Remember the good old days when things like Burger King’s Whoppers and bottles of Coca Cola were a special treat? I remember being as excited for the 4th of July fireworks as I was for Santa’s arrival each year. Just the thought of either one of those incredible events was enough to make me squeal with anticipation.
Why were these items and occurrences so special to me? Today, it seems like every holiday on the books gets a celebration of over the top fireworks and the like—and for most people, cheeseburgers and Coke are as everyday as soap and water.
These days, many people just purchase their own fireworks and set them off from their own backyard.
Though they’re still beautiful, the feeling you get just isn’t the same as it used to be.
So what’s changed?
How Do We Define Value?
The main reason things like 4th of July fireworks and bottles of Coca Cola were so special in the days of yore is because they were valued. They had a value assigned to them that was worth much more to most people than the sum of their actual parts.
These days, those once highly valued items have become commodified. When an item loses its value as a ‘special treat,’ it becomes a commodity. A commodity is something that’s value is strictly based on price, and nothing else.
Question: What can you do when the items you sell or services you provide become commodified?
Let’s backtrack for a second here. What’s so wrong with basing your business sales on price alone? Well, say you’re the lowest priced option at the current moment. How long do you think it will take for another company to come in and undercut you? (And with company’s like Groupon, it is more likely.)
There’s almost always going to be someone that will come in at a lower price than you can afford. And think about the type of client or customer a priced-based business attracts. Is that the main type of customer you’d like to serve?
Probably not! So it’s time to start thinking about differentiating your business and the products or services you provide.
The key to defining value for your customers is:
- Show them how you’re different from AND better than your competitors/colleagues.
- Make it easy to identify why your product or service is unique and worth more than what it costs.
Once you have successfully done both 1 and 2, your customers are much more likely to forget about the price, because the value will infinitely exceed the cost.
Great Examples and What You Should Avoid
The first step in transforming the products or services your business provides into uber-valuable specialized must-haves is to avoid commodification in the first place. But what does that mean?
Well, it means that if you communicate value to your customers and focus on continuing to reinvent your business in ways that will provide a more specialized, real world value, then you’ll likely be able to keep your value and the products and services you provide will never become a commodity because they will always have that unique value.
When you focus on becoming a ‘can’t live without’ instead of a ‘can’t beat the price,’ you’re tapping into the value that will really help your business and brand succeed. Once you’re considered highly valuable instead of “just another brand”, your customers begin to stop thinking about the price and think only of the benefits your products or services can provide.
Here are a couple of GREAT examples:
- The iPhone: It’s unique and stands out among all other phones, especially smartphones.
- Google: When’s the last time you heard someone say, “Let’s Yahoo-Bing it!”?
Those are just two examples of successful brands that are able to continuously communicate their unique value and reap the benefits through their customers’ devout brand loyalty.
The two main ways companies FAIL to communicate value to customers are:
- They don’t know about benefits or why people buy from them specifically.
- They don’t know HOW to relay the benefits via successful branding and marketing messages.
You may THINK you have the solution to the two popular pitfalls above, but do you REALLY? If you’re looking for some help in communicating unique value about your brand to your customers, look no further. Contact Spot-On Branding today and let’s get started!