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Payless vs. Palessi experiment demonstrates importance of strong marketing

By now, you’ve probably seen the fascinating marketing experiment by Payless ShoeSource. The company opened “Palessi” in a swanky Los Angeles storefront, took a selection of shoes priced at less than $40 and placed them on elegantly designed, well-lit shelves common in high-end boutiques.

Payless then invited social media influencers and fashion critics to a VIP event celebrating the grand opening of “Palessi,” where guests raved about the quality, comfort and design of the shoes. One influencer even forked over $640 for a pair of $40 boots!
With a fancy-sounding Italian name, prestigious address and boutique-like atmosphere, inexpensive shoes could indeed sell for luxury prices.

That’s marketing.

Priority Marketing won’t ever help clients trick their customers into overpaying for an item, but we do help market their product in the best light. That could be colorful packaging, a new logo or a splashy redesigned website. It’s all about portraying a positive image that makes your product or service desirable, and ultimately sell.

Remember about a decade ago when people started pronouncing Target with a French accent? Targét sounded like a European boutique, not a big box department store. Nothing had changed inside the store, but an alternate pronunciation suddenly made Target a trendier place to shop.

Payless occupies typical retail spaces, and with the exception of a few pairs of shoes on display, most of its shoes are stored inside cardboard boxes and stacked on shelves lining the aisles and walls. It’s completely different than the way Palessi displayed its shoes.

Priority Marketing can take your pair of affordable shoes – or whatever product or service you offer – and turn it into a “Palessi.” We are known as a results-oriented, strategic marketing firm that develops solutions for our client partners.
To find out how Priority Marketing can help your business or organization reach the next level, call us at 239- 267-2638.

Read the AdWeek story: Payless opened a fake luxury store, ‘Palessi,’ to see how much people would pay for $20 shoes

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