There's More To Pricing Than Value and ROI
Thursday, June 11, 2015
One of my least favorite commercials features a police officer explaining the click it or ticket policy. In short, if you don't wear a seat belt while driving, you will be forced to pay a very large fine.
Disclaimer: I always wear my seat belt.
According to the United States government, seat belts save more than 11,000 lives (approximately .0034375% of the population) each year.
Any legitimate fine or taxation should be intended to either serve the public good or raise revenue.
I propose that this policy of seat belt enforcement is a poor candidate for either cause. My belief is that this system of fines is well-intentioned but does relatively little for the overall safety of the American populace.
Fortunately, I'm here to present a new policy that will save more lives, is simpler to enforce and has the potential to raise much larger sums of cash.
Are you ready for my proposal?
Let's repeatedly fine everyone who is overweight!
- According to Harvard University, more than 216,000 people die each year due to excessive weight. That's nearly twenty times as many people who die from not wearing a seat belt! If seat belt monitoring is a worthy endeavor, weight monitoring must be too.
- It's easy to spot folks who are massively overweight. Cops won't have to peer through windshields at fast moving vehicles. They can just walk around and hand out tickets like candy. The government's own figures show that more than one in three adults is obese and many more are overweight.
Even if we could only reduce deaths from obesity by half, we'd still wind up saving more than three times the number of Americans who died in the entire Vietnam War each and every year. That's a lot of lives saved!
There's just one problem with my concept: the price would be far too high for those footing the bill. People like the idea of saving lives, but few enjoy being taxed. I recently read that 86% of voters wear seat belts, so seat belt enforcement is an easy sell. Voters see the policy as a means of helping others through a policy paid for by those folks who don't wear seat belts - not by themselves. Unfortunately, with such a high rate of obesity among likely voters, few would be likely to approve of my policy, because the person paying would no longer be "someone else."
It's a shame. We could save more lives (and at a far lower cost) through the implementation of my weight policy rather than the seat belt policy. It's just too bad that the people who would be forced to pay for the fines would never support my measure.
Are you selling a product or service? You must know that pricing is important. It's not just a matter of return on investment or absolute dollar figures. You have to know who is making the decision to buy. He's often not the person who will be using your products. Read through my book on how to price your software or contact me for a consultation, if you'd like to learn more.