What really is “value”?

How do you deal with the price issue without lowering the price? Purchases are most frequently made on a value scale. When quality is not the highest priority, the buyer will choose the lowest price or the most convenience. When convenience is more important because time is of the essence, price takes a back seat.
You’ve heard the phrase, “Fast. Cheap. Easy. Pick two.” These are value statements. Simplistic, yes, but they represent the primary motivators for purchasing decisions.

They’re also couched in the value statement of “affordable”. Affordability is a reflection of the seller’s ability to build value and a buyer’s ability to embrace those perceptions. Lowering a price does not build affordability. It simply lowers the price. If I don’t find significant value in buying a home theater system at $2,400, I’m not going to consider it affordable at $1,800, a 25% cut, which is generous on the part of the manufacturer (and a desperation move). Cheaper, yes, but still not affordable because I haven’t been convinced of the value.

Here’s where our industry needs enlightenment. We spend so much time battling over pricing while the brand differentiation — in which we invested dearly — crumbles. It’s not that the buying public doesn’t want what you’re selling; they just don’t understand why they should buy it. What is your brand differentiation, your unique sales proposition, the very reason you’re in business? What do you do for your customers that your competition can’t or doesn’t? If you build a better product, explain the differences and why those differences matter. Explain the value of your guarantee, your exceptional service, and your stability in an unstable marketplace. We don’t need to be selling our wares at a lower price; we need to be selling them with greater conviction.


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