The $1,000 Pizza

One way to separate your firm’s offering from the competition is to offer two offerings side-by-side, taking advantage of the so-called isolation effect, as Norma’s restaurant in the Le Parker Meridien Hotel on West 57th Street in New York did when it began offering a $1,000 omelet on May 5th, 2004.

Billed on the menu as the Zillion Dollar Frittata—containing six eggs, a lobster, and approximately 285 grams of sevruga caviar—it has this message next to the entry: “Norma dares you to expense this” (displaying an understanding of Category III spending—that is, spending someone else’s money on yourself, which usually means the customer is less price sensitive).

They also offer a “budget” version of the omelet, which sells for $100, a bit more palpable when shown after the $1,000 offering, and an effective marketing strategy. Stanley Marcus—son of one of the founders of Neiman-Marcus and creator of the store’s famous Christmas Catalog with his and her gifts—always insisted on offering $100 Christmas Gifts in the store, with the logic being that a bit of the magic of the Christmas Catalog gifts, which were usually in the tens or hundreds of thousands, would rub off on the lesser priced offerings.

Joining the $1,000 omelet, the $100 hamburger, is the $1,000 pizza offered by Manhattan restauranteur Nino Selimaj. Using the isolation effect, he also offers slices for $250.

Does your firm have a $1,000 pizza? Why not?

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