Posts Tagged ‘competition’

More on Establishing Your Value

Friday, February 6th, 2009

I recently read a post by one of my Facebook friends regarding establishing value:

What is a good way to guarantee high price services (such as graphic design) besides guaranteeing a membership fee?

We agonize over this. A great way to start is to make a list of how many things you do that add value, whether you are currently charging or not. When you are done, put a $$ amount next to each value item. My list has 24 items.

I used to think I worked primarily in a commodity driven industry (printed t shirts.) When all is said and done, our clients will have a much better idea of exactly what we do, how it will benefit them, and what to expect. It also acts to level the field between you and your competition because I guarantee none of your competitors are doing this. If your customers are shopping, you have now given them a comprehensive list for comparison of apples to apples.

Here are some of the things you use to separate yourself from your competition:

    All aspects of your product or service.
    Associated services related to your product or service.
    Payment terms.
    Your Guarantee or Risk Reversal.
    Quality practices (list the steps.)
    Material handling and check-in procedures.
    Your vendor resources.
    Overall resources (machines, building, space, etc.)
    Reputation.
    Association with your other customers and clients.
    Service policies.
    Client education.
    Bundles/bonuses

You get the idea. The list can be huge once you sit down and really start to think about the REAL value you provide to your customers/clients.

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Defining Your Value in the Client’s Eye

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

Sales come when your customers and clients determine what you have to offer is worth exchanging their money. It has to be fair in thier mind. If they’re uncertain or if money is tight, it makes the exchange process much more difficult.

We’ve all heard about defining a “Unique Selling Proposition” or “Marketing Message.” This is the single sentence or few words that differentiate you from all of your competion. It’s much more difficult to do than you might thing. Some people call this the 15 second elevator speech.  Whatever you call it, it’s critical you clearly define your USP in a way that’s catchy and memorable. This is how you want to be known by your base.

Your value is built upon the USP. The USP is the starting point for separating you and gaining the attention of your market. That attention is brief and you need to keep them engaged. Engaging them means focusing on the benefits of doing business with you.

After many years of studying my competition as well as those who are highly successful, I’ve come to a conclusion. That conclusion is the most sucessful companies go well beyond just the technical aspect of delivering excellent quality printing. They create a complete experience around their goods and services. I can’t tell you what that is for you, but it’s a sure bet you can go much further than you are right now. Here are some ideas.

Understand exactly how your customers and clients use your decorated shirts. The more you know about exactly how they’re used, the more opportunities you can find and expand upon. Focus on finding ways to make it easier to use what you offer. Think about how you can cut time or increase organization?

Are there any other items, goods, or services you can add that would make the experience more complete or easier to use? For instance, if you’re doing event shirts, provide a complete contact list of the local media so the group having the event can quickly get the publicity they need to maximize turnout. This is particularly important for fundraising events and nonprofits.

Think about WHO you know that would also be able to help your customers and clients. These are people, companies, and organizations that’re complementary to those using the shirts. They could be other suppliers. It might also be someone who would benefit from a successful t shirt promotion. An example of this for a fun run might be restaurants, coffee shops, and juice bars located close to where an event is scheduled to take place.

Defining your value goes well beyond just the basic product. Make it easy and fun to do business with you. The more involved you are in how your product is used by the customer, the more opportunites you have to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

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How Do You Use Pricing in a Down Economy?

Monday, November 24th, 2008

With the exceptions of Obama Tees and Mixed Martial Arts (UFC) there doesn’t seem to be much going on across the county. I think everyone’s in a very conservative wait-and-see mode. They don’t want to spend anything, opting to conserve what little available cash they have. This is understandable. In light of all of this, what options do you have for bringing in new business?

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to drop your prices in an attempt to get the business. This is the natural, automatic reaction when things slow down, but it doesn’t do you any good. What you’re discounting is your profit. You’ll end up  working that much harder to make any money. With consumers being battered with 40%, 50%, and even 60% off at the retail level BEFORE the Thanksgiving Holiday, it doesn’t look good for the retail season. But all of this retail discounting is effecting us as well. The point being, with discounts this deep, your customers are going to be looking for the same kind of steep deals from you.

We all know this business doesn’t support retail pricing. Heck, it barely supports wholesale pricing. The key strategy for us lies in one word: VALUE. I used to think value was defined as the point at which your customer gets his wallet out and writes you a check for your goods and services. I’ve come to change view that over the past few months.

A normal purchase has a fairly high degree of impulse in it. If the buyer is even remotely intersted in what you have to offer, there isn’t a great deal of effort required to get him to make the purchase. However, in a contracting market like we have right now, it takes a great deal more than an impulsive decision. Value has to be defined from the users’ perspective.

Think of it this way. Our job is to deliver far more value to our client than just the image on the shirt and good service. We must discover where the actual value is found. In a commercial situation, it’s in creating new business. So for us, we must now define our value in these terms AND we have to find a way to measure the positive results. It’s very hard to argue with traceable results.

If you’re working in a nonprofit area, here value is defined in how often and how proud the members are of their shirts. The more you see them around, the more valuable they are in getting the message of the group out. Think about how you can use your shirts and their graphics to strengthen and grow their community.

The next few posts are going to look deeper at this concept of VALUE and how you can tap into it.Share/Save/Bookmark