People are making fun of Juicero’s $400 juicer because some journalists figured out that you can do the same job with your bare hands.
Juicero sells $8 packs of vegetable pulp, but you’re supposed to first pay for the $400 machine in order to use them.
The public backlash was enough to compel Juicero CEO Jeff Dunn to defend his product with the following response:
The value of Juicero is more than a glass of cold-pressed juice. Much more.
The value is in how easy it is for a frazzled dad to do something good for himself while getting the kids ready for school, without having to prep ingredients and clean a juicer.
That’s dumb. If you want a convenient juicebag, Capri Sun solved the problem decades ago. Juicero is a product that addresses a completely different need — That of, How do I best convey that I have an obscene amount of disposable income so that people will want to mate with me?
I don’t know why Dunn is marketing his product this way. It would be like if Louis Vuitton advertised handbags with a woman struggling to contain her cell phone, keys, wallet, and Wellbutrin all in two bare hands.
“The value of Louis Vuitton is in how easy it is for a frazzled mom to transport her items without having to pick them up one at a time,” the CEO might proclaim.
No, this is how you sell a Louis Vuitton:
As Miranda from Sex and the City would say: “If you’re not wearing something [others] can’t afford, how will they know to look up to you?”
Mr. Dunn’s biggest mistake was in cutting the price of a Juicero from $700 to $400. He should have doubled it. The only time you cut the price on a status symbol is to encourage sales of a premium version that costs even more. Like the iPhone 5C: Apple made it very clear that ‘C’ stands for cheap, and encased the phones in gaudy crayon colors to underscore that point.
The value of Juicero is that few people can have one. When the juicer was first launched, the founder restricted the supply and would only deliver to residents in three states. At Recode, Kara Swisher praises the product and explains:
This is an area of interest because there’s a lot of juice going on in San Francisco and now it’s sort of spread like a virus across the United States — avoiding the Midwest, of course.
See? That’s the real value of a Juicero.
Unfortunately, Juicero’s new CEO is a former president of Coca-Cola. His strategy is to get sugary beverages into as many faces as possible. Joke’s on them for believing that any sort of juice is healthy.
See Also: Veblen Good