It seems to be ‘data pricing’ week at BillingViews Boulevard. And why not? Almost every day another example of plans that make no sense comes to light. So why should we not complain, compare and if necessary satirise the incomprehensible notion that customers are going know what 2 Gigabytes actually buys them.
Contemplating the azure blue of the Mediterranean over the weekend, idly watching the condensation on a glass of the crisp and white, there was laughter. Imagine pricing wine, went the thought, like service providers price data.
No matter the occasion, no matter the quality, a bottle of wine is €10. Red, white, pink or something a little fizzy, €10. Problem solved, complexity in wine pricing is no longer an issue.
Of course we have all poked fun at data pricing by using the ‘coffee analogy’ but a memo will be sent out later today demanding that all BillingViews operatives think about wine at every opportunity.
If you are thinking that the wine analogy is the same as the coffee one, but a bit more fun, ‘bear with.’
Literally millions of growers produce wine around the world. Each one is slightly different, with generic similarities. It is sold through thousands of channels of many different types. It is priced based on cost, of course, but also on perceived value. Champagne means something special. White wine covers everything from the 10 litre plastic container of this year’s still fermenting sauvignon blanc – which is best taken in large plastic glasses in the company of Glaswegians – to wine that hints at damask table cloths and candlelight.
There are myriad ways that customers can buy wine. They can go into the local supermarket and buy a bottle of Rioja (other wines are available) together with the pre prepared lasagne. Connoisseurs can go to tastings and sniff, swirl and spit. Companies that need to entertain can have an account with a wine merchant and a relationship with an Account Manager that they trust. ‘Entrepreneurs’ can rent vans and cross borders to buy cut price wine and return over the border, axles dragging on the ground, the van stuffed full of wine ‘for personal use.’
And is any one of these customers confused. Do they, for a second, wonder what they are getting? If they need advice, there is someone right there to advise. But in a market with a million choices and multiple channels there is complete clarity in pricing. Because the pricing makes complete sense to those who buy wine, whoever they may be.
Now, to write that memo.