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Mar 25, 2009 | Comments

A few observations after 9 days in Spain:

1. Psychogical Pricing practice, the Spanairds do not. This is a common strategy observed everywhere in the US: employing odd prices, slightly less than a round number (e.g., $299.99, $1.98). In fact, it’s so prevalent that rounded price points (e.g., $30) are considered prestigious. Consider McDonalds and a fine restaurant; I’m sure that you can imagine which business employs the respective pricing strategy. Despite it’s controversial use and ambiguous efficacy, almost all prices in Spain were rounded to the nearest Euro.

2. Peeping Cross-Walks – Spanish cross-walks make a “peeping” sound (watch here), starting off with a loop of fast peeps, slowing down as time few chirps a second. After a day of rumination, I reasoned that it’s a beautiful solution for the blind to cross the street, audibly. Given it’s such a strong signal, is there even a need for the expensive box showing the “walking man” and “big red hand?”

3. Fast Food — Traditional Spanish food consumption is vastly different than the US. Lunch is typically a much larger meal, perhaps 3-4 courses, with average prices around 10-20 Euro ($13 – $25). Dinner is small: a few tapas (finger sandwiches) with a beer. I noticed, however, that in food courts lines were much longer for McDonalds/KFC compared to traditional Spanish dining merchants. In fact, I observed one Spanish restaurant employee bitterly glaring at the McDonalds queue, while observing that his restaurant was completely empty. It’s a story that’s been told for hundreds of years: old-world companies refusing to adapt to changing consumer habits.

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