We all know there’s a psychology to pricing. Something that taps into our brains and convinces us that $199 is cheaper than $200 even when we know it’s a tactic. But it still makes us feel better to buy the $1 cheaper thing.
And you can’t have missed it everywhere in the online space of offers using the psychology of pricing things ending in 9s - or perhaps even more commonly in digital products and courses, 7s.
$27…$47…$1997… Why 7s? No one seems to really know for sure.
When it comes to pricing, we tend to fall into one of two camps:
- We go hard with the psychology and pricing formulas and strategies that we see everywhere
- Or we just kind of wing it, and hope for the best
But neither of those quite cut it for me. I’m not the kind of person who is satisfied with a shrug for an answer, as why we price it that way.
I need pricing to feel aligned and purposeful.
Not just a formula or marketing trick because someone said so.
I need pricing to feel aligned and purposeful. Not just a formula or marketing trick because someone said so. #marketingwithheart #intutivemarketing
What is Intuitive Pricing?
Intuitive pricing - we think of intuition as going with our gut, and that may not sound concrete enough for deciding on your prices.
But I don’t consider intuition as separate from psychology. Psychology is just one part - intuition is the part of ourselves that encompasses all kinds of knowing. Mind, body and heart.
I think of Intuition as “Body Knowing” - the part of yourself that expands beyond just the conscious, rational mind, and draws on all the ways we sense and know things.
Intutive pricing means using more than just the psychological “tricks.”. (I’m not against them, using ethical marketing psychology helps remove obstacles for your customers - rather than tricking or manipulating them, you’re aiding them to get out of their own way.)
But pricing intuitively uses your feeling and body awareness, and your energetic knowing, to get out of the rigidity of pricing by formulas, and keeping aligned with the bigger picture of your business.
This is why sometimes it feels perfectly aligned to price something completely differently to what conventional marketing might tell you, and it brings unexpected results. But I’ll cover more about Intuitve Pricing as a whole another time.
Let’s focus on the numerology…
What is Numerology?
At a basic level, numerology is the about the energy of numbers. Everything in life has an energetic vibration, and each number embodies its own unique vibration - which influences and evokes our response to it in various ways.
I love numerology for my personal life. And we’ve even created an app and plugin for calculating the numerology of your business name. (You can check it out on Google Play here - it’s totally free, no ads.)
But I hadn’t looked at it specifically for pricing before - but why not? If you’re at all interested in this kind of thing, you’ve probably encountered a connection to numbers before, perhaps in seeing 11:11 on the clock repeatedly at synchronistic times.
So perhaps numerology holds an explanation for some of the innate response we have to different numbers in pricing.
Perhaps when we can’t fully explain through psychology why we respond the way we do, it’s because we aren’t looking at the whole intuitive picture.
Why do we end prices in 9s or 7s?
While numerologically, no number is inherently positive or negative, they have different vibrations that we respond to differently in different circumstances.
For example, a 4 is a very grounded, stable number. Imagine four sturdy chair legs.
When you want a stable, reliable feel, like the numerology of an accounting business name, it’s perfect.
But if you want something new and exciting, full of fresh potential… the energy of a 4 can feel a little too stuck in the mud.
So I think the energy behind 7s and 9s in prices relates to how we want to feel about the money we are spending and what we a receiving in exchange for it.
When it comes to prices, what do we want to feel?
This can depend of course on what we are buying.
A 9 can help us feel good about almost anything - it is a number of completion and fulfilment.
So it can help us feel satisfied. A wish fulfilled. The promise of something new, but with a more complete energy than the total newness of a 1 or the buzzy energy of a 3.
And because it has this completion energy - the culmination of a cycle - it also holds a sense of wisdom. Of everything gained and learned along the journey.
And who doesn’t want to feel wise when making a purchase!
It’s a very full, rich number because numerology works in cycles, and 9 comes at the end of the cycle of single digit numbers. So in pricing, it makes sense that it holds and conveys a sense of value - perhaps this sense of value is then imbued into whatever product the price is applied to.
7s, though not a number of completion, similarly hold a deep energy of wisdom - it is the number of inner knowing, and of truth.
I feel that is why it is so common in the digital product space, because it conveys something trust worthy. Something that has been well thought out, in both practical and intuitive ways - because the 7 holds the energy of both of these things. It also holds a deep sense of fascination and interest.
Some consider it “lucky” too which probably plays a role. But in numerology, 7 is not really a “lucky” number, but it is an intuitive and perhaps even psychic one.
The Meanings of Individual Numbers
If numerology helps us see why certain numbers like 7s and 9s are most appealing to us for pricing, it might also help explain why we instinctively don’t use certain other numbers very often.
(Though once you know their energy, you might decide to use them in certain circumstances when you instinctively feel their energy is just what the situation needs. I’ll go more into the full idea of intuitive pricing another time.)
Here is the list of all single digit and the main master numbers, and what their numerology could tell us about pricing.
1: leadership, newness
New opportunities, a fresh start, and or an invitation to lean in to alignment. 1s are quite direct.
Ending a price with a 1 feels a little incongruous, unless the whole price is 1s. E.g. $111 vs $411.
1s want to lead the way. They don’t like being back up dancers. Consider what energy you’re trying to convey before you tack them on behind other numbers - do they add or detract from that aim?
2: partnership, duality
A 2 has a sense of balance that is a bit lighter on its feet than the stable 4. It is the energy of duality - e.g. light and dark, masculine and feminine, two sides of the same coin. Like balancing out scales.
2 is partnership like two people dancing together - while they work together well, there is still a little bit of push and pull, and lead and follow. But is more sensible, and not flashy or showy like some other numbers.
