Value is an interesting concept in the world of branding. To offer value, your product doesn’t necessarily need to be a low-cost, basic offering that’s cheap as chips. Instead, it needs to meet the emotional and practical needs of your target audience, whatever these may be.
In this blog we’ll take a look at some of the different values that customers hold dear, and explore how you can differentiate your brand in a way that your audience will truly value.
Understand customer motivation
To provide value, you need to meet customers’ needs – and to do this it’s vital to understand where they’re coming from, and the reasons they have for choosing your brand. These can be surprising, counter-intuitive and not always straightforwardly logical! Cost and quality are two big factors that many people consider when choosing a product, but they don’t always come into play. Other motivations for choosing your brand might include how it makes people feel. For example, by offering a healthier version of a snack, you might help consumers feel virtuous and positive. For this reason, some brands have found that consumers prefer to pay for a smaller portion even if that means getting less value for money.
There’s no shortcut to understanding customer motivation, and it’s not always something that can be second-guessed. Seek out feedback wherever you can. Make a habit of reading online reviews, doing market research and monitoring mentions of your brand using Google Alerts.
Know where you stand
Unless you’re really lucky, your brand doesn’t exist in isolation. Whatever your field, you’re likely to have competition from other companies, all offering similar products or services to your own. In order to ensure that customers are receiving good value from your brand, you’ll need to keep a close eye on your competitors, taking note of what they offer and how.
By differentiating your own brand with a unique take on things, whether that involves competing on price, appealing to children with eye-catching packaging or offering a luxury version with premium ingredients, you’ll show consumers what they’ll get out of choosing your product over a rival brand. You’ll need to have a clear idea of your brand identity and brand personality, so consider doing some work on brand discovery to help you position yourself in the market.
Think like a consumer
Have you ever taken the time to experience your brand the way a consumer does? When you’re in the midst of your business, it can sometimes be hard to see the wood for the trees, so you’re not always best placed to be objective. Always try to think from a customer’s perspective – whether that’s walking through your shop and noticing the sights, sounds and smells as if for the first time, or conducting user tests on your website to ensure that it’s easy for people to find what they’re looking for. This can be enlightening, and can help to uncover problems or issues that might otherwise remain undiscovered.
There are, of course, some things that will always add value and be appreciated by your customers. Attentive customer service and rewards for loyalty are two examples of simple strategies your customers will always appreciate.