Psychological Pricing

Psychological Pricing

In addition to all that you have learned about pricing models and strategies, here’s one more thing can pricing issue that can influence a consumer’s buying decision: The Decoy Effect.  View the video:

In the field of Psychology, this phenomenon is known as the “Asymmetric Dominance Effect”.  Essentially, consumers will tend to have a specific change in preference between two options, where a third option becomes more desirable than one option (dominant), but less desirable than the other option (asymmetric).


1. Beyond the video example here, what are some other businesses (products- or services-based) that you personally have encountered that used this pricing phenomenon?

2. Pick one of your personal experiences with the decoy effect, and briefly describe your rationale for making the “third-option” choice.

Week 4 Discussion: Self-Brand Relationships

Let’s revisit Starbucks again from the perspective of “Self-Branding”.

In the Week 4 Case Study, Susan Fournier postulated about the meaning and power of “self-brand relationships” (please refer to pages 7 and 8 in the case study).  Now view this video that demonstrates how Starbucks attempts to build brand relationships:

Now address the following:

1. Identify and briefly discuss some of the examples Starbucks used to appeal to the “functional, utilitarian, psychological and emotional” factors one might associate with their Brand and their own lives.

2. Briefly describe whether or not YOU personally associate and/or identify with any of those factors conveyed in the Starbucks’ video. Why or why not.

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