The Roundpeg office sits just a few hundred yards away from the Carmel town limits. People frequently get lost trying to find us, assuming we’re in Carmel. While we’re in Indianapolis, many of our clients are Carmelites, and they often run into a big problem: they want to look high-end, but don’t want people to think they’re expensive.

For those of you not from Indiana, Carmel is a suburb just to the north of Indianapolis. It’s also one of the wealthiest towns in the nation. Bentleys and BMWs cruise the streets, designer clothes are de rigeur, and shops and restaurants love words like “gourmet,” “artisanal,” and “boutique.” That’s why it’s so important for businesses to have beautiful buildings, stunning interior design, and fancy names. Appearances are everything in Carmel.

But at the same time, people in Carmel don’t want to waste money, either. Sure, they may be willing to splurge on a pair of designer jeans, but they don’t want to pay more for their oil change than the regular Joes do down in Indianapolis. So what’s a business owner to do to balance upscale tastes with value-based prices?

  • Logo: If you have a fancy building or storefront, consider using a more playful, informal logo. This will help you seem more approachable, while still letting your facility speak for itself. Consider using colors like orange, yellow, and brown: they’re seen as “less expensive” colors.
  • Discounts: This is a controversial move, but if you’re really serious about being seen as an affordable provider, consider offering discounts, coupons, or deals. This move can get the budget-conscious in the door–then it’s up to you to keep them.
  • Adapt: It’s very difficult (if not impossible) to play this balancing act. Everyone dreams of having the Coach purse for the Target price, but when it comes to communicating this principle of “affordable quality” in the few words of a Facebook update, an ad, or a logo, it can be a losing battle. You may just have to choose between being seen as low-cost and high-class in your marketing. Once your tactic draws folks through the doors, you can wow ’em with the other half of the equation.

How do you deal with the Carmel Conundrum?