“For a brief moment, your price tag is my world. Do not doubt the feelings it produces inside of me, no less intense than any human exchange. It can significantly influence my mood, confidence, or level of doubt. It can bring me hope, pride, or self-loathing. It’s not a price – it’s a sacrifice. The question is, who is going to supply the larger one this time – you or me? Please allow me to believe that it’s you, but even if it’s me, never take away my option to choose.” – Retail Consumers In early 2012, JCPenney did an impeccable job stealing our attention with its Enough Is Enough teaser campaign featuring Skywalker-esque reactions of shoppers who paid full price for a now-discounted item. But what seemingly started as a bold and revolutionary beheading of the buyers-remorse dragon, quickly turned to cricket chirps with the underwhelming reveal of Penney’s “Fair & Square Pricing.” Logically, we should admire any retailer willing to shift to ethics-based pricing, and, rationally, feel safer in its corporate arms for doing so. That didn’t happen here. Why not? Aside from suddenly adopting a self-appointed identity no one believed while failing to give us a frame of reference for what constitutes a ‘fair’ price, there’s nothing more lethal to retail shopping than the removal of choice. With Penney, it was as if someone suddenly stuck spinach on our plate saying, “Here’s what you want. Here’s what’s good for you.” To top it off, they made the decision without us. How unfair. No more were the days we could splurge on ice cream – better known as full retail price, or choose the alfalfa sprouts, aka budget-healthy clearance pricing with a side of no regrets. We used to be empowered to spend either recklessly or frugally, and now look at us. A fearless pricing and incentive model was the hope, and still is. What consumers wouldn’t give for a price tag that whispers buy me at $46 now and if you find me at $20 later, we’ll put the difference towards your next purchase. Give us permission. An easier decision. Reduce our risk, and increase your sacrifice so we can splurge with less anxiety, diet with greater loyalty, and feel like our side of the price tag is more than fair. Or, at least the perception of that anyway. Fair enough? Lori PS: Choice. Control. Safety. → We need to feel or gain those…to get to this → Motivation.