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How Low Can You Go?

That was the cheer that went up whenever we played limbo as children. It’s also the words Chubby Checker sang in his 1962 recording of “Limbo Rock.” Apparently, some are still doing it, as the world record was set in 2010 at 8.5 inches! But, what’s that got to do with business and marketing? Have you seen any of these words in advertising recently?

  • As low as
  • Starting at or Base Price
  • Free introductory
  • Buy One Get One (BOGO)
  • Just ____ per day
  • Free installation
  • Best value

Another set of terms you might see are:

  • Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
  • Real Cost of Ownership
  • Installed Cost
  • Total Project Cost
  • Total Variable Cost
  • Title and other fees extra
  • This loan will really cost you

There is a big difference between what is advertised to get you to initially take action and what it will cost you in the end. There is the old story of a person buying a car and being quoted an extremely low price. Then the salesman asks if you want wheels with that car. Well, of course you do. It’s not that different today when you find that all the options you want on your car cause the price to be significantly different (and more) than the advertised price.

For those of you in the transportation sector, think about how you buy or advertise freight services. The upcoming regulations for hours of service recorders (Electronics Logging Devices) is already following this path. For the ELD’s, you will see quotes for stand alone devices and one time only costs. You will see people saying no monthly fees. But, beware. There will be additional options that you will be interested in buying. Don’t get enthralled with the low prices advertised. Concentrate on the final, total, or annual cost. Investigate the different systems, figure out what you really want. Then get some quotes and focus on the total installed cost or total cost of ownership. Don’t let emotions override your logic and cause you to take action too soon. It’s log-emo-tion—logic, emotion, action—logemotion™