Why is your product or service worth X amount of dollars? How would that answer differ if you asked current or prospective customers?
There are an infinite number of choices out there. No matter how narrow your niche or specialized your offerings are, there’s a pretty good chance you are competing for the attention spans of your target audience along with countless other competitors. All the time.
Why should customers buy from you?
It all comes down to value and your ability to articulate that value to consumers. I’m not talking about deep discounts or everyday low pricing—in fact far from it. There’s a reason why people are willing to spend $100,000+ on an S-Class Mercedes when they can choose between hundreds of other less expensive cars or pay a premium to buy their groceries at Whole Foods.
Brand Value Transcends Price
Whether you spent 2 minutes, 2 hours, or 2 years bringing an idea to life, you can’t automatically assume that customers are going to appreciate the true value of what you have to offer. That’s one of the things the world's most valuable brands—brands like Apple, Disney, and Amazon really have figured out—they are able to align the things their customers value the most with the value of their offerings.
I’m talking about capturing the essence of what makes their products and service truly unique and communicating that essence consistently with their messaging, positioning, and their brands.
Brand Value Transcends Products
Don’t get me wrong, you have to have a great product. If not, it’s going to be very hard to convince customers to give up their hard earned cash to buy whatever it is you’re selling. And even if they do, there is a pretty good chance they’re going to be very price conscious since they won’t have ways to differentiate your products or services from other like businesses.
But beyond the product, it’s really about the customer experience—packaging, product design, features, and the ability to address their need better than all of the other options they might be considering.
Articulating Value to Customers
Be objective. You’ve got to have a thorough understanding of how your products or services are different from those of your competitors. Is it your design? Your attention to detail? Quality standards? Customer service?
Get specific. Trying to communicate value by saying you offer a “quality” product probably won’t be enough. In most cases, that’s assumed. You have to take it further. Dig until you find those 2-3 core things that make your offerings unique.
Once you understand your value proposition, think about how you can educate current and prospective customers with your messaging. What would you like them to know? What is going to be most important to them? Why should they get really excited about your latest product offering? How will it help them fulfill and make something better in their lives?
The higher the price for your products and services, the greater the need for alignment between the values of your customers and the value you’re bringing to the table.
Back to the Mercedes example, customers expect impeccable design, world-class performance, and incredible craftsmanship.
That’s what’s important to them. That’s what they value. And that’s what they’re paying for.
As a disclaimer, I use affiliate links for some of the products listed. They are all products I absolutely love and trust and would recommend regardless of whether they have an affiliate program.
[Image: Flickr user col_adamson]