The choices and realities behind a Smiirl Counter price tag

April 20, 2023

Everyone is feeling the squeeze right now.

Prices are skyrocketing, from gas, to rent, to food. But the quality of some products and services seems to be falling. How does that make sense?

Like you, we’ve noticed. Indeed, while these might not be the worst of times, they’re certainly not the best of times either. At Smiirl, we believe in open, honest conversation. That’s why we thought it would be a good moment to do something bold: talk about price.

Specifically, let’s discuss…

  • Which choices and simple realities influence the price tag of a Smiirl Counter
  • Why we believe our price point is as fair as it can be
  • And what exactly investment in our technology secures you (Many readers already understand the subtle power of a Smiirl Counter, but not everyone does — so, let’s revisit this subject too)

With that out of the way — buckle up and we’ll get started!

First, a quick reflection on price and value

Unless you’re an economist, you might think of pricing as a straightforward, easy problem. But it can actually be quite a difficult balancing act

Dan Ariely, the world-famous professor of behavioral economics argues that pricing is incredibly hard to quantify: “Imagine, right now, here’s a cup of coffee. How much pleasure is it giving you in terms of money?”

It is very difficult to measure these things, so more often than not we resort to comparisons. What did the coffee cost last week, or in another place, with a different label?

If we consider price from this perspective, it can lead to many unhelpful assumptions about the value of products. Take for example vegetables at the market. It is perfectly possible that one stall sells a higher quality product for a lower price than its neighbor. This simply comes down to specific arrangements and efficiencies in their sourcing and operations.

But how many people might buy the expensive vegetables thinking they were selecting for quality? Or buy a cheaper, worse product thinking they were getting a bargain?

The point being, expertise, positioning, and capabilities are extremely important in order for a business to remain competitive. And they are even more important when multi-stage manufacturing processes enter into the equation.

What is the value of a Smiirl Counter?

Oscar Wilde famously wrote that “people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

When it comes to our Counters, above everything else, their true power is found in emotional engagement. And if you know anything about sales, you know that emotion and psychology are virtually everything.

Smiirl Counters capture real clients – people already interested in your business – and convert them into online followers. And they do this in a way that is unrivaled by any other product on the market.

Firstly, our Counters are an emotional bridge connecting businesses and clients, and the physical and digital worlds. They engage customers and nudge them into following the business online. People are exposed to the content you post on your social media pages and this acts as a reminder for them to come back and make a purchase further down the line.

Secondly, our Counters create opportunities for positive, memorable interactions with customers. Just imagine you come into a store that you've never been to. You buy a new t-shirt, leave, and then…

…forget this business forever.

Without any particular memory of a store, it can easily be forgotten.

Imagine another scenario: you come into a store and see one of our Facebook Counters beautifully displayed to catch your eye. It piques your interest. You start a conversation, exchange with the person, and see your digital ‘like’ materialize in real time. It’s something unexpected, fun, and surprisingly memorable.


You leave the shop, but this time the experience stays with you. You tell your friends about it. You stay emotionally invested in the business. You spread the word.

This is how a Counter passively boosts the reputation of your business, without any further action after the point of sale. Don’t take our word for it →

Miley Aaron.png

Anatomy of a price tag

When the finer nuances of our Counters elude people, they will often turn to a simpler measurement of assessment: thinking in terms of the raw production costs. So, how much does it cost to make a Smiirl Counter? Unfortunately, here, even for those of generous spirit — there is a tendency to be way, way off.

N.B. — Producing electronic devices comes with a lot of overhead

When dissecting our Counters based on the cost of production, you must consider the following:

  • They are quality objects that come with a web interface
  • They are boosted by our excellent support team, trained to be on top
  • The production costs are higher than base electronics because of the mechanical split-flaps that need to be assembled by hand. Pricier thans a screen, but so much cooler!
  • There are many other industrial costs when building these kinds of connected objects too, including software, hardware, the web platform, marketing, and running costs

This all adds up! We break the numbers down something like this:

Manufacturing + hand-built assembly — 36%

Logistics — 15%

Marketing — 24%

Admin fees — 6%

Team salary — 14%

Net margin: 5%

We think it’s a fair deal. But if you suspect building a rotating, multi-digit, split-flap, web-connected Counter is a piece of cake, you are more than welcome to take a stab at it yourself  But be warned, you might quickly find it is more complicated than you initially thought — we certainly did. To get a sense of the engineering involved, check out this very impressive DIY project explaining the steps!

Many have tried…

Let us reassure you, we've done a lot of thinking about price. We really believe we came up with the best compromise, both for us and for our clients. As a testament to the challenge, many companies have tried to copy our Counters, thinking they were easy to make and keep running.

To put it bluntly, they all failed.

Either they tried to sell really cheap products, that didn't work well, or they sold a product of near-equivalent quality, but at a far higher price. This is because (remember the vegetables) they did not have our capabilities or expertise.

It probably sounds like we’re gloating, but that’s not our thing at all. What we’re about is happy, satisfied customers with thriving businesses. If you need any further convincing, our clients have that covered.

Wrapping up

So, there you have it. Hopefully, everyone’s feeling a little less mystified about how a Counter gets its price tag. And also, ideally, it has become clear that you really do get excellent value for money with our business-boosting connected devices. If we’ve captured your interest, do get in touch!