Saturday, August 27, 2005

Volume 9 - Value Experience

I would like to explore the idea of value and experience within the business transaction relationship of a purchaser and vendor.

From our neighbor's conversations to the boardroom meetings, from our customers to our wives, we hear about the high price of products, the high cost of materials, labor, and a menu of topics within this on-going price circle increase that we all dwell, in both our private and workplace lives.

Yet, is it not true that we purchase cups of gourmet coffee for $2.00 instead of $.50 cents? We purchase clothes in much the same manner rather than off the rack at Wal-Mart. We play rounds of golf for higher prices than the public course two miles down the road. Aside from price, readily admitting we look at pricing initially, we still choose one store over another, not simply for price. And, for the sake of argument, we will eliminate safety, cleanliness, convenience, status, unemployment, the minimum age and a myriad of other nuisances that plague our ability to walk and chew gum at the same time in reference this matter of value and experience.

The point being that there are companies, places of business, entrepreneurs, and even manufacturers and material suppliers that have discovered two very great concepts. The first being that the customer, not the producer, determines value; and secondly, that the value comes from providing customers with extraordinary experiences. Therefore, those people that desire to succeed, and actually are willing to work to achieve this goal, have to create the circumstances by which the business transaction is a value experience for the customer.

A value experience is a set of circumstances when combined with the product goes beyond expectation to enhance the purchase. If you can discover this value experience, as it pertains to your business or product and grasp the concept of the total set of circumstances surrounding your relationship with the customer and the sale, you can elevate your product, regardless of how commodity oriented or simplistic in nature, to selling value added goods and services at higher margins.

You have to identify the value of your product; the different customers who share the same sense of value; and the experience itself which ties this model together. Thus, the beginning of more effective means of communication and discovery of new opportunities to refine or expand the value of your offering begins, not ends, with this knowledge.