Focus on Value So Others Don’t Fix on Costs

The other day in the supermarket I picked up a box of reclosable sandwich bags. Its cost: $3.59. Then another brand caught my eye: $2.39. A smart shopper, I checked the number of bags: both 50. And the bag dimensions were the same.

How could the Natural Value brand cost 50 percent more than the Western Family brand–for a seemingly identical product? Neither brand was on sale. Why would I pay more? 

Natural Value did not make it easy for me to answer that question. As you can see, the front of their box gives no indication of why theirs is worth more than the cheaper brand. Neither do the other two other sides of the box. 

Sandich bags

 

Do your readers have to work hard to understand your value or the value of your products, services, and ideas? Do you leave them guessing about why to say yes? Why should they invest–or invest more–in you?

When you communicate in recommendations, business proposals, white papers, product descriptions, press releases, and other business messages, be sure to communicate value. You cannot assume that readers already know the value, especially if they are pass-it-on readers at work who don't know you, your reputation, or your product (just as I was not familiar with the Natural Value brand). Consider these areas of possible value to your readers:  

  • Results. Focus on the excellent results your product or service achieves. Use testimonials, before-and-after measurements, rankings, and other documentation. Results may be all that matter to the customer. In a resume or professional bio, your years of experience suggest value. But the results you have achieved will be more persuasive. 
  • Time savings. If implementing your proposal or buying your product can save time and effort, show how. Perhaps your approach reduces the number of steps required or eliminates duplication.  
  • Convenience. If it is easier to buy and benefit from your product, be sure your readers know that. Instant downloads, fast delivery, convenient locations, free parking, 24-7 access, multiple platforms, seamless integration, simple installation–convenience has great value. 
  • High-quality materials. Superior materials should perform well and last longer. Prove their value with a guarantee.
  • Low risk. Explain your money-back guarantee, free trial, or introductory offer. Share any customer reviews and experts' endorsements. 
  • Luxury. Describe and show luxury buyers how your product or service feels, tastes, looks, etc. 
  • Environmental impact. If your product is good for the environment, don't just say so. Show how.  

That last value proposition–positive environmental impact–was the reason for the higher price of the Natural Value sandwich bags. This information appeared on the back of the box: 

LIVE WELL. SPEND LESS.

At Natural Value, we are dedicated to making natural, organic, and planet-friendly products more affordable for everyone. We are passionate about bringing you the best products available as efficiently and economically as possible. 

So, what's so natural about plastic bags? Although originally conceived primarily as a convenience for the natural foods shopper, our plastic products really do offer an environmentally friendly alternative. 

All of our plastic products are PVC and plasticizer-free and are packaged in materials made from recycled paper. Additionally, NV Plastic Wrap, Sandwich Bags and Food Storage Bags are all certified Kosher. 

Those paragraphs state what is different and valuable about the product that would appeal to environmentally conscious shoppers. I might suggest edits (below) to shorten and focus the text so it gets read. I would also add "PVC and Plasticizer-Free" to all sides of the box so readers don't have to search for the reason to spend more. 

LIVE WELL. SPEND LESS. OUR COMMITMENT TO THE PLANET 

At Natural Value, we are dedicated to making natural, organic, and planet-friendly products more affordable for everyone. We are passionate about bringing you the best products available as efficiently and economically as possible.

So, what's so natural about plastic bags? Although originally conceived primarily as a convenience for the natural foods shopper, Our plastic products really do offer an environmentally friendly alternative. All of our plastic products They are PVC and plasticizer-free and are packaged in materials made from recycled paper. Additionally, NV Plastic Wrap, Sandwich Bags and Food Storage Bags are all certified Kosher.

 

When I teach Better Business Writing, I ask course attendees to shout out the positive words they have included in their recommendations, proposals, announcements, and requests. Sometimes individuals cannot find one positive word in their pieces. But how can they be persuasive without using words such as value, benefits, increases, savings, opportunity, results, convenience–and planet friendly? 

When you write, focus on the value to your readers. Think about what is important to them. Then show how you can provide it. 

Find out how you can enhance your business writing in my live online class Writing Tune-Up for Peak Performance. The next session takes place on November 4 and 6. You can always learn about upcoming public classes on our website.  

Have you had to make a brand choice recently? Which qualities–other than price–helped you decide? 

Lynn 
Syntax Training

6 COMMENTS

  1. Good reminder for encouraging more positive writing.
    Also, I think Natural Value needs to pay you a retainer for your valuable advice 😉 …did you share it with them?

  2. I really like to buy local products, or from business that purchases from local producers; support the local economy I guess. That is one I would like to see more on the boxes.

    Thank you so much for your advice.

    Jaime

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