Perceived value is the opinion your customer holds as to how much value your product or service offers them.
The perception of value may have little to no relation to price, but instead may be concerned with:
- How well your product or service solves the customer’s problem (meets their needs); and
- How many benefits the product or service provides the customer with.
The ultimate aim of your marketing is to communicate your value, to position yourself as irreplaceable and to show you are the best possible choice to meet the customer’s needs.
So, how do you communicate your benefits and increase perceived value?
Here are 5 simple tips that you can put into place in your business straight away, without spending any money.
- Features vs benefits statements
In your marketing material, be careful not to just list your product’s features without mentioning its benefits also. A feature is something your product does, but a benefit is how this feature will affect the customer’s life. An example of a feature is ‘built into a website content management system’. This tells the customer what it is, but doesn’t tell them the value it will provide – that’s where feature vs benefit statements come in. A good example of a feature vs benefit statement is ‘built into a website content management system, which will help you to easily and quickly manage your website and work more efficiently’. Your features tell the customer what your product does, but your benefits tell them what the value is to them.
- Gather testimonials and success stories
Make sure your customers know how much you value their business and that your business runs on word-of-mouth referrals. Let them know that if they’re happy with the service and products they received from you, to tell their friends and family. It doesn’t have to cost you a cent. It may be as simple as a handwritten note posted via snail mail, or a phone call just to say hi – you want them to remember you, so that next time their friend is looking for your services, they don’t hesitate to pass on your details. Happy customers provide proof that your business is worth the customer’s investment – the proof is in the pudding!
- Add ‘freebies’
A price rise for the sake of a price rise can sometimes put your customers off side. When increasing your price (and you will need to at some stage), make sure your customer can see what they’re getting for this price increase. It may be a copy of a free e-book that you have written, an extended warranty or a percentage off voucher for when the customer purchases next – all of these things increase perceived value and are likely to distinguish you from your competitors. Brainstorm the intangible value you can add. For example, a car by itself for $40,000 sounds steep, but if you add a 5 year unlimited warranty and free after sales service (all of which are intangible and don’t cost you any money as such), suddenly the deal sounds more attractive.
- Be a giver
Add value to your services by sharing your expert advice and knowledge. Emphasise to the customer that you will be behind them every step of the way to support them as they go through the purchase process (and beyond).
- Get your name out there
Customers attach value to brand names, so go forth and spread the word of your brand. People commonly perceive that brand names are associated with better quality, so the more awareness of your brand in the market place, the more perceived value for your products and services.
Keep in mind that most customers buy you and your values first and your products or services second. To this end, it’s very important to create a positive first impression and start the relationship as you want to continue it. You are the secret to your success!