They come in boxes.
There’s nothing in the box, grant you, except maybe a few pieces of paper that make you feel good about buying the box.
The warranties exist only in the ether. Promises of future support that may never be needed. And, very often, you don’t even need to open the box that comes with whatever it was that you bought. The service is activated automatically at the point of purchase.
So, what’s with the boxes then?
Why would you box a promise and sell it?
Simple reason, because it sells a lot more promises for a lot more money.
Giving a service or digital product a tangible representation makes it more concrete to buyers. More concrete translates not only to a higher perceived value than a purely digital product or service, but also greater proof of value (we believe more in what we can see, touch and feel).
The boxes also serve as a visual prompt, a reminder that the digital product or service is there to buy.
That’s what’s up with the boxes and the “product shots” with Photoshopped images of boxes, manuals and CDs on websites for digital products.
When you make the intangible tangible, people pay more…and buy more.
This has become especially important in the context of commodity businesses (like electronics), where competition is based largely on price. Very often, the actual product yields very little margin, while most extended service warranties expire unused or under-used, leaving a ton of pure profit in the sale of the promise alone.
And, it’s also become important in the digital product realm, where people have trouble getting their heads around value when they can’t touch and feel the product. A visual representation of a physical product, even one that’s purely screen-based, makes a digital product “real-er” and bumps sales…a lot.
So, how might that apply to your business or idea?
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