What is “Value” to your customer?
Value is the rapid checkout and a cool shopping bag.
Value is an elegant web application that’s a pleasure to use and easy to understand.
Value is the instant reward for loyalty from a favorite restaurant or business.
Value is the presentation of an online resource.
Value is the creativity behind the telling of your story.
Value is the delivery of useful content to your customer.
Value is the custom packaging.
Value is the easy to complete online form.
Value is the handwritten thank you card.
Value is the unexpected free prize inside.
And yes, value is a sparkling clean restroom!
Success is the product behind the passion for sweating the small stuff and adding value to your products, services, and interactions. It’s the kind of value that causes people to become interested in your idea and proud about their decision to do business with you.
Value delivered is the meaning and purpose of any successful idea, which begs the question:
Why are you doing what you do?
Why do you create content?
Why do you answer the phone?
Why do you attend meetings?
Why do you send email?
If your answer is something other than, “I do it to add value to people’s lives,” then you should read the first question again. Why are you doing what you do?
Value is Not a Gotcha
Value is not a gotcha. It is not a strategy that’s about you. It’s small acts of kindness, caring, and appreciation. It’s big acts of daring and creativity. Value is an attitude. It is a vision brought to life by your creativity, planning, and execution. Likewise, value is extinguished only by your lack of creativity, planning, and execution.
When value is provided it lights a fire in people and radiates that passion. It puts a smile on a face. It creates loyal customers. It is talked about. It is shared.
Valuable services and products are simply expected today. Compelling value goes beyond that and asks the probing questions, such as: Is our email valuable? Is our content of value? Do our fans anticipate our communications? Do we effectively stay in touch with our fans? Is our logo meaningful? Is our brochure of value? Is our web presence impeccable? Is it easy to do business with us? Is our signage just right? Is our packaging a wow factor? Does the person who answers the phone have the right tone in their voice? Is the lobby representative of our brand? Do our advertisements present us well? Is there passion? Is there fire in our eyes?
Molding Your Ideas
People connect with what they internalize, what they desire and decide for themselves, not what they’re told. What do people internalize when they interact with you? What image does your idea help them conjure up about themselves? This isn’t about persuasion, or getting others to do what you want them to do. It’s about molding your ideas to reflect their perceived interests and getting them to do what they want to do. It’s awakening their own expectations.
Your Carefully Polished Idea
The bottom line is this: Your audience wants to believe that you represent them and that you’re in it for, and with them. Your ability to reach outside of yourself, and connect with them in a meaningful way demonstrates this bond. You’re them. They’re you. Connect your passion and purpose to their passion and purpose. They long to see themselves and their unique needs in the reflection of your carefully polished idea.
Following are some thoughts to consider:
- Are you simply being helpful and nice or are you stimulating desire?
- “It’s experience rather than understanding that influences our behavior.” — Marshall McLuhan, Communication Theorist
- Create an experience that reveals the vision and intention behind your idea.
- Create an experience that allows people to alter their own attitudes of mind, without a hint of external persuasion.
- Create an experience that creates a motivation to act.
- It’s much easier to make decisions based upon what influences you — resources, design, copy, media, creative execution, consistency, etc. — but you must be creative in bringing your idea to life in a way that appeals to your audience.
- In an age of information glut, hype, spin, and desperation, what looks good to people is increasingly a personally relevant experience that they can wrap their minds and hearts around.
- Truly care.
- Create compelling and relevant content that your audience would look forward to receiving.
- Deliver that content consistently
- Make it easy to do business with you 24/7.
- Be creative. Avoid be boring. This is a long process not an overnight success.
- Make all the interactions and activities valuable in the eyes of your audience.
Resources and References
Tom Asacker, Opportunity Screams: Unlocking Hearts and Minds in Today’s Idea Economy, Paramount Market Publishing, Inc, 2011
Tim Sanders, The Likeability Factor, Crown Publishers, 2005
Photograph credit: Vanity Night Club, Las Vegas, Nevada – Cintas’ America’s Best Restroom® Contest