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The Pricing Terrorist

My head is still ringing from Eddie Van Halen’s 10 minute guitar solo which included “Eruption,” “Cathedral,” and the opening of “Mean Streets.” It was like watching Michelangelo paint a thousand beats per second. These rock gods from Southern Cally are one of my favorites rock bands. Van Halen, opened the show with a take-no-terrorist-alive mentality, and busted right into “Unchained.” Love the lyrics to this song, they really hit home for me:

Change, Nothin’ Stays The Same
Unchanged, and Ya Hit The Ground Runnin’
Change, Ain’t Nothin’ Stays The Same
Unchanged, and Yeah Ya Hit The Ground Runnin’

Ain’t Nothin’ Stays The Same
I know that a lot folks hate change and always say “Why can’t thing’s just stay the freakin’ same?” For me, the hair literally stands up on the back of my neck when I think of all the opportunities for security dealers and integrators. There’s a lot more dinero to be made and much more RMR to put on the books. But you gotta hit the ground runnin’ and embrace change, if you want to make more money fast today.

Margins Are Shrinking
Just like Rock n’ Roll and the Security Industry, the margins are shrinking if you’re selling the ol’ fashioned way. Bands really aren’t making much with CD’s sales anymore with the rise of streaming services, like Spotify, and iTunes entrenched as the worlds biggest music retailer. Digital sales in 2011 outstripped physical sales for the first time ever! This has put the kibosh on profits for a lot of rock bands that are just getting by and resting on their laurels.

Show Me The Money
The money for rock bands is not the CD business anymore, it’s in the rock concert and touring business and, more importantly, the “PACKAGING & CREATION” of musical products. Why sell a single download for .99 cents when you can sell a box set complete for $434.99, take a look at the two different and completely diverse musician’s that have repackage there products, and getting out of the commodity business of just selling a single downloads.

U2 – Achtung Baby
The entire history of “Achtung Baby” is chronicled in the super deluxe edition. It consists of six compact discs and four DVDs, including the documentary, and a Zoo TV special. Other goodies in the box include a hardcover book and 16 art prints.

Fans of the band are treated to the original album, and a variety of extra material that ranges from informative to overkill, depending on your level of fandom. There’s a scaled-down two disc set that includes 14 additional tracks, as well as an uber-deluxe version at the uber-high price of $434.99 that includes a set of collectible vinyl singles, a magnetic puzzle tiled box, and a pair of Bono’s trademark “Fly” sunglasses.

Tony Bennett – The Complete Collection
This 73-CD, three-DVD collection, priced at around $400, reflects Tony Bennett’s lifelong ambition to create a “hit catalog rather than hit records.” It contains more than 1,000 individual songs recorded over more than six decades, from his first recording, a rare 1946 V-Disc with an Army band in Europe, to tunes from his first No. 1-charting album, “Duets II,” released in September, pairing him with today’s stars, including Lady Gaga and Carrie Underwood.

As you can see these box are priced 435 times more the any single one-song download.

The Pricing Terrorist
Is that little jihad voice inside your head saying that you can’t raise your prices, you gotta keep them low just like everyone else. If you’re stuck selling a commodity, you better damn well master the fine art of creating value and differentiating yourself from the competition. It’s no secret there’s a direct link between having a super successful security business and a killer marketing machine.

Packaging is similar to the “value meal” at McDonald’s or the kids meals at Burger King. You provide the convenience to the client of including items they would customarily buy, bundled together at a reduced price. A lumber yard might offer a “fence building kit” including plans, lumber, concrete, hammer, nails, and rental of an auger machine. A health club might offer a weight reduction and conditioning package, including a one-year membership, nutrition consulting, a one-year supply of nutrition supplements, and three months of personal training.

A security installer might offer homeowners a “Home-Safe-Home” package where they bundle a “Home-Safe-Home” safety and security audit, a four door, eight motion, three keypad security system with four video cameras system and one year monitoring and a service contract at a reduced price. You need to learn from these examples and add value, add services, bundle things together and make it so that a true apples-to-apples comparison with some other brand is difficult or impossible.

Hey, Van Halen concert rocks, and so do you!

Let me know what you think, also what’s your favorite VH song?

P.S. If this post resonates with you, please “like” it, “tweet” it, or +1 it!


  1. jordan frankel says

    Well done my friend! Great analogy!

    Jordan Frankel
    The Security Sensei

  2. Bob Maunsell says

    Hey Jordan,

    I appreciate the kind words and I’m glad you enjoyed it.


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