Does Your Brand Take Advantage of Sympathetic Pricing?

An interesting report has just been released from Trend Watch about how they believe we should price our products, in certain circumstances.

Brands are constantly telling consumers that they care – and the truth of the matter is – most consumers think they are just saying it. Sure, it doesn’t apply to every brand, but it’s not surprising to believe this to be true in a lot of cases.

There has been countless studies conducted that have reported the same finding; when it comes to actually caring about consumers and being considered as the humane brand you say you are – most consumers believe don’t believe any of it.

Only 5% of consumers believe big businesses are transparent and honest. (Cohn and Wolfe, Oct ’13)

According to consumers only 20% of brands make a meaningful difference on people’s lives (Havas, Jun ’13)

Consumers are challenging brands to prove they actually care – and the most direct, genuine and transparent way to prove it? …… Pricing.

Sympathetic Pricing to be more exact. Definition ‘Flexible and imaginative discounts that help ease lifestyle pain points, lend a helping hand in difficult times, or support a shared value’.


Heard it all before: Consumers are used to seeing long term goals and vague promises from brands – so they tune them out and take them as a given. So if a brand really do care about the environment, shouldn’t their flexible pricing reflect it as well?

It’s expected: Pricing is different online; it’s easy to change and personalised (i.e. Amazon). Consumers expect companies to tailor solutions and pricing to their individual needs – and very quickly.


Painkiller Pricing: Discounts that target lifestyle pain points. Examples: Taxi app ‘Uber’ gives discounts to travelers hit by transport disruption in London. Whilst ‘The Wolf and I’ bar in Melbourne give free drinks to patrons with parking tickets.

Compassionate Pricing: Discounts that offer a helping hand at a difficult time. Examples: British community shop offers discounted products for less affluent
consumers. Whilst Pressfolios offers their services for free – if you are a journalists who has lost their job.

Purposeful Pricing: Discounts in support of a shared value or belief. Example: RATP offer free public transport in Paris to prove their commitment to combating poor air quality.

<Insert Here> Pricing: Discounts that reflect whatever you want. Example: A cafe in France offer discounts to those who say ‘please’.

Ask Concept Marketing today about Sympathetic Pricing and how we can use data and trends to transform how your brand is perceived by your target market.

For the full Trend Watch report, go to

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