One of the challenges facing all companies today, is the changing face of value. We all value speed and convenience in a way that was unheard of twenty years ago. The Web has taught us that instant gratification is possible, and we expect everything at the touch of a button in all facets of our lives.
For a business to thrive, it has to understand why people buy.
Today, rarely is the value a company provides purely in the products and services it delivers. In our modern economy of abundance, mere product and service offerings have become commoditised. We don’t really care about the products or services a company offers, as we usually have a plethora of suppliers from which to choose. The value, instead, is often in the experience that we can create around the product or service offering, for our customers.
For example, think about iTunes. I happily pay to use iTunes even though I am well aware of many other sites from which I can obtain the same music, for free. So why bother paying for the same product on the iTunes platform?
Of course, the truth is, I am not paying for the music at all. Rather, I pay for the convenience of iTunes. It is easy to use and does not expose me to potential viruses, which is a risk when using some of the sites offering free downloads. Moreover, iTunes integrates seamlessly with my iphone, Macbook and iPad, while cataloguing all the music so it is easy to find. It allows me to download on any device, from wherever I am, be it at a bus stop, in the airport or at home.
In other words, the value of iTunes to me, is not in the product that I buy, that is, the music. Instead, the value comes from the ease of use and convenience that it provides. Or to put it another way, it is not about the product, but the experience.
In order for any business to thrive today, they need to understand where the value in their offering is, and how they create an experience around their product or service.