Additional Thoughts on Selling Value

Think about how many times you have had a particular problem, and when you found the right solution, price was usually not an issue. You needed that solution and you were willing to pay for it. The same holds true for the more expensive Android apps. Obviously the type of app we are talking about here is one that is geared toward a narrow audience with a specific need. Because you understand the buyers' problem and can provide them with a solution, they are willing to pay for that solution.

There are really two markets on the Android Market: the flea market and utility market. We all love flea markets and sometimes we are flea market buyers. We browse and walk the aisles of the Android Market looking for something fun. At other times we are utility buyers, looking for a particular app to solve a particular problem.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

• Differentiate, differentiate, differentiate. If there is nothing that makes you unique from your competition, you become common. Common means ordinary or not special, and the only way buyers select one common app over another app is price. Take inventory of your development skills, experience, and knowledge. If you have specialized skills in some area, think about developing an app for that skill set. Sure, you are going after a niche market, but it could be a very profitable niche market for you. If you are an expert in certain facets of your business, look to create an app to automate or improve your business. These and other differentiators can make you unique and valuable to the app-buying audience.

• Dropping your price too low can hurt you. Depending on the type of app, you may be doing yourself a disservice by pricing the app too low. In some of the previous examples, your customers would question the value of your app if the price is set at practically zero. Most find the old adage holds: They get what they pay for in terms of quality and stability. A higher priced app implies there must be something more to it. Again, this generally does not include game apps, which seem to fall in the $0.99-$2.99 range, with few exceptions.

• A competitive price adds perceived value. This chapter is focused on higher priced apps, and if you are selling a higher priced app, do not drop the price so low that you are far and away the cheapest option in your category on the Android Market. It's okay to be a little cheaper, 20% or so, but not 80%.

If there are few (or no) Android app competitors, price the app higher. If you have created an app that could have a strong audience but lacks a lot of similar apps on the Android Market, then look to Mac and PC solutions to see where they are priced. A good Mac or PC app (think Antivirus software for the PC) sells for $24.99 to $39.99 all the time. Your app may be a utility or novel app that helps someone in a certain line of business and can be priced above $20.

Figure 12.7 shows an HVAC app that helps people in the heating and air conditioning trade calculate duct sizes and pipe sizes. This app is currently priced at $23.99, and for an individual in this line of work, this is an acceptable price for this type of tool. I'm sure they've spent a lot more on other tools.

Figure 12.7 If there are very few (or no) apps that do the same thing your app does, you can charge a much higher (but fair) price to a limited audience.

• Consumers want value and are willing to pay for it. It may surprise you, but consumers are willing to spend a fair amount for an app that works well and solves their problem. They would rather buy an app that works and spend a little more than buy an app that is junk that doesn't work well or solve their problem.

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