Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Value Shift

Winning Ugly Together has been at the top of my action list over the past few weeks. It’s the most effective way I know to pare away excess and focus on the things we can do something about. Control the controllables rather than be paralyzed by the unknown or the stuff that is not at the core of what you have to do. Loyalty Beyond Reason can only be earned when we all perform at our best.

The new reality makes it clear that consumers are looking even harder at how they spend every dollar. The more information they gather and the more comparisons they make, the higher the likelihood that when they do make their decision, it will be touched by emotion. A friend’s advice, a sense of connection, a yearning for fun or excitement, confidence in good value. In the coming months and years, Lovemarks will have new opportunities because they understand that Value does not equal price.

"The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing." - Oscar Wilde

"Price is what you pay. Value is what you get." - Warren Buffett

Consumers know this. They also know that with price parity looming on so much of the stuff we buy, price is not the decider it used to be. The measure that matters is value. A smart perspective of the value consumers value will be the key differentiator over the next few years. This can be the advantage card small companies can play to win in an era when the big seem to keep getting bigger. I am convinced that winning value will be shaped by great insights so that people get value with emotional resonance as well as performance. As people become more careful, more informed, more flexible, and more connected, we’ll have to match them step by emotional step. The job of business is not to reframe value for consumers but to tap into how they are reframing it for themselves. Yes, the consumer is boss.