Updated
  
17
 
Jan
 
2021
Published
 
5
 
Nov
 
2015

Communicating value to customers

Even if a product is a quality one, it would not automatically fly off the shelves once launched. It needs marketing.
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Just because one has a product manufactured, does not mean your target consumers know its value. Value is something you have to communicate to potential customers while the product is still in development, especially prior to launch.

The best time to start communicating the value of your product is during the product testing stage. This is the stage where you see if the product and the standard components you used to create it can withstand real-world use cases. Since this usually counts as a soft launch, it's a good enough platform to start showing the utility of your product to your target market.

Value to customers meaning

Before people buy a product, they ask themselves: what is in it for me? And you need to tell them. But how do you make sure they know the value of the product you are trying to sell them? Here are a few tips to help you create value in the eyes of your potential customer.

Find out what value means to your target consumers, before you get your product manufactured. Ask yourself what immediate benefit the product provides to your prospective customers. The answer will form the foundation of making a promise to them that will resonate on a personal and emotional level, which is what sells. Consumers love it when people come with a solution to a problem that is causing them great distress.

Show the value

Showing the product is the solution to their problems can go a long way. But to make this great value position sink in, you can actually show them how to make the most of them. This can be in the form of useful product guides that are delivered in multiple formats, such as PDFs and video.

On top of promising them that the product can solve their problem, it helps to show customers what value will the product provide. Luckily, we live in an age where high-quality video is cheaply produced and there are plenty of platforms to share it.

Differentiate the product

If you are selling an electric device with a lithium ceramic battery, for example, just know that you will not be the only one on the market doing this.

Competition is to be expected in any market, and all your competitors will also be trying to communicate the value of their product to the same consumers. Distinguish yourself from your competitors by going the extra mile to communicate your value to them.

Try different methods

When getting customers to know the value of your product you will probably employ a number of advertising methods – its part of the process when you bring an idea to life. This is because there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to reach the most customers. Some methods work and others do not. So do not be afraid to mix and match, until you narrow down which ones work.

Launching a product does not mean your company is a success. You still need to drive sales to ensure continued existence and growth. Consumers are interested in the value your product will bring them, and you need to communicate that as early as possible. With the tips outlined above, you can create value in the eyes of those you wish to purchase your product.


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Customer perceived value

When designing a product, we need to know the target audience, walk in their shoes and experience challenges they face. You heard the saying before: you can never know a person until you walk a mile their shoes. This also applies to customers. One of the biggest mistakes a product designer can make is designing a product for themselves. When coming up with product design, emphasis should be placed on the customer. That way, the resulting design is something that is useful for them.

If there’s one thing we know for sure about consumers is that they won’t part with their hard-earned money for something they have no use for. That is why it becomes important to walk in their shows. By doing this, one is able to experience the challenges they face first hand, which puts us in a better position to come up with a solution. But how does one go about stepping into the shoes of a customer when designing a product? It seems many people do not know how to go about it. Ultimately, this is something that should not be overlooked.

There’s no shortage of problems in the world. And there is also no shortage of solutions available that attempt to solve these problems. Where there is a problem, there seems to be a market. However, this does not mean that the available solutions solve the problem. And if they do, it does not mean that cannot be improved upon. With that in mind, it becomes clear that one needs to go out into the market and try the available solutions to see what they get right and what they get wrong. This means one must become the customer.

Suppose one was thinking of developing a battery for mobile phones. One would have to start by looking at the batteries that are currently available in the market. This involves other people experience when using mobile phones with these batteries. One can ask themselves a few important questions:

  • How long can I go without charging?
  • How long does it take to charge?
  • Do they make the phone heavy or bulky?
  • Do they heat up a lot when charging?
  • How fast do they lose their charge capacity?

The point of this exercise is to experience the joys and frustrations that other customers experience when using the product in question. Most importantly, it makes sense to also ask people about what their experience with the current offerings is. This is an indirect observation. All this will provide one with enough data to know the depth of the problem we are trying to solve.

Putting findings to good use

After experiencing the problem first hand and talking to people about it as well, we will undoubtedly gather actionable data. The resulting product design will be one that customers will appreciate since they will be able to tell that you understand the problem. And even after the product is released, you must become the customer again to see if the challenges being face have been met. Also, this allows you to ascertain what can be improved.

Product design is not something that should be attempted without approaching it from a customer-centric point of view. This is a viewpoint that cannot be assumed – one might get it wrong. Rather, this a viewpoint that must be experienced. So it is prudent for any designer wishing to design something useful to walk in the customer's shoes. That way, you are to come up with a product that serves the needs of your target consumers.

It will then be clear who we are designing for and what sort of nuances we can introduce, to make customers lives better.

Parts of this insight were first published 
as early as 
November 2015
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