I was at the store recently to buy deodorant. Found my brand, and oh looky- a VALUE PACK of two sticks bound together with plastic wrap. Before I grab and throw in the basket, let’s take a closer look and see exactly what my savings are…
At first glance, a price comparison via some clever math reveal that the value pack is actually $0.01 MORE than buying two individual sticks. (That penny likely goes towards covering the cost of that fancy extra plastic wrap.) Not exactly a power buy from a dollars and cents standpoint, so where’s this value they are boasting?
A closer look reveals that the packaging actually defines “VALUE” right there for you. Well now, that’s convenient. Let’s have a read…
“VALUE… IS GETTING 2 AT ONCE COMPARED TO BUYING INDIVIDUALLY.“
Ah-ha! The value here is only having to pick up one bundled 2-pack versus the grueling effort of physically picking up two individual sticks. It says nothing misleading suggesting it’s the cheaper option. You inferred that for yourself Joe Consumer. Well played, Marketer.
For the record, I do not favor this tactic. Covering your arse with fine print doesn’t mean it’s not immorally misleading, just means it’s not illegally misleading. Though, from a strategic standpoint, I think it’s brilliantly utilized for this type of consumer good. Most people don’t go deodorant shopping with the intention of buying in “bulk” and therefore don’t readily price compare. Instinctively, people associate a bundled/multiple unit package as the “cheaper” per unit option and just grab and go. So it works.
So shame on us for not checking the price and simply buying based on “marketed value.”