What Bali Can Teach Us About Business, Bargains & Premium Pricing

“Someone had reserved the table down by the river, with 100 candles, which includes a 6-course menu, and is usually £400, but they have had to cancel. We can give it to you for £50 each.” The smiley Balinese man said to us as we rocked up at the most beautiful candlelit hotel, by a buggy through the trees. 

It felt simply magical. And, it was my birthday. And £50 for 6 courses in this beautiful breathtaking restaurant was really reasonable, particularly in comparison to the UK. So we were all in. 

And wow was it worth it. The staff were so delightful and attentive, checking on us approx. every 4 minutes to ask if we needed or wanted anything else. They immersed in conversation and told us all about the town. They served everything with the perfect amount of time between each course, the food was absolutely delicious, the chef came out to greet us and chat to us, AND they even rounded up the wait staff to sing me happy birthday and bring me a birthday cake. 

We were absolutely blown away by the whole experience and will be recommending it to the entire world. 

And that’s what we paid for: the entire experience. Every stunning, mouth-watering, romantically charged inch of it. 

Compare this with the following day. We wandered down the main strip on Ubud to come across a little hidden restaurant down an alley, draped with multicoloured sheets and a few lanterns. It had soft Balinese music playing and looked authentic, and you sat on a cushion on the floor to eat. 

We wandered in and had to look around for someone to serve us. The food came when it came, it was nice, y’know, there was no interaction with the staff, and it didn’t look the cleanest. It cost £5 for the entire meal and drinks for two, but I don’t actually even remember the name of the place.

Sure, we were open-mouthed at the price because it is so much less than what we’re used to paying back home. But that’s the only thing that was notable about it compared to anywhere else. And of course, at those prices, why wouldn’t it be? When you’re charging low prices, you don’t have the capacity, energy, resources or money to afford those added experience-making extras. 

The footfall was great, and there was a constant stream of customers coming into the cheaper place. Which might sound great, right? But all those different people means having to cater for a whole lot of different needs, dietary requirements, ingredients, and energy to satisfy. Compare that to just a few high-paying clients you can fully focus your attention on. They might be rarer, and you might have to put in a little more effort to create them, but it's oh so worth it for the rave reviews of happy customers that refer you to someone else and someone else. Then that doesn't sound so hard at all, does it? 

Cheap and cheerful might be fine for in the moment on-the-go snap you up for a good deal kind of customer. But I’m going to bet my bottom Indonesian Rupiah they’re not the kind of customers you have on your vision board. 

Premium prices and premium experience however = invested and over-the-moon customers who rave about you and what you do to the world, forever. 

So really, it’s in the best interest of you AND your client, to up-level your prices and upgrade the experience, and use those all important everything-thought-of finishing touches to give your customer the kind of service they’ll never forget. 

Because while humans love to get a bargain, they also love to invest in a higher level - but it all depends on the value they receive. 

So, what could some gorgeous upgrades to your current client experience be? How could you delight your customer so they rave about you? What can you do to make your business unforgettable? 

And naturally, where can you be raising your price to to reflect and account for that?

Sophie French