It could be good for 1:1 offerings, or small group settings, where you want a sense of peace and harmony, while addressing challenging subjects.
3: creativity, social connection
3s have a lively energy - but it is not unstable. 3 legged stools can be perfectly balanced. A 3 stranded cord is strong.
But these things have to be done right - if the stool legs are out of alignment, or if the cord strands are frayed or not twined together properly, then things get all out of whack.
Each part has to be contributing equally to maintain balance.
In pricing, 3s could be attached to collaborative, creative offerings or products where everyone needs to keep engaged and motivated - where you want to keep that 3 energy alive, so that people are excited all the way through until the end.
4: stability, support
4s, like I have mentioned, are the most stable and grounded of the bunch. Like a well built, four legged chair. Like mountain pose in yoga, with all parts of your feet touching the ground.
It’s balance, trust, tradition, and predictability. Which is perfect for foundations, for creating a firm base people feel at ease with. But may not be dynamic and exciting enough for some purposes - with too much 4 energy, it becomes a stick in the mud. Unable to shift quickly with the times.
5: change, daring
5 has an unstable energy to it - a “this could go either way” energy. Which could be either exciting or dangerous.
It’s daring and adventurous - in some circumstances this might work perfectly. Or when you want to reflect the excitement of what your customer is purchasing. E.g. $555 instead of $497 attracts a more daring buyer for something that offers an exciting transformation ahead, compared to the more solid, foundational 4, 9 & 7.
6: home, nurturing
6 is the mother number, the caregiver and nurturer. It represents home base, the place you know you can always return for rest and to be cared for.
But it can have an edge to it. Mother’s aren’t just all soft and squidgy pushovers… they can be feirce and powerful creative forces. Leaders and protectors of those in their care.
I think the reason 666 has been a “demonised” number is because of the fear of the feminine, witch, creative womb power of women - represented in a 6.
It holds within it the potential to bring forth new life. That’s kind of powerful alchemy you don’t see anywhere else. Use 6s wisely!
7: truth, intuition
7s feel wise and knowing. Something well researched, or even something that contains a sense of ancient wisdom. It also piques our curiosity.
The message is - there is something here I want to know more about! And you feel it in your body, as much as in your mind.
(That’s when it is balanced - over used, and it can become something that goes too far one way or the other. Either completely head based, ignoring the intutive side and lacks creativity. Or so into the energetic, that it loses touch with practicality, and becomes unstable.)
8: wealth, manifestation
On the face of it, the infinite 8 (it’s an infinity symbol on its side) might seem like the perfect number for pricing.
But I think it most cases, it’s far too strong. In pricing, it’s off putting in its forcefulness.
You can use it other places in your life and business when you want to invite that manifesting power in - but used without wisdom and intention, it turns into power imbalances and shows up in overpowering leadership styles.
(Kind of like the energy of the masculine, forceful bro-marketing that we already see everywhere - which perhaps is why they use 7s and 9s so much, because they are instinctively trying to balance out the overbearing salesy manipulation that’s going on everywhere else. If they used 8s as well, their message would be all too plain - we just want your moneeeeey!! :))
9: fulfilment, completion
A wish fulfilled! The end of the journey, where you can now look back and see the big picture, how it all came together, and what it all means. You’re at the point where you can benefit from your experiences and accumulated wisdom, and begin to bestow this upon others.
That’s feeling and images that 9s evoke. They are well rounded and complete, containing everything gathered along the way on the journey through all the other numbers.
0: the infinite, source, nothingness
This can feel very elite, expensive. It does not compromise, it is completely whole within itself, and doesn’t need to change or adjust itself for anyone or anything.
Come to me if you want, it says, I won’t chase after you. You need me, I don’t need you. I am already whole.
If you apply too many 0s to the wrong thing, it will feel empty, because it just isn’t a fit.
But to the right things, the emptiness becomes a channel for the infinite, and it imparts something powerful that people will aspire to attain.
Double or Triple Numbers
Essentially any double digit (e.g. 77) or repeating of the same number, is an amplification of the energy of the single digit.
Using Numerology in Your Pricing
I wouldn't base my pricing solely on numerology. It's just one way of enhancing the overall energy and persona of your brand.
Focus too much on it, try to make it a formula, and the real energy of it will elude you. It’s not something that works when you get all in your head about it.
And it’s just one aspect of your pricing and business. One tool in your intuitive toolkit, not the whole picture.
If you're in a cafe and want chocolate cake, are you not going to buy it because the price ends in an 8 instead of a 6? Unlikely.
But how the cafe uses pricing overall as part of its branding is going to affect how likely you are to go into that Cafe in the first place.
The Importance of Perceived Value
Your prices still has to be connected to a balanced energy exchange based on the value of what you are selling.
Now if that cafe was selling a tiny piece of cake slab cake from a packet for $18 dollars - it’s not the 8 that would put you off, it’s that they’re ripping you off in the exchange of value.
If it was an exclusive piece of cake from the best pastry chef in the world visiting for just one day - well, the right people would pay $18 in a heartbeat for that and feel they got a bargain.
So use numerology as a tool, but use your intuition and the big picture of your business, what you’re selling, and who you’re selling it to.
If something doesn’t feel right, consider the numerology of it to tweak how you’re pricing it and see if that feels more aligned.
But don't use numerology to overthink it and get bogged down in the details!
Get out there and sell your things - that will be the quickest way to tell you if you’re pricing right, instead of getting stuck figuring out “perfect pricing” and not selling anything at all!
Or the $0 in your bank balance will be laughing at you haughtily… 😉