Perceived Value: What is It and Why is It Important to Authors?

In the information marketing world you’ll frequently hear the phrase “perceived value” uttered. Simply put, it means how much people think your product is worth. How you choose to package the information you’re selling will have a tremendous impact on how your customers perceive its value.

Let’s take a look at the relative perceived values of different products from lowest perceived value to highest perceived value. Keep in mind the content is identical regardless of the packaging.

Example 1: Single CD

Low –> Medium –> High

Paper Sleeve –> Jewel Case –> DVD Style Case

If the CD is a free lead generation tool or a bonus item then a paper sleeve may be your best choice. The price that you’re asking for the product will, to a large extent, determine what kind of packaging you want to utilize. If you’re giving it away you need to go bare bones on your packaging.

But, if the product is selling for $47, $97 or more than you need to dress up the package. It needs to be more impressive so a jewel case with full color inserts or a DVD style case with a full color outsert will be called for. Remember, the content is identical. You are influencing the perceived value of your content by packaging it differently.

Example 2: 100 Page Manual

Low –> Medium –> High

Saddle Stitch –> Perfect Bound –> Spiral –> 3-ring Binder

Again, the content is identical in each of the formats. But the public has been conditioned to equate the value of a perfect bound book with a $19.95 price or so you’ll find in your traditional bookstore. Put that same information into an 8-1/2” x 11” spiral bound document or a 3-ring binder then it appears to be more specialized knowledge and people are willing to pay more for it.

If you’re selling a multifaceted product that consists of many CDs and/or DVDs and some printed materials that going to have a ticket price of $497 or higher then you definitely want to stay toward the upper medium to high end of the perceived value scale.

How you choose to package the components of your information product is critical to how people will perceive its value. Be aware of the value scales above when you’re deciding how you want your product to look.