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Studiopress GenesisBuddy: A BuddyPress Add-On for Genesis

If you have you ever wanted to add more features to your WordPress-powered website, like member profiles, activity streams, and user groups, good news for you here! Recently, the BuddyPress plugin was released to do just that. It uses a special theme.

GenesisBuddy is a child theme that enables you to use Buddypress with Genesis. After installation, creating or adding new child themes – each ready for BuddyPress – is dead easy.

With the Genesis Theme framework and the GenesisBuddy child theme, adding BuddyPress functionality to your site has just been made super easy.

The GenesisBuddy child theme integrates with existing Genesis child themes so that they too can take advantage of BuddyPress and all the social networking features it brings.

Using a Genesis child theme? That’s been taken care of too. The GenesisBuddy child theme and add-on packs for each child theme have been developed by two familiar names in the WordPress and WordPress MU world.

The All-Access package annual subscription price is $79.95. This gives you the GenesisBuddy child theme, all Genesis child theme add-on packs, and a full year of support. À la carte pricing can be found on the pricing page. Because the GenesisBuddy add-on is developed by a third party to StudioPress, it is not included in the Pro Plus All-Theme package. Nonetheless, it’s an exception deal and certainly worth the cost.

Click here to download the studiopress GenesisBuddy

Wonderful to see such comprehensive integration between StudioPress and BuddyPress.

The pricing scheme does seem a little odd, though: the All Access package, at $79, represents a saving of just $4.70 over the cost of buying Genesis Buddy at $24.95 and each of the six add-ons individually at $9.95 each – total cost $84.65.

This seems to be a bad pricing strategy because, faced with no real incentive to buy the All Access package, most people are simply going to pick ONE add-on, pay a total of $34.90 and then require precisely the same amount of support as they would if they had paid more.

I mean, if you think about it, how many people are going to equally like all six themes, to the extent that they cannot pick one or perhaps two favorites before making their purchase?

More to the point, how many people will already own the necessary StudioPress licenses for all six themes, justifying the immediate purchase of all six add-ons?

As currently priced, the Genesis Buddy All Access package only makes sense for existing StudioPress Pro Plus All-Theme license holders who are in the highly unusual position of not being able to make up their mind about which theme they will want to use for their BuddyPress site.

Anyone who can eliminate just ONE theme that they know they will not want to use will save money by buying the other five add-ons individually rather than the All Access package.

So, as it stands, most people will just buy Genesis Buddy and ONE add-on for $9.95, knowing they can try another one later for another $9.95; what possible reason could anyone have for paying $79.95 up front?

This pricing strategy is a mistake and that is a shame because, with just a little tweaking, most of us could probably be persuaded to make the jump to the All Access package, it just has to make mathematical sense.

If you accept that the average customer is going to have one theme that they particularly want to use, their base price is $24.95 + $9.95 = $34.90. In some cases, and if they already have the necessary StudioPress license, they might be inclined to pay an extra $9.95 for a second add-on BUT they are likely to but this purchase off until later, so that they can see how the first add-on works out for them. So, your customer is heading out the door with his wallet only $34.90 lighter because there was no real incentive to drop more on his initial purchase. He may or may not return to spend more but, statistically, the majority of customers do not return. Even if he does, it is almost impossible that his further purchases will ever exceed the $79.95 cost of the All Access package.

So, the opportunity to make money is short and likely to be a one-time hit. Making $34.90 the only purchase that makes sense is a lost opportunity.

With no disrespect intended toward Ron and Andrea’s excellent work, a much smarter strategy would be to make more money overall by selling a greater number of All Access packages for less money each. Imagine if I’m a customer and I’ve worked out that I can get up and running for that $34.90. Now, if you dangle a $49.95 All Access package in front of me, I would think to myself:

“Hmmm … I can only really use one theme at a time … and I don’t really have plans to do more than one BuddyPress site … and I only want to buy one StudioPress child theme right now … and I can always come back later and buy another add-on later if I really need to change my BuddyPress site … BUT, what the Hell, it’s only another $15, the All Access might come in handy and here I am with my credit card anyway!”

Yeah, I know, customers are always whining about prices being too high but, in this case, the pricing structure genuinely doesn’t make sense. I suggest $49.95 because it sits just below the magical $50 point, is more than the $34.90 that the vast majority of customers will spend and more than the $44.85 that roughly 10% of customers will spend. My guess is that the a negligible percentage will purchase three or more add-ons and only customers who are in a hurry or particularly bad at math will make the mistake of buying the All Access package. It’s a no brainer that they will make more money overall if they can lure the majority of customers into spending $49.95 rather than $34.90.

Brian, you’ve always been smart about pricing, you have the knack of arranging it so that the customer is tempted to buy more than they actually need – I myself bought your Pro Plus package when, truth be told, all I actually needed was a single license – couldn’t you give Ron and Andrea the benefit of some of your pricing insight?

Again, no respect to their excellent work, it will be invaluable to those sites that use it, but we are talking pricing here, not value.