When I was a kid, my family always bought Miracle Whip — never mayo.
My dad said he liked Miracle Whip better because that was what his mom bought for him when he was a kid. So I grew up putting Miracle Whip on my sandwiches because that’s what was in the fridge. It was familiar, and I liked the way it tasted. I guess you could say we were a Miracle Whip family.
So you can imagine my shock when I opened my grandma’s fridge to find — horror of horrors — actual mayonnaise. She didn’t have any Miracle Whip at all!
When I asked her about it, she said, “Oh, I only bought Miracle Whip all those years when your father was growing up because it was less expensive. But I can afford the good stuff now.”
I ate mayo on my sandwich that day, but I didn’t like it. And to this day, I still prefer to have Miracle Whip if I can get it.
Why tell that story?
It’s a good illustration of the way that humans come to prefer the status quo — and really resist any changes. The irony is that, without intending to, my grandmother created a preference for a certain kind of sandwich spread that lasted generations — all while she herself preferred something else.
The same thing happens in pricing. (You knew I was going to eventually link these two things together, right?)
The people in your company have a preference for the status quo. They like it when things keep going the way they have always gone.
But most pricing initiatives upset that status quo. They require people to do things in new ways and to change habits that they might have had for years.
And they’re not going to like it.
If your pricing initiative doesn’t take that resistance to change into account, it’s pretty much doomed to fail.
You shouldn’t be, because the flip side of that statement is that if you follow best practices for change management when rolling our your initiative, your chances of success skyrocket. I’m not just saying that — the data bears it out. A study conducted by Prosci found
“Projects with excellent change management effectiveness were more than six times more likely to achieve project objectives than teams with poor change management effectiveness.”
In case you missed that, I’ll repeat it another way: If you implement change management techniques when rolling out your pricing project, you are 600% more likely to succeed.
The one thing that helps any pricing initiative succeed? It’s change management.
If change management is a new concept for you, or if you’d like to brush up on your skills, I encourage you to check out the webinar Making Change Happen. It covers the key principles of change management and explains how to get people to do things differently without kicking and screaming about it.
The great thing is that these techniques are applicable to lots of different situations far beyond just pricing. Mastering these skills can make you more effective at work and at home, no matter where life might take you.
Except, of course, if you want to change someone’s long-time preference for Miracle Whip over mayo. Good luck with that one; you’re on your own.