Perception has a way of creating value in ways that, when honestly assessed, don’t make a lot of sense:
- A latte costs $32 a gallon, on average
- A gallon of Smoothie King (Gladiator) smoothie costs $27.16/gallon (not including tax)
- A cup of regular coffee costs $16/gallon, on average
- It’s about $2/glass for soda at a restaurant, an average of $12.80/gallon
- A gallon of Aquafina water could cost you at least $13.50, on average
The above list consists of items that most American’s consume on a daily basis, without thinking twice.
Last Wednesday, the Energy Department announced that they anticipate that the cost of a gallon of gas would rise to an average of $3.60 this coming June; an increase of 82¢ a gallon since this time last year.
I am not a proponent of rising fuel costs, especially since I personally can’t figure out what’s really driving this bottom line increase. However, I would like to challenge the perception. Auto fuel, an absolutely essential tool of our world, is far less expensive than any of the aforementioned nonessentials. All of which we could do without, if and when necessary.
Marketing departments have done a fantastic job at creating a high perceived value in our minds for packaged products. It seems that Exxon, Chevron, BP and the like, could stand to do some of their own marketing to win consumers over to their undervalued product. Until then, we’ll continue to live in a culture that values a gallon of coffee more than a gallon of gas.
Marketing influences. Perception pays the bills.