The Nickel and the Dime


The journey of interior design transformation is often more valuable and memorable than the results. This means (to me) gently and thoughtfully leading the client through a series of carefully intended doors. Much like a theater production or film or novel, we exit with the feeling that we’ve been changed by the experience. And we can account for that experience more so with a beautiful home in which to live and share.

Seeing how others do it wrong stokes my mastery and drive for doing it right.

Pricing Model for Anticipated Fear & Stress


Who loves to fly these days? If you want your clients to leave with a bad taste in their mouths, carefully follow these steps:

  • On booking your trip, make it very difficult to determine the relationship between price and value so you leave a transaction still not knowing what you’re getting.
  • Inexplicably allow you to choose your seat on some flights and not others.
  • Offer different prices to different people at different times.
  • Create the illusion that a reward points system in exchange for “free” travel makes this process easier.
  • Dangle the possibility of upgrades to disciples of said reward points system but make the system difficult to understand and use.
  • Acknowledge that the travel experience is stressful and take advantage of that by charging extra for comfort, i.e. leg room.
  • Further acknowledge that the travel experience is stressful and charge extra for peace of mind, i.e. boarding the plane early to increase odds of getting an overhead space.
  • Adding to the stress by charging for checked baggage and introducing fear that there are no guarantees your luggage will make it to your destination when you arrive.
  • Rub salt in the wound by charging for beverages and snacks.
  • Advertise “Wifi on board”, not free.

Pricing Model for Disappointment, Confusion & Doubt


Consider a “fine” hotel experience. Recent travel allows me to compare and contrast.

  • Cast a shadow over the booking process, making it difficult to determine how rooms compare.
  • Ask customer, upon arrival, if help is needed with our two bags. Not really, but this sparks a quick feeling of guilt that the porter relies on tips, so we let him.
  • Upon check-in, ask about the WiFi access and are told it is easy and that our room comes with complimentary WiFi which will be charged at first and then credited later (will it? will I remember to check?).
  • Arriving at the room, realizing how thirsty you are, notice there’s a water next to the bed which you spin open. Was that a $8 bottle of water?
  • Mini-bars have now expanded to full-fledged snack and drink spreads. Is your hunger worth the laziness of errand-running during a holiday? Am I the only one who thinks about this?
  • There’s a daily charge for valet, yet there’s nowhere else to park. And what are the rules for tipping? Arrival or departure? And how much?
  • Awake the next morning, jet-lagged and a bit confused. You need coffee and are in no mood to figure out the machine. Downstairs in the hotel restaurant, a fine restaurant, a discreet row of coffee and hot water dispensers are lined up waiting at the entrance and without cups. A friendly employee kindly asks for your room number as she holds the cups hostage.

Pricing Model for Guaranteed Comfort


Let’s reconsider the resort hotel whose approach is spot-on:

  • Each room has an online virtual tour and detailed description used for booking convenience.
  • Greet upon arrival with a smile, offer a glass of wine and a personal tour of the resort property.
  • The room has been stocked with complimentary snacks, fruits and plenty of water.
  • “Here’s the WiFi password.”
  • Payment is arranged in advance and as promised, add-ons are not necessary.
  • “Breakfast is complimentary and plentiful from 7 – 10am. Take what you want.”
  • No tipping is permitted, employees are paid a premium to serve you best.
  • “Let us know what you’d like for lunch, it’s complimentary each day served by the pool.”
  • “We’ll take care of all your dinner reservations and arrange local tours if you like.”
  • “Please tell your friends about your experience and review us online.”

Much better.

Pricing Model for Blissful Satisfaction & Over-delivery

But it doesn’t have to stop there. Guacamole is a wonderful thing on burritos, quesadillas, anything really. I love to add it and I’m always reminded it costs extra, like I’m being punished or shamed. Yes, I know it costs extra, it’s beat into my head every time I ask for it, thank you.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if it was complimentary? Even better, you might receive a discount/credit or a free beverage?

At Platemark, we offer complimentary guacamole to everyone: You’ll pay a lot but you’ll get much more than you pay for.

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