As we dive in to the end of 2012, I begin to reflect on the past year both personally and professionally. I started writing for OC Metro this year. In one of my first posts I wrote about the need for technology companies to get loyal to ensure customer loyalty – and as I have said before, loyalty is a key element for my company and what drives my business. However, it isn’t the only driver; at Tekcetera we are passionate about value – how to create it and how to provide it. Unfortunately, that can’t be said for all businesses.
We live in a world where instant gratification is king – where consumers spend hours online searching for promotional codes to save five dollars, where quality is traded in for quantity (for a good price of course) and where “done correctly” is swapped for “done now.” It is time for businesses and consumers to get serious about value and to define what it means to them.
Business strategy 101 states that any successful company has a value proposition. What is a value proposition? It is a promise of value to be delivered from company to customer. It is the reason why consumers should by a product or use a service. It is a defining characteristic of what makes a business unique in its market space.
For businesses what makes a good value proposition? Here are a few thoughts to get you started:
What is your solution/ what problem do you solve – be clear in what you do. Nothing is worse than not being able to explain to a potential client or customer what it is your business does and how you can help them. Be clear and direct; don’t worry if you feel you’re being elementary. Remember, you are the expert in your field, potential customers or clients are not. Get creative, show people what your business can do.
What makes you different – how do you stand out? How are you different from your competitors? Why would a potential customer or client benefit from your services rather than another company’s services?
Who is your audience – who are you talking to? Who do you want to reach? Different demographics value different things. Identify your target market and speak to them. In general, large blanket statements do not work because potential customers or clients don’t see how they fit in.
For customers or clients, what does value mean to you? Here are a few things to think about:
What do you want – in this world of instant gratification, we tend to forget about what we actually want and instead replace it with what was cheaper or easier to get, but was that cheaper, easier product or service actually what you wanted? Find businesses that give you want you want, ultimately providing you value.
Quality versus everything else – as a society we tend to forego quality for the next best anything. Why? Do we subconsciously think we are undeserving? Are we so impatient that we settle? Either way, it is time to bring quality back in to fashion. After all, you deserve it. Find companies that provide high-quality service and products and stick with them. In the end, I bet you will find the value.
Get loyal – once you know what you want and find a company that suits your needs, stick with it. Loyalty develops over time through various experiences. It’s no secret that long-term partners find value in their mutually beneficial relationships. So go out and find your long-term partner.
Instant gratification might be on trend, but value and quality will never go out of style. I challenge businesses to be better, to show value and customers to seek out the value that they need.