Now more than ever, you need to find innovative ways to increase the perceived value of your products and services. If you don't, the only alternative is to compete on price and reduce your margin.
Obviously, price is a consideration when people buy. BUT let me tell you, most times, this issue is MUCH less important than you might think.
Look at it this way: If price were the ONLY factor, we would all be wearing the same shirt; we would all be wearing the same shoes; we would all be driving the same car and we would all eat the same brand of baked beans!
But this is not the case.
The REAL issue, for most of the people you want to do business with, is the perceived VALUE of your product or service.
They want to know the BENEFITS they will get from owning it.
If they understand that your ‘widget’ will give them an advantage; save them time, make them money; last longer; make them feel better; or fulfil any one of a hundred other human needs; they will HAPPILY pay more to get it.
Clearly, there’s more to increasing your perceived value than we can cover here, HOWEVER here are two fundamentals to start with …
1. Make sure you (and your staff!) are CLEAR about your brand promise.
Your brand promise is the statement about what people can expect when they do business with you. It is the foundation for your core message. It is what sets you apart.Developing your brand promise takes some hard thinking. It must be concise. It must work with your logo so that it is an integral part of your branding. And, it must be specific to your business!
Once you have it, (we have an EXCELLENT process to help you with this, by the way) you must make sure that it is understood by everyone at your business, and that it doesn’t become “part of the furniture”.
If it is fast turnaround that sets you apart, then you must make SURE that everyone is committed to making that happen. If it is about being insightful and pro-active, then everyone must be committed to providing that level of service.
An example is our own brand promise: Persuasive Marketing.
It is the cornerstone of the work we do here. It reminds us to deliver what our client’s expect from us — marketing strategies and communications that ARE persuasive.
This immediately rules out producing marketing puffery, and sets us apart from competitors who don’t share the same commitment. Most importantly, it ensures that our clients enjoy value from their marketing investment.
“Persuasive Marketing” is the promise. We all know it. And we all do our best to deliver it. Yours must be equally clear, so that you add value and show WHY you are a better choice than a competitor who may be cheaper.
2. Increasing the focus on benefits.
To move the focus OFF the ‘cheapest price’, you need to focus ON something else. And that means giving more space to promoting the BENEFITS you offer.As stated earlier, price is NOT the main issue. It is value that people are looking for. But you can’t leave people to figure out where the value is with your offering. You must spell it out. And you must do it in plain language.
This, by the way, isn’t necessarily easy. When you have invested so much time and effort into improving and fine-tuning the features you offer, it can be challenge to step back and re-look at them to find the benefits.
It can take some digging!
Is it worth the effort?
Absolutely. Remember this: benefits bring buyers! But ONLY of they know what the benefits ARE!
- If you don’t have a clear, strong brand promise — do something about it. Get it sorted, so it is strong, clear and specific to your business. If you need a hand, give us a call — an outsider can provide some VERY different insights on things!Once you have it, get everyone to OWN it, so that your branding is consistent!
- Look for ways to promote the benefits you offer. Build them into your brochure, your sales letters, your website and your face-to-face sales presentation. Don’t let up. Get your eye off your product/service and on to what it DOES for your customers. How does it make their lives better? How does it give them an advantage? What problem does it solve? How does it improve things for them?
THESE are the issues that are important, and they are the key to keeping your price up and protecting your margins.
Keeping your prices up is a challenge, ESPECIALLY if yours is an expensive
product or service and subject to stiff competition. But, it CAN be done!
For ideas on how to come up with a GREAT brand promise and promote your benefits, contact us today! We’ll help you to increase the perceived value of your offering, giving you an advantage — even when times are tough.