The Apple Theory of Pricing

Early in March Apple announced at its keynote event the introduction of the long awaited watch to its arsenal of products. Tech nerds across the land rejoiced! Ok, maybe not, but I did and so did my husband who has been drooling over this announcement for some time now. As two people who drank the Apple koolaid many years ago, we were excited to learn about the products features and how it actually might replace my phone that I hate carrying around in my back pocket all the time. More than the features, I was very interested and eager to see how the product looked and what the options were going to be for straps and colors and such. I may be a nerd, but I’m a fashionable one! So when I saw the absolutely gorgeous gold face plate with the red leather strap I thought, “YES! I love this! SOLD!” And then I saw the price.


Holy mother of…!!!!! There may have been a few f-bombs thrown in there too as I was already a cranky 39 week pregnant woman who had just had her heart broken about what she was getting for her birthday that month. Anyway… I digress.

Apple Watch in Red and Gold

I was a little pissed, let down even. Come on Apple! You’ve got a devoted female customer here who really wanted something that was super classy and not designed for a high school boy or the average tech consumer! Uuugggh…*sigh*

Once I got over my disappointment and started to think about it more in depth I was less disappointed and more amazed at what Apple had just done. For years and years they have put out products that millions of people love, at a price that is accessible to most consumers. Now with the $17,000 watch they have taken what is going to be an extremely desirable product and catapulted it into a market of people for whom money is no matter of concern at all. In fact, not only do these people not have issues with spending this much money on a watch, they’re not even buying it because they like the product or its many features! This is purely a status symbol purchase.


Apple could afford to do this because they knew the market could bare this price. There are people who will pay this much money for fashionable wrist decorations, and Apple is unapologetically going to let them.


It got me thinking about my business and what we can charge for our product or service. What can the market bare for what we do? Are you selling $349 watches to the masses or are you the $17k status watch? Neither answer is wrong, but sometimes the messaging on our website or how we communicate to others about our business is not always in line with our price. Finding a sweet spot for what you should be charging often feels like a fine art half the time and we go back and forth about what that number should be!

I challenge you to think about this question: “who is my target audience for what I am trying to sell to them?” And then ask yourself, “does my price match with my target audience?” Maybe they are spot on or maybe you need to make some tweaks to better communicate your message to your clients. Once you are there, however, don’t back down. Be like Apple. Don’t ever apologize for offering something at a price that is fair, values what you do, and reflects what the market can bare.

Anne Schmidt

Anne is a professional wedding and portrait photographer, mother of two and recent Texas transplant (her heart is still in Maine). When not photographing very awesome life events she can be found wrangling small humans (only her own, she promises), cooking her favorite recipes, brewing beer with her husband and desperately trying not to own everything Kate Spade emails her on a daily basis.

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