Creating Value – Part III

Belief.

A Belief that you have and share, about the marketplace, about your customers – this is the third big powerful wagon to hitch your business to.

How you view me shapes our relationship. Back to Seth Godin’s Tribes: don’t just understand me: believe in me, uplift me. Speak to your customers with a shared language and beliefs and values. Find the stories and associations that work for your people.

I love this one. You are a smart, powerful woman who can compete in a man’s world by being yourself.

Together, you and the book are shutting out the cacophony of the world; you are in independent thinker in the sea of sameness. You are resisting!

My customers love where they live, they have a sense of place. They have memories about these special places.

Know your customers intimately, and express your shared belief about your marketplace in:

  • tag lines
  • images
  • thank yous

Find the stories and associations that work for them and for you. Here’s one more:

So that’s the 3 “wagons” you can hitch your business to, in order to create big value that justifies higher margins for a small business:

The Big Idea

  • Problems in your marketplace
  • What do your people want?
  • What hasn’t been pillaged?

The Future

  • What’s in the future that you can identify with?
  • Where can you take your customers that they want to go?
  • Occupy the high ground early

A Belief About Your Marketplace

  • Who are your customers?

What stories and associations work for them?

Make this a topic at your next BforB Round Table conversation!

Creating Value – Part II

The BIG Idea.

As discussed in Creating Value – Part I, Chevy is using The Big Idea – patriotism – to sell their cars.

The Big Idea is often a value that is widely shared by your customers – hence the need to know them really well. Your Tribe, in Seth Godin’s phrase.

Here are a couple more:

Imagination!

The tag line for this baguette is, “ready to bake at home.” Comfort! Cosy nest!

Soroptimist International is committed to, “Improving the lives of women and girls, locally and around the world.” The Big Idea is Gender Equality.

Now here’s mine:

I personally need to feel like I am putting down roots in the place I live; I need to be connected to my community. I was telling a business coach about the toy store I used to co-own, in a small town where people wanted the small town feel. “Sure we were selling toys, but really we were selling the white picket fence.”

She said, “Isn’t that what you’re still selling?”

I slapped myself upside the head and went, “Oh duh! Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – it’s not just me, it’s everyone. I am selling a sense of belonging.”

Finding your Big Idea:

  • What is happening in your marketplace; What are the problems? At Soroptimist, we tackled 2 problems: young women who need to make their first home, and older people needing to downsize. So we created Anney’s Closet, and the mundane explanation is a free store, but the Big Idea is Passing The Torch.
  • What do your people want, that you can give them – adventure? Healthy food? Taking care of their parents or partners?
  • What idea hasn’t been pillaged (Being Green?) When in doubt, go with a classic.

I’ll leave you with a couple more I found:

The Future

The Future is the second big wagon to hitch your business to, in order to create big value. In The Art of War the Chinese general Sun Tzu said, “ Occupy the place of conflict early.” For example, water tables are dropping in the US Southwest. Therefore, water is a precious resource. I can associate with water conservation: occupying the high ground in the place of conflict.

Panasonic ads show the technology to its fullest potential, it brings you into Star Trek. This is the future of play, and Panasonic brings you there NOW.

The tagline for this annual biking event with over 10,000 participants is “Move the City.” You can be part of what cities will be like in the future.

One Soroptimist program is all about the future, based on research showing girls with access to mentoring are far more likely to achieve their dreams:

I’m taking a different approach, similar to Moleskine:

Moleskine is incredibly successful at mixing romance and history into their product. The future is one-world, one-size spandex spacesuits, and rush rush rush.

So my high ground is being ready to respond when people get fed up with the generic world. These paper calendars say, “My life is not disposable.” They are calendars for keeps, about a meaningful life.

Finding your Place in the Future:

What is our world coming to? More importantly, your customers’ world:

  • What’s in the future that you can identify with?
  • How can you advantage of what is going to happen?
  • Where can you take your customers that they want to go?