The waiter returns with the expensive Côte-de-Brouilly. With a playful look, you mention the price tag and gesture to your date that (s)he better taste the wine. There is a giggle as the waiter arches his back in a perfect 15 degrees whilst pouring the dollop.

While the waiter expounding on its origins there is a twirl of the glass… a noseful of aroma… the sip…

Your date is impressed!

Of course she is.

The price influences her judgment.

And she is not alone. Test subjects judge wine tastier if it has a high price, even though given the exact same ‘cheap’ wine seconds before.9

The price tag changes how the brain fires. It makes the wine seem tastier.

The take-away?

Context changes how your project is experienced.

This goes for all bodily sensations.

Researchers had people judge the quality of a product standing on soft carpets and hard floors. The comfy carpet made them judge more favorably. 10

Now before you dismiss these folks as fools, let me tell you another story.

When Bordeaux University asked 50 professional wine tasters to describe a white wine dyed red, they used jargon typically reserved for red wine!

Sights, sounds, and smells change minds.

Environmental factors change how we interpret reality. It changes our attitudes and beliefs.

That’s why supermarkets make sure you can smell their bakery. Why sauna’s spray eucalyptus around. And why you shouldn’t sh*t before selling your home.

Right. In short:

The context influences how people experience value.

So don’t be shy when determining your price. A big price is interpreted as big value.

Be sure the context in which you present your project feels, looks, sounds and smells right.

And always choose the expensive bottle. Your date will like the taste.