One of the biggest challenges individuals and businesses face is understanding the value we truly offer.
In general, we tend to place too much importance on fitting in to established norms and not enough on our unique attributes. This often carries over into business dealings.
We spend so much time designing our products and filling them with great features. We take careful consideration of customer feedback (from user experiences and surveys) as well as a close eye on what our competitors are doing. For most of us; this is great fun and is supported by mountains of data.
Yet, these often fail to make meaningful connections with ideal audiences.
Value truly lives in the mind of the recipient or ‘the eye of the beholder’ as the saying goes. In order to deliver more value; we must look at how our products and services impact the lives of our customers and prospects. Because of this, delivering value is a very creative endeavor that balances between consistency and individuality as well as perception and reality.
Mercedes-Benz has built a reputation as being a luxury brand. They certainly live up to the claim with several of their models, but also have many models that actually cost less than some of their non-luxury competitors.
I just ‘built’ a CLA250 on their website and selected a few upgrades that are worth-while to me. My price was $33,575. A similarly-equipped Honda Accord was $35,515. Regardless of price, which is more valuable?
Clearly for some, it is the reliability of the Accord. After all, they likely owned a previous model or know several people who do. There is value in making this decision.
For others, they want the look and of the Mercedes. It is not the physical characteristics, per se, but the way they feel driving the car; holding the key fob in their hands; and what it communicates to others.
Value happens when we make emotional connections with people. Skipping this phase is a recipe for disaster! Too many companies simply state the facts and features and miss the opportunity to connect it to a specific part of customer’s lives.
In workshops and seminars, I often tell audiences to start with a couple simple questions. The dialogue from these will often point to some truly valuable insights.
- List all the pains that are eliminated by the product/feature?
It is easy to come up with 5-6, maybe even 10-12. I really push for 50-75! These additional pains often come from listening to first customers. (knowing they will be innovators by nature, they will have some clever uses that you never imagined).
On a scale of 1-10; rate how severe each is, and how much your product minimizes it.
There is no need to get overly dramatic like the actors on As-Seen-On-TV ads. One tip is to simply identify the points of inspiration for the product or feature. If there was no inspiration for the feature, it might not be needed.
- How many ways will your product bring new benefit?
Besides solving problems, get creative in regards to new advantages this will bring them (saving or redirecting time, peace of mind, associating with a particular group, etc.)
Each person will have different situations and concerns that need to be addressed. It is up to US to take the time to understand their needs or desires and present relevant information in ways that resonate with them.