One of Tesco's great strengths is its understanding of price-targeting: the art of getting customers to reveal exactly how much they are prepared to pay for any goods. The genius lies in developing three lines of ostensibly the same products, aimed at three different categories of purchaser: Tesco own brand; Tesco Finest; and Tesco Value. Thus Tesco can cash in on both the people who are prepared to pay through the nose for finest* Tin Foil, as well as those who would only pay bare minimum for the same product in the Value range.
Previously I have questioned the validity of applying the finest* branding to products such as Tesco Broadband, given their inability to promise a higher-quality online experience than ordinary broadband. But today I saw an interesting application of the Value branding: Tesco Value bottled water.
Now correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that Tesco Value was aimed at people who wanted basic products. Surely bottled mineral water is the preserve of those fairly insensitive to the price of food. What next - Tesco Value fois gras?
At 17p a litre, Tesco Value Still Water does represent a more realistic cost for one of the most basic products of all, certainly when compared with the equivalent volume of, say, Evian. But if you turn on your tap around here you can apparently buy a cubic metre of clean, still drinking water for £1.20, according to Anglian Water's website. I don't even know how many litres you get in a cubic metre, but I'm willing to guess it is more than 8.
I'm quite tempted to bottle up some of my tap water and sell it outside Tesco for 10p a litre to this clearly burgeoning gentry who fancy "designer water" to accompany their turkey twizzlers. After all, at 17p each, I can't imagine Tesco is doing anything different.
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