Checkers and PRIME’s clever marketing trick

Checkers and PRIME have used an established sales and marketing trick called price anchoring to convince people that paying R39.99 for a sports drink is good value.

Price anchoring is a strategy where an initial price for a product is set, typically very prominently, to tell people what a product is worth.

The strategy capitalises on people’s inherent tendency to rely on an initial piece of information to guide their future decisions.

In the case of PRIME, numerous social media posts and news reports emerged in April that young people are paying R400 per bottle for the new sports drink.

Radio 702 reported that “Prime is a hellishly expensive sports drink which kids here and abroad are obsessing over”, pitching the price between R400 and R650 per bottle.

The online retail price for PRIME, which YouTubers Logan Paul and KSI promote, start at around R274 per bottle and increases to over R1,000 per bottle.

On 24 April, Checkers announced that it had become the official South African retail partner of PRIME Hydration and would offer the drink at “supermarket prices”.

“The worldwide hydration drink phenomenon, PRIME, will be widely available to local fans at the supermarket price of only R39.99,” Checkers said.

From Monday, 1 May 2023, PRIME will be sold at selected Checkers and Checkers Hyper stores and on Sixty60 in the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. It will roll out to the rest of South Africa during the month.

The retail chain is trying to continue the hype by inviting customers to join them and TikTok South Africa to celebrate the launch of PRIME at prominent stores.

Anyone who investigated the product would have realised there is nothing special about it apart from artificial hype.

It is similar to most other sports drinks, is not really exclusive, and is not particularly expensive in markets like the United States.

Americans can purchase 12 500ml bottles of PRIME for $29.98 (R549.00), which equates to R45.75 per bottle. It is in line with Checkers’ retail price.

However, when it comes to premium brands and hype products, marketing rather than value-for-money dictates sales.

In the case of PRIME in South Africa, Checkers and PRIME Hydration did an exceptional job of lifting the new energy drink’s profile, which will drive sales.