David Parrish - International Business Adviser for Creative People
 

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The Price of a Bed

Would you pay 50,620 Euros for a bed?
(That's over £40,000 GBP, about $78,000 USD)

Probably not. But apparently some people do. Why? What's going on here?

I'm fascinated by pricing strategies and run workshops for creative businesses on the subject.
There are different ways to decide on your pricing strategy and I'll be writing more about them soon.
Certainly, customers are often buying more than the just the bare object - they are buying into something much bigger.
See What are you selling, really?

In the case of a Hastens bed, you are invited to buy into the story of a small family firm in Sweden.

The advert asks "Who would spend 50,620 Euros on a bed?"
It continues "Most people would not or could not. A select few could and would..."

Are you one of the select few?

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I'm interested to hear from you about pricing strategies - especially about businesses in the creative industries.

Carnaby Street W1

Westminster Council bought the copyright in the design of its iconic street signs (pictured).Carnaby_street_w1_dearcatastrophewa
This means that it can now generate income fom licensing this intellectual property to businesses.

The designs were created by Misha Black in 1967 and the copyright remained with the designer until his death, when it passed to his estate. Black's son then sold the copyright to Westminster Council in London for £50,000 GBP (100,000 USD).

The Council plans to charge licence fees to more than 100 companies that use the design on popular tourist souvenirs and other products.

Designers should follow Misha Black's example by retaining copyright when creating designs for clients, to make a profitable sale later - or to generate licensing income themselves.

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Photo credit: DearCatastropheWaitress.

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See related blogposts:
Protecting - and profiting from - your IP 
Whose photos are on your website? 
Let's follow George Lucas 

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Don't Co-operate

In contrast to the business strategies of collaboraton or Co-opetition, there is another strategy to consider: 'Don't Co-operate'.

This is one of the characteristics of the success of Apple Inc., according to Wired Magazine in an article called 'How Apple Got Everything Right By Doing Everything Wrong'. The article shows how Apple breaks several of the conventional rules of business adopted by most hi-tech companies, such as 'Communicate', 'Play Nice', 'Love Your Customers', and 'Coddle Your Employees'.

Apple's unconventional strategy demonstrates that there are no universal rules in business - you have to create a unique formula which works for your enterprise, and your customers.

Beware 'Copyright Grabs'

Photographer Chiz Dakin (Peak Images) asked me to warn other photographers about the problem of 'copyright grabs'.

Chiz is concerned about the trend for businesses, particularly large corporations, to "grab copyright in any image they can get their hands on", as she puts it.

This practice is a hazard for photographers who don't carefully read the small print in contracts with clients.
It can also apply to competitions.

So the advice from Chiz is: make sure you read the small print to ensure you don't lose your intellectual property rights in your images!

See also:
Protecting - and profiting from - your IP 
Whose photos are on your website? 

Paul Arden RIP

Advertising genius Paul Arden died on 02 April 2008.

Some of his most influential work was done while he was executive creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi for 14 years. Paul was responsible for advertising campaigns for clients such as The Independent ("The Independent. It is - are you?"), Toyota ("The car in front is a Toyota"), British Airways, Fuji, and the slashed purple silk images for Silk Cut cigarettes. Earlier in his career he worked for Ogilvy and Mather and other agencies, developing his reputation as a leader in design-led advertising.

His books are wonderful.
Bestsellers such as 'Whatever you think, think the opposite' and 'It's not how good you are, it's how good you want to be'  provide plenty of insights and provocative 'upside down' thinking: 'It's wrong to be right' and 'Compose your ad from the weakest point' jump out at me as I flick through my copies just now.
(I'm going to put them into my briefcase to dip into when I need a quick dose of inspiration.)

A real maverick and often difficult to work with, he relished getting the sack and was proud of his lack of formal education. He was a Beckham fan, notably Victoria Beckham's wanting to be "more famous than Persil Automatic" and praised Elizabeth Esteve-Coll's controversial decision to adopt the slogan "An ace caff with quite a nice museum attached" for the Victoria and Albert Museum when she was director there.

His creativity lives on...

 
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