Is not the best approach for the Mindful company to be different, to be better and therefore to justify the premium asked? Whilst there is merit in the approach, which I will discuss later, let’s stop first and challenge that strategy.

Could we not position the Mindful company as the new norm, the standard that others are to follow or to be cast as inferior. This all depends on our positioning and the messages we present. If we believe in our offering and its benefits to the customer and the planet, then we need to change the markets’ buying behaviour i.e. the basis on which consumers buy.

Here the use of perceptual maps is very helpful. Cost, or price, is one of the axes considered in most circumstances, however it doesn’t have to be so. Given that many of the items we may be selling are not large tickets then cost is a misnomer and should be replaced via a promotion with other more relevant and poignant messages. For example is the cost of meat that expensive as a standalone item? The cost of the free range meat may be £4 as opposed to £2 for battery farmed. This in itself is not a large purchase, but because the consumer agenda has been driven by price/cost based promotions for the last decade or more, consumers perception has been set to consider price an essential buying criteria at this level. In the days of constantly rising prices (inflation in the 1970s and 1980s) the national psyche became conditioned to considering price of everything as important, rather than quality or benefits. Hence the rise of cheap disposable products and a throwaway consumerism.

In the current climate inflation is low or negative, but the attitude still exists. To change the buying approach we need to consider how we communicate and what our messages are. The message has to be benefit-orientated, the benefit for the consumer, benefit for the producer and the benefit for the planet (B3). The message has to rise above the standard competitive appeal of price and must resonate strongly and (importantly) longer than competitive appeals.

Given the likely large marcoms spend of commercial competitors the Mindful company message needs to be remembered longer and have more impact. As such, creativity becomes the key to it.

Much of the rush to digital communications has reduced the level of creativity to mere text and limited impact, preferring repetition to bludgeon messages home. The Mindful company needs to use creativity, humour, warmth and information to appeal and educate. In addition it needs to take on some of the consumer anger against commercial promotions, it needs to declare itself free from photoshopping, it needs to show genuine statistically significant research to back up claims and to gain respect for its promotions which shame commercial competitors.

How? There are four main elements to be borne in mind; benefit, loyalty, reward and subscription.

If the cost of the Mindful companies product is higher than the commercial competitors then the benefit must be greater and this has to be Mindfully sold. The cost of purchase can be mitigated by the use of loyalty or subscription schemes to reward repeat purchase and to assist customers to spread the word. Customers are the best advocates of Mindful offering and their use as communicators is to be engaged as much as possible.

Rewards through gifts, loyalty discounts or promotional items are all feasible but perhaps a Mindful Nectar card might be the ultimate?