First of all what is value?
Essentially, what does your company provide that makes consumers want (and or need) to hand over their hard earned cash?
How your customers perceive the value you provide them is the most important thing.
Imagine your a customer getting a new phone plan:
You look around at a few different options and one phone plan seems to really interest you. It’s a little bit more expensive, so you wonder if the company is really giving you everything you are paying for? You wonder if there is a better deal elsewhere and decide to keep looking around.
Whilst you are looking around, you are offered some good phone plans, but you can’t stop thinking about that other phone plan you were offered.
You convince yourself that even though the other option is more expensive, it is the more valuable choice and you need that phone plan.
Let me guess? You would like your customers to do this for your products?
The goal is to get your customers from wanting your products, to craving them, to eventually telling themselves they need it.
How do you create unbeatable value for your customers?
Create your own value theory.
A value theory needs to go through 3 steps:
- Who is your “Future User”?
- What does your company have that no one else does?
- How do you translate that to value for your customer?
Step 1, who is your future user?
Who will be that person that buys your products in 10, 20, 30 years time.
How old are they?
What are their interests?
What are their needs?
What do they want?
Why do they need that?
When will they need that?
Apple is a great example for everything and this topic especially:
The easiest example is Apple. Steve Jobs saw his future users being everyday people. In 1976 when Apple released their first computer, computers were expensive. Very, very expensive. Go back a year, in 1975 IBM released their latest portable computer, hardly portable by todays standards, however it was portable for the time. According to Even Comen From USA Today (article) the IBM 5100 Portable Computer cost $8,975, through inflation that computer would cost about $41,970 now. So as you may guess not every Joe had a portable computer in their home like most do now. This meant that these computers were designed for engineers who built them and not the everyday user.
So Jobs looked into the future, like he did so many times and saw that the future computer user was you and I, engineering degree or not, we both needed to be able to use a computer. Another thing Jobs knew is that they would want quality, reliability and something that would look great.
Step 2, what is your companies insight to the industry, your competitive advantage?
This might sound silly, however all Jobs (Apple) really had over the 1000 other computer companies trying to be the next big thing was an eye for design and common sense. He drove an obsession of simplicity through Apple that shone through their products. Think about it, if you’ve ever opened an iPhone before, everything is so straight forward, the names of all the apps are what they should be and most people including my 86 year old Grandma can use it with ease! An iPhone looks great too, there is no way you’ll ever be ashamed to pull that out of your pocket. Remember the Nokia Brick, or buttony Blackberry?
To create products as effortless as Apple wasn’t easy though, simplicity is a lot harder than it seems. When creating the iPod at the time all any company would talk about is how many Gigabytes their MP3 player holds. That seems like the obvious thing to talk about right? Apple took a different approach and spoke to the everyday human. Instead they told people how many songs the iPod would hold. So the iPod might hold 20 Gigabytes, however instead of saying that, they said the iPod could hold 20 thousand songs which is all a customer cared about really.
An example from today, HP (Hewlett Packard) vs Apple. As of right now on the 11th of September 2019 at 5.15pm Apple has 2 laptop models for sale, HP has 20 different models and only god knows how many different spec options. As you could imagine it is much easier to decide which Macbook you’re going to buy compared to a HP Laptop or Chromebook or Zenbook or Notebook or Probook or Stream or Omen or Pavillion or Envy or…
What is your insight?
Step 3, how do you translate that to value for your customer?
So by now you should know who your future user is and what is your competitive advantage. Now you have to translate this into a simple message.
Reading through the previous two steps you can probably guess I am going to continue with a Steve Jobs mastery example.
Have a think about your perception of Apple and then read mine: When you buy an apple product you know they have used the best materials, they have created software that won’t freeze (for the most part), it looks great and it is something that will still work in 5 years time. I wrote this article on my 2012 Macbook Pro 😉
What comes with that? A high price tag not everyone can afford. However, most of us are willing to find a way because we have gone through the phases of wanting the product to thinking we need the product!
Apple lover or hater, we all know Steve Jobs got his target markets consumer values absolutely bang on!