When undergoing hardship of any kind, it’s natural for people to feel better when they receive sincere empathy from others. And so was created “Sympathic Pricing!”
Also known as “Passionate Pricing” or “Painkiller Pricing”, Trendwatching.com highlights the many companies offering special discounts to help alleviate the “burden of unforeseen events” beyond the consumer’s control, like transit strikes, natural disasters or economic hardship.
As this trend has evolved over the last few years, it’s taken many forms — from the serious tone of a shop in Madrid who offered special pricing to the unemployed, to the congenial tone of mobile cab app Uber, who, during the recent London Tube strike, offered 50% off all trips to passengers who split their fair with another passenger, even to the even more offbeat tone of Otasuke’s approach, a Japanese pub offering discounts to balding customers to support ‘hard-working fathers losing their hair” due to job stress. (I think I can relate!)
As consumers continue to exhibit a general distrust of companies, (a 2013 Cohen & Wolf study says that only 5% of folks in the US and UK believe them to be honest), brands, more than ever, need to go out of their way to be genuine. So is Sympathetic Pricing a viable way to do this? Few brands can likely cause a complete 180 in public opinion, but perhaps this is a sincere way to put the proverbial money where the mouths are and try!