Set It and Forget It

Ronald M. Popeil is an American inventor and marketing personality, best known for his direct response marketing company Ronco. He is well known for his appearances in infomercials for the Showtime Rotisserie and the coined phrase: “Set it, and forget it!”

Reminds me of some bowling proprietors who set their open play and league prices in September and then forget it

Sometimes we don’t really think about the seasonality of our business, the price changes our bowling and non bowling competitors are doing, what new venues are moving into town and competing for the entertainment dollar or for that matter “why” we are following our competitors’ strategies and tactics. Instead, we set it and forget it because, well, no one is complaining.

There’s an axiom in marketing that states, “If less than 10% of the people are complaining about your price, it’s probably too low.”   How many people have complained about your pricing?  

I’ve had customers complain to me about the prices of my birthday parties until I tell them a story about Chuck E. Cheese, down the street, whose prices are twice as expensive as my center’s pricing. Kind of stops them cold. How do you overcome a price objection?

Many proprietors are selling their products either by the game or by the hour by lane or by person. Others are bundling their bowling and food products together and offering a package. Still others are unbundling their packages and offering food and beverage as an option at a reduced “combo’ price.

Regardless of how you are setting prices, you need to have a pricing strategy. Or even multiple strategies. 

For example, do you have products to get NEW users? Do you have a strategy and products to get people to RETURN (I.e. Buy 5 pizza pins n pop products and get your sixth one at $X price or even free; certain restrictions apply of course?) 

Do you have a strategy to MAXIMIZE REVENUE, like a special once a month or a “live band” cosmic program where you charge an admission price for non bowlers to listen to your band? And then do you have a process to get their data for future communications to them about other cosmic programs?

Recent studies and even older studies support the fact that your average open play bowler only comes to your center about two times per year. Do you think they remember the last price they paid for their bowling experience? Nope, they don’t.

As Thanksgiving approaches and kicks off the holiday season, do you raise your prices or change your strategy to take advantage of the “home coming” experience of college students as well as high school students being out of school?

Do you review your holiday party program pricing from last year? Do you look for adding value and maximizing revenue per game?

Or do you just set it and forget it?

About Fred Kaplowitz
Marketing is in my DNA. I love to solve problems and meet challenges head on and I have successfully produced results for hundreds of clients. I love what I do and love helping to make my clients more successful and happier. I am a husband and father, consultant, a coach, a teacher, a motivator, a copy- writer, and a speaker. I look forward to working with anyone searching for a proven methodology out of mediocrity. May I assist you in taking your business to the next level. Please call me now @ 516 359 4874 to review your business goals and strategies.

1 Comment on Set It and Forget It

  1. We have the highest prices in the area and the busiest bowling center. Would you rather pay $5, $10, $20 or $50 for a steak dinner? What kind of experience would expect at each restaurant?

    Set your prices high and run special events like Thirsty Thursdays, Quartermania, Bowl You Head Off….. to get them to come out on times and days that will keep your waiting list within reason on Friday/Saturday Nights and Saturday/Sunday afternoons.

    The extra cost for the guest during prime time and added business on what use to be slow times will allow you to reinvest in updates and training of staff which in turn will allow you to raise prices even more because the experience is now even better.

    We have a center close to us that has a $1 per game on Friday and Saturday nights and can’t figure out way we charge close to 5 times as much for a game and fill the lanes while they don’t. It is all about perceived value.

    That percentage that do complain about pricing, I am guessing 1 to 2% at our center will complain no matter what. They forget that a new pick up in the 70’s might have cost 3 to 6 thousand dollars now cost 30 to 70 thousand. They sit at the animal clubs and buy $1 beers and lose their life savings gambling (What a deal!)

    My suggestion is raise your prices and be the highest in the area. A wise man once told me that people who try to attract business by price only will soon not have one. He added, when is the last time you ever seen a business with high prices go out of business? Can you name one in your area?

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