In a world of options, you need your business to be the best offering out there. To do that, your target customers have to perceive your offering as the most valuable.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to have the most expensive product, unless that’s what you’re going for, or that your product needs to have the most benefits and features. Added value goes beyond your core offering to create an extra sense of unique value for customers, essentially creating a competitive edge that is hard to replicate by your competition.
Done well, strategically added value is cost effective and will leave your customers with a disproportionately large warm and fuzzy feeling.
If you’re looking to build stronger brand loyalty, larger or repeat sales, engaged customers, and a better bottom line, add some value! Here are five ways to do it.
"If you’re giving good advice, it seems logical that your product must be good too."
Give expert advice
This is a really simple way to be the best. Providing expert advice that helps your customers with your product, service, or anything related to their utilisation, works on a few levels.
Firstly, it builds trust in your brand. If you’re giving good advice, it seems logical that your product must be good too. Secondly, your customers will feel supported, and like they are more than just a sale to you. Finally, if you’re giving out genuinely valuable advice, your customers will stay engaged with your brand and keep coming back.
For something as simple as giving advice on a subject you probably already know back to front, massive value is created and you’re already looking better than your competition.
Bundle that joy
Sometimes things are better together. Bundling your products or services into desirable packages at various price points can make the ‘whole’ seem greater than its parts.
Day spas are fantastic at this form of added value. Why just book in a massage when you can get the Deluxe Pamper Package with a massage, facial, and manicure for an extra $40? Instead of walking out feeling relaxed, the customer walks away feeling relaxed, primped, and like they’ve had a bit of an overhaul, which is, frankly, priceless. All the day spa has done to create this extra sense of personal splendour is sell two extra services. Pretty good, really.
"Social media has made it far easier to connect with customers on this deeper, emotional level."
Go for their goals with them
Every way of adding value requires you to know and understand what your customers need and want. This one goes a bit deeper still and you’ll have to reach out a bit further.
Supporting your customers to go for their goals can build incredibly strong brand loyalty and even potentially win you an army of devotees. First, you have to earn enough trust for them to divulge their goals, and then you have to find a way that’s right for your business to help them achieve those.
Social media has made it far easier to connect with customers on this deeper, emotional level, but it is by no means the only way to connect with your audience. If you engage your customer base and help them make their lives better, you will have built a connection that will leave your competition out in the cold.
Content them with content
It is ridiculous how much information is out here, floating around on the internet. How many times have you given up on a google search simply from information overwhelm?
This is happening to your customers, right now, as they’re searching for information related to your business. They love your advice (see tip one) but they want more, because they can, and because there is a hell of a lot more out there.
If you can be the filter, finding and collating all the quality info, and conveniently delivering it to your customers at just the right time, well-formatted, in nice, bite-sized chunks, you will be their hero. You will be more than your product, you will also be a trusted resource. Plus, it’s a great way to stay in contact.
"Imagine hosting a forum where your enthusiastic community helps each other solve problems or queries relating to your product."
Playing host is a great way to win friends. If you can provide a space for your customers to come together, allowing them to connect and network, you could end up with a community that does a lot of your work for you.
Imagine hosting a forum where your enthusiastic community helps each other solve problems or queries relating to your product, areas related to your product and even life in general (after all, community threads can go just about anywhere.) Not only is that community now reliant on your existence for its existence, but trust in your business is boosted and your workload is potentially decreased.
Creating added value for your customers doesn’t have to mean a huge investment or a slew of extra bells and whistles. With a little strategy, it is a fantastic way to help your business make huge leaps forward with relatively small investment from you.
Aja is Sydney-based writer and serial entrepreneur. She regularly writes about small business, entrepreneurship, and health and wellbeing. Her latest entrepreneurial adventure is yeahmama.co.