Richard Maun – The Box Trick

better business blog

Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation


The Box Trick

26 November 2017

We are funny creatures, us humans. We convince ourselves that we are rational, thoughtful people when in fact most of our decisions are taken by our subconscious.

We think we’ve made a decision, whereas the actual machinery is whirling away in a dim recess of our brain, according to recent research. When we make a decision we are in fact simply telling ourselves about the decision our synapses made for us a few minutes ago.

This is one reason, in my opinion, why we love a bargain and why we fill our shopping trolleys with brilliant deals in food; food that we don’t actually need.

Us humans love a good product, neatly packaged and tied with a ribbon. Even the cheapest piece of jewellery looks much more alluring when presented in a chic little box.

We can take anything and make it more marketable by putting it a box. This gives it substance and form. Service products can be hard to sell because they are intangible, however we can think again!

We love to feel fruit in a supermarket, test drive a car, or smell flowers before we buy them.

We can’t do that with a consultancy, coaching, or workshop offering for example. They tend to exist in the moment and are only given form once the report has been written, or the handouts handed out during a taught piece.

Software has tackled this problem head on. Even online, products are often displayed in a mocked up ‘box’ graphic so they have a 3D form to them.

We tend to feel more secure in our purchase because our subconscious has mentally already handled the goods and decided they are good enough for us.

We can use the box trick to bundle up products, or services, into special, exclusive, value added packages.

Take three jars of jam for £1 each and you have £3 of sales value in front of you. Put the same three jars in a whicker basket and wrap a ribbon around it and voila… you have Richard Maun’s Mega-Jam Winter Breakfast Special …yours for only £5.99.

Even if we subtract the cost of the packaging we have still made at least an extra £1 by creating a new product in a pretty box (or basket in this case).

Anything can be turned into a product, given a cool name and sold for a higher mark-up than the component parts. The whole toy industry has thrived on this principle since board games were invented. 

The box trick is not a con. We are offering something more for the money …we are inviting our subconscious to be even more enthusiastic about its purchase. Everybody wins. The customer feels happier and our till is pleased with our efforts.

This week we can take a fresh look at all our services, products, training courses and so on and we can find ways to combine them, package them and add value to them, without needing to change the core contents.

Sometimes good business starts with a basket and a strip of shiny ribbon!

Go for it!

Next week: Career Coaching Counts


Click cover to view details on Amazon


Riding the Rocket

How to manage your Modern Career

Published 2013 Marshall Cavendish



Bouncing Back

How to get going again after a career setback

Published 2012 Marshall Cavendish



How to Keep Your Job

Brilliant ways to increase performance, stay employed and keep the money rolling in

Published 2011 Marshall Cavendish



Job Hunting 3.0

Secrets and skills to sell yourself effectively in the Modern Age

Published 2010 Marshall Cavendish



Leave the Bastards Behind

An insider's guide to working for yourself

Published 2007 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish



My Boss is a Bastard

Surviving turmoil at work

Published 2006 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish


© Richard Maun 2015 / Click here to contact