By David Mead
Like many of you, I subscribe to Groupon. If you're not familiar, Groupons are online coupons for about any product or service you can imagine. A few days ago, one of them hit my inbox and it made me chuckle a little bit. Initially I just trashed it because it wasn't an offer I was interested in. But just after that I realized how well it represented what so many companies are calling 'value'.
The deal of the day was from an auto center offering headlight restoration. You know, for when the headlights on your car get cloudy and don't allow the light to project as effectively as it should. However, the deal was only for one headlight. Every car I've owned has had two headlights. So what about the other one? Sure, getting one headlight cleaned for less will save me a little money, but it's less about the money than about the way the 'value' was presented to me.
What the company appeared to be saying was 'Come get a great deal on headlight restoration!' What I understood was 'Come let us take care of half of what you really need.'
How are we communicating to our employees and customers? Are we offering a deal or incentive just to manipulate one or more transactions? If so, yes we'll end up with a few transactions. We may even turn a profit.
Or are we serving them for the sake of making their lives a little better with the tools and resources we have? If our genuine interest is in serving them, they'll actually trust us more, offer their loyalty and endure a measure of personal sacrifice to be a part of what we're doing. Oh, and by the way, they'll likely be willing to pay a premium for that sense of trust and connection.
Value is in the eye of the beholder. It's something people feel, not something we tell people we offer.