Value always seems to be one those words that everyone understands, but very few get. It’s a word that takes on many definitions depending on what business you are in. There are a lot of people out there that associate value with cost and benefits. Just because a price can be set to something, it doesn’t mean it has value. Warren Buffet once said that “price is what you pay and value is what you get.”
The Velocity of Value
What we get is where we should start. Value is such a great feeling when it meets and exceeds our expectations. This goes for the small and very big things in life.
There’s great excitement in building value in yourself or business. Announcing to the world that you have something that may enlighten or help people lives can be a feeling of pure adrenaline. But where do we start, and how do we create exceptional value?
Well, you start by discovering value 1st. Just because you have an idea, doesn’t mean it has value to someone. The famous saying “seek to understand, and then to be understood” is the first step. Start by listening and understanding the ailments.
Before doctors treat a patient, what happens? They fill out a form that asks them about their health history and then they ask questions about their condition. Once they understand these factors, a prescription can be recommended.
Exceptional value is created only when you prescribe the best solution for a problem. And you can only do that with deep customer understanding.
Lets face it, people become open to ideas when they feel pain, and this is a precursor to being motivated to do anything about it.
Creating value to me is creating place. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have all created a “place” where people can create and share content. Starbucks has coined themselves as the third place- home, work and “Starbucks”. I can have coffee and dessert at home, so why do I need to go there? Place and experience!
Value, The Super Glue to Loyalty
So how do we build value that counts? It’s easier said than done, but there are some keys to keep in mind.
As we discussed earlier, building value starts with understanding. In the online world value can be obtained by borrowing more easily. Let’s say you have a passion for micro- brewing. The 1st step you could take is researching the local brewers in your area.
A partnership could be made where you help promote and sell their products online. Borrowing an expert’s platform can elevate your position of authority.
What do Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, Rachel Ray and Nate Burkus have in common? They borrowed Oprah’s platform to elevate their exposure and value.
This can be done on any level. Remember, this is not a one-way street. To borrow value, you must bring value. Always approach with the idea of providing value that will elevate the resource you are trying to borrow from.
The beauty of today’s world is that you can buy value that you don’t have. Companies like Fiverr, Elance and Odesk provide a wide range of affordable services. Content writing, graphic design and software development are but a few services you can pay for.
There are many people that sell services they have very little to no experience in. They find a niche and source the appropriate service provider for it. They outsource the services while maintaining a position of value with their clients.
I come from the standpoint of building your value and borrowing it when it strategically makes sense. Buying can be problematic because you will always be at the mercy of the service provider.
They get sick, you’re affected. They go out of business, you’re affected. They go on vacation, you’re affected. It can be risky but if utilized properly, they can help fortify your value proposition.
Look at The Big Picture to See the Small One
The Big Picture…
Measuring value can be a complicated process. Tools like Google Analytics can provide great insights on where visitors of your site are getting value. With the onslaught of social media, it is necessary to implement an analytics program for this area of your business.
Now that the internet is basically social media, you must understand how your value is received and perceived through the various channels you use.
I have always looked at value in terms of attracting and retention. If people are buying into your cause and staying with you, then your value penetration is deep and worthy of the relationship.
If you are attracting as many people as you are losing, then you have to re-assess the level of value you are creating.
The Small Picture
Understanding the picture allows you drill down and make adjustments to the smaller pieces of your value strategy.
It’s similar to buying something from a store that you have to assemble. The first thing you do is look at the picture to understand where all the parts go. Then delve into all the finer details to build it correctly.
If you are like me, pre-assembled products has saved my life on a few occasions. Especially, the toys for my son. What a nightmare that can be!
” I guess you could say I’m borrowing on that one”.
The small pieces that make up your value creation must add up to the goal you have set for your value. Basically, what do you want your value to do? Once you understand that, then build every piece of it to reach it.
Remember that the customer sees the end product of your effort, the big picture… When you buy Apple, Nike and Home Depot, you see the sum of all their efforts in creating value.
Don’t forget to always put yourself in the position of the customer, and decide if you are delivering just information or a reason to comeback!