The Importance of Perceived Value

 

The important thing about understanding selling / pricing is…

Well, let’s jump in a time-machine, and go back say 10,000 years, to a time before the creation of money, when people lived in a barter economy…

2 men meet in a field… one has a goat, the other has a stone axe he has just made…

I want to barter my axe for your goat…

No way, my goat is worth 10 stone axes… I am not bartering for just 1 stone axe…

And at that point… if we had just left them… there would have been no trade…

But then the axe-man has a crazy idea…

Actually, this stone axe is a magic axe… and will protect you from harm… and is actually worth more then a single goat…

Wow… I really want one of those… how many goats do you want?

So through some slick, last minute salesmanship, the axe man increased the value of the stone axe in the eyes of the goat-herder… and went on to make a healthy profit…

And this was probably the birth of marketing… and in those societies where bartering / bargaining is still used… the ability to add value to products is still an essential skill to have…

Now, I am not saying that we should make false, magical claims about our products… that would be wrong, and there are laws against it.

But it is important to realize that, alongside price the other thing which motivates people to buy something is perceived value

And perceived value isn’t just about the product itself, but it is everything around the product… the information describing the product, the images which show / display the product… even the website itself on which the product is displayed…

So if you want your Customers to click in to your website, and hang around enough to become intrigued, captivated… and then make a sale… then you need a website that also appeals to their particular niche and values… something which resonates with their perceived values…

So let’s think jewelry… a very popular niche…

99% of the time, for women, they want the piece of jewelry they are wearing make them FEEL amazing…

So the overall message which your website should be giving out… “Wear a piece of our jewelry, and you are going to look and feel AMAZING…

Take high-tech gadgets… mostly bought by men, in their 20s / 30s / 40s… (although this niche is steadily getting older… happens to us all).

OK, they want the gadgets because it makes their life easier in some way… BUT ALSO… they want those gadgets which make them look and FEEL cool… especially in relation to their friends…

So the overall message which your website should be giving out… “Hey guys, these products will make you look cool… and you will be able to show them off to your friends…

Now, you are always going to get people quickly clicking in / out of your website… it’s the nature of the internet age to surf around until we find those things which hook our attention…

So if you are not making good conversions… and are pretty convinced:

  • Product is right
  • Niche is right
  • Price is right

Then my suggestion is to go across to Amazon say, look at similar products, especially ones which are doing well… and look carefully at how they are being presented to a potential Customer…

Because that can give you valuable clues about how a Seller is adding value to their products through that magical art called “marketing” for a particular niche.

And there are 2 types of perceived value:

  1. Direct – where you say something like “This product will make you look cool”.
  2. Indirect – which is the one used in 99.9% of modern advertising, where images / people are used to imply that this product will make you look cool…

Nowadays, direct approach is less effective, because people are more discerning, but it does have its place.

In addition, perceived value is the foundation of this crazy thing called branding… where some people are prepared to pay more for the same product they can get cheaper elsewhere… because of the ideas, mental images and feelings associated with that product.

Note: There is a quote which I love, from an Advertising Exec based in New York back in the 1950s… “If I sell a man an idea, he will remember me for a week… But if I sell him a feeling he will remember me for life.” … and recent brain psychology has shown, we need information to rationalize a decision… but the final thing which allows us to make our final choice is… “Which one will make me feel better… which one do I like more… or which one will allow me to avoid something I dislike…Basically, we use feelings to navigate life…

(c) Brian Parsons, July 2016

 

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