Contextual conditioning is a notion in behavioral economics where people’s perceptions become reality. A good example is that of branded aspirin versus generic aspirin. It has the same chemical composition of branded aspirin and is often made by the same company. It is identical in every way except brand and package graphics. Yet, branded aspirin commands a price that is often 2x more than generic aspirin. Additionally, if you poll satisfaction of both generic and branded aspirin, satisfaction is, on average, about 30% higher with branded aspirin despite the price difference. Even if you tell people that the two types of aspirins are identical and charge them different prices, they still prefer, and have higher satisfaction, with branded aspirin. Branded aspirin is more effective than generic aspirin for curing headaches not for medical reasons, but for branding reasons.
A premium product or service may be just what you need to better please your customers, boost returns, and keep you away from the aspirin. At times, it is all a matter of context.