Brand Loyalty: A value proposition

Since the GFC we’ve seen a constant erosion in yields or margins across all industries and all levels of business.

In the fight for sales many businesses have become consumed with price and forgotten all the other aspects of the customer experience.

A good friend James Yuille once said, “Price is only an issue if you’ve got nothing else to talk about”. The follow up to that comment is “Deliver value instead”.

Value comes in many forms. In the travel industry it could be spa treatments, dinner deals, photo shoots with views across the beach, Champagne and strawberries on arrival. It could be the way guests are welcomed, staff dress, even the follow up once the guests have left your property and finished their stay. In many cases today these small, but potentially significant, points of difference have been left by the wayside in the rush for the next discount customer. That customer has never had so many options when it comes to buying. Just yesterday when looking for a restaurant address to meet a client for lunch I Googled the restaurant and read 10 reviews. None were glowing although the restaurant has been around for 10 years so I rang the client who had suggested it and asked if he’d like to meet somewhere else. We ended up dining there and had a reasonable experience but it reinforced a comment I make to all business owners, how often do you follow up with a customer after they’ve left your establishment? The answer in 98% of cases is never.

Restaurants are notorious for no follow up. If you book and leave your phone number, there is no excuse for the business not calling you the following day to ask how your meal was. Is there anything we could have done to have made your experience (not meal) better? Were the other guests happy and so on. It has always amazed me that business will give away 50% to attract a new customer through a promotion or online coupon and then not spend 25 cents doing some basic follow up. Note I asked about the experience, not the meal.

Many people can do a great steak, none can give the experience you and your business provide. I’m always reminded of Maxim’s in South Yarra in Melbourne who called the day after we dined. Funny they never discounted.

Value is a perception. Through the race to grow sales many businesses have been attracted to online coupons. I’m not sure about you but when I read a day spa giving $600 worth of value for $75 I either think the $75 is the real price and if I can get it all for $75 I’d never pay $600 again. A client of ours did such a deal and transformed her business from five star clients who purchased product and rebooked to board shorts and thong clients who never rebooked and purchased product. Her business lasted just six months after the voucher went live.

All business owners need to conduct a mystery customer experience on their own business. Contract a company or ask a friend to ask a friend and just find out how exciting your business is to do business with. Make sure the experience is from end to end in the sales process and find out just how well your business performs. What value proposition are your clients seeing and receiving?

Customers become loyal to a brand when the value proposition is far greater than the price. It’s business owners through their constant focus on price who have conditioned customers to think price first and so long as there are competitors with deeper pockets than you, you’ll never win on price.

Deliver value instead.

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