When sales are waning, when your marketing department seems at wit’s end with regard to reversing the downward spiraling sales and when you are seeing a cash flow crisis looming on the horizon, you still have options.
Value Added Marketing
I know the concept isn’t new. It’s been around since the 70’s—a gift, if you will; from
Ed Valenti of Ginsu knife fame and
Ron Popeil’s Chop-O-Matic. The concept never really went away, so to suggest it has enjoyed resurgence would not be accurate. I believe it would be more appropriate to say that the value added concept is
finding its way into traditional retail markets that have not previously employed the concept in any meaningful way.
You See it More and More
The slogans are ubiquitous: “Buy One Get One”, “you’ll ALSO receive these valuable bonuses!”and “Order today and we’ll double your order; just pay additional shipping and handling.” Yes, these offers are designed to make it more attractive for the consumer
to buy and today’s consumers are on the prowl for value in a way they have never been before.
How Is Value Added Defined Today?
Value is, as it has always been, in the eye of the beholder. Just take a moment to consider what you would be willing to pay for an umbrella on a rainy day vs. the same umbrella when the sun is shining.
Consider the value each of us delivers in the workplace, vis-à-vis the work we contribute as employees or owners or as a result of the products and services sold in our businesses.
Products and Services Do Not Market Themselves
Just as an outstanding performance review is no guarantee of a promotion, a high quality product or service may not sell itself.
For example, an employee that is congenial and doesn’t make waves is of greater value to their manager than fractious employees who create stress in their work environment. In much the same context, a product will be more valuable to a consumer if endorsed
by a popular celebrity, if it is on sale or if it is accompanied by a bonus.
As a society, we are becoming less sensitive to the lure of advertising; we’ve become wary of bonus offers, up-grades and additions. We’re looking for substance and veracity; THAT is what we value right now.
Why Offering the Consumer More Makes Sense
Just as increased competition in the job market has forced workers to continuously demonstrate their value to acquire and hold their jobs, as consumer they are guarding their income and as a result the purchases they make. Most consumers are strapped for cash,
concerned for the future and as a result they seek greater value for each dollar they spend—all this in a market awash in sales offers of all stripes.
Consumers choose to buy products and service perceived to be the most valuable. Your business must unconditionally maximize the perceived value of any product or service you offer while still preserving a profit margin that sustains your business and allows
How to Give More for Less
Use your business acumen to track down products that you can acquire at deep discount but are no less attractive to potential customers. Combine these with your product or service as a value added offer. If you are short of cash and cannot consider this
option, you should look into invoice factoring. An invoice factoring firm can turn your unpaid invoices into cash in a very short time allowing you to move forward with your plans. Here are a few other possibilities:
- Collaborate with a complimentary business in your market, and, if feasible, arrange reciprocal exchanges of products or services that can be paired at a discount with the other’s products or services. This is a win-win, as both get positive exposure to
one another’s customers. In this manner, each business can offer value added products for less than would be possible individually.
- Other inexpensive methods for adding perceived value to your product or service could include studies and/or testimonials.
- Do you have any “high profile” friends in the community that might support your product or service publicly? Someone your customers will relate to or someone they admire for their achievements.
- Consider surveys to determine their perceived value of your product or service. These can also double as an excellent source for leads if that is in the scope of your business. You may learn there are aspects to your product or service that you didn’t
recognize as valuable, but customers do perceive value.
We compete in a competitive and crowded marketplace. We face a weak economy wracked with rampant unemployment and declining wages for those who are employed. As business men and women, we have really no place to turn except to that entrepreneurial spirit
that put us in business in the first place.
Innovate, persevere and rise to the challenges of our time as entrepreneurs always have.