Celebrity’s dramatically different new ‘Go Big. Go Better. Go Best.’
pricing structure requires some explaining during the sales process.
“This is a paradigm shift,” says Senior VP Dondra Ritzenthaler, “somebody could
choose ocean view, but ‘Go Best,’ (to get the most inclusions) or somebody
could choose concierge class and ‘Go Big.’” (choosing the least inclusive
In recent meetings between Celebrity execs and agents attended by Cruise
, retailers say the simplicity of the structure is essential.
this,” said one agent. “I can’t tell you how many times that our legal have
been in a room with us trying to cull through disclaimers to make sure that
we’ve got everything covered. The fact that this applies to almost all major
itineraries, all cabin categories, and that it’s a pretty clear message makes
it so much easier for us to sell.”
Ritzenthaler’s response: “Our guiding principle has to be that the consumer
needs to understand it and the agent needs to be able to sell it.”
The retail representative pointed to another aspect: “The other thing I like is
that you addressed what are typically pain points for people who are
dissatisfied. Once you’re on board you feel nickel and dimed. Particularly
those people who say, ‘Look, I want all inclusive, I don’t want to deal with
all that.’ Then you get onboard and it is included, but, except for this or
that or you only get so many minutes on the web, etc.”
“It’s really amazing how these seemingly little things can leave knives in the
feeling about the whole experience. So I think you really hit on a lot of those
key things that people are looking for.”
Because the promotions are not add-on prices, but rather included in the main
price itself, Ritzenthaler says the trade will have to take the time to educate
the consumer about this difference.
“There are going to be times, many times, that we are going to be priced
higher than our competitors because we include the things that they do not,”
“Let’s just say, for sake of conversation, that in ‘Go Big’ ours is going to be
$1000 and you pick one of those four (inclusions). Our competitor may very well
have a $900 or $950 rate. Now, it won’t be dramatically different, but we’re
going to be higher because we include the value add in with that price instead
of having cruise only."
She says it’s all better for agents: “Now you’re earning commission in that
higher price that has included that amenity...we’re paying commission on
something today that we didn’t pay commission on before.”
Ritzenthaler says much of the change was driven by consumer feedback. For
instance, on a President’s cruise, President/CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo heard the
following from some consumers: “Don’t force me into beverages. I don’t drink.”
But, she also heard from others saying that including drinks is the best part
of the whole thing.
The end result: “Now if you don’t value that, then you won’t choose that. But
more importantly if you value them all, then price that and you’re all in.”
Lutoff-Perlo says the new pricing strategy leaves room to shake things up if
maybe ‘Big’ becomes two things, maybe ‘Better’ becomes three things, maybe
‘Best’ becomes four or five things. Maybe the OBC gets better. So you have
opportunities to add on within the framework we created."
She also explained the use of the word 'Go.'
“We kept ‘Go’, which I think we had a lot of equity in—it’s an action word that
makes people want to do something when they see it.
“We came into this with a strategy of Good, Better, Best. But we said 'good'
wasn’t good enough because we always wanted somebody to believe that, when they
were getting the first thing, they were getting something big. So we quickly
eliminated good from our terminology, and ended up with the final name for the
With the amount of thought given to the name, it makes sense that Celebrity put
a lot of thought into the campaign's target demographic, as well: “Our target
is $175,000 income and it’s in the range of 50 years of age. It is really the
lifestyle of the person who appreciates the finer things in life, who wants a
travel experience and who is not just looking for the cheapest price.”