pledges are created to start a conversation about manipulation in marketing - not the result of a study (yet!). Marketing without manipulation is unfamiliar and will require a lot of unpacking, which is why we strongly encourage reaching out to us and sharing what you see as a next move.