Value, or ‘how much is that doggy in the window’.

Image via Wikipedia

“Value, is what it means to me. It’s personal, it’s exclusive. It’s future memories wrapped up in experience, with my people and places, good times and bad, sunshine and hail.”

Value is different from price, or expensive, or cheap, and far, far away from SALE.

Price is what you think it is worth, at a hunch, on the back of an envelope. Price is the sideshow for enquiry and knowledge. Of trust, of will you be there to help me out if it goes wrong in the future, of backup in case I get a dud. Price vaguely relates to quality, but the two are not comparable.

Expensive is more than I need, or desire, or aspire to. Expensive is ‘it hasn’t been explained how the features, benefits and advantages match and meet my requirements’. Expensive is merely failed purchases that could have happened if I wanted them to. If I could justify them to myself, then they would become value(able).

Cheap is where the mistakes started. Broken by the roadside, stress, wrong, doesn’t fit quite right. Airplane maintenance? Cheap is landfill soon after, built to a quality less than my requirements demanded – for a child’s toy or bike, white ware that doesn’t have spare parts easily available if it goes wrong, clothing that doesn’t fit just right.

Value is the relationship I’m going to have with this thing that’s about to come into my life. Is it going to last (as long as I want or expect it to)? Is it going to bring value to my life, is it just right for what I want? Does it share my values, will I share my values with it? Will I take it on adventures and scuff it on buses in the Third World, lose it to the vagaries of baggage handlers worldwide?

Sale shouts action, not value.*

As consumers should we not, above all else, be valued? Beyond the goods drifting carefree, into the plastic bag, past the cheery farewell at the door.

A very interesting thing is happening in the global consumer environment, business is learning that to survive and thrive, it’s got to change how it does things, and fast.** That’s got to start by putting the consumer at the centre of all their decisions.

Value is personal, personalised, and sustainable. Value is trust, delivered over time. And yet it’s strange how so few businesses are managing to deliver.

43words ©David Binstead 2011. All rights reserved.

* Sale will be covered by another article, soon…

** Or at the very least, attempt to eliminate direct competition. There’s a battle royal for which technology will power the phones of the future, with Android having just taken a bit of a hit from a consortium of others, including Apple and Microsoft!

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