Brands and companies that do not know what their customer’s value will ultimately fail. Take, for example, Pier 1 Imports, a store that at one point was a mecca for unique and quirky items that consumers purchased with great loyalty and enthusiasm. Recently filing for bankruptcy, Pier 1 Imports was simply unable to capture the attention of a new Millennial audience or retain its current client base. With other unique and quirky items being sold online through Etsy or Wayfair, Pier 1 Imports had stiff online competition. Their inability to reinvent and modernize their branding and their products now has them closing half of their stores in the United States and Canada and perhaps closing for good.
One of their largest mistakes was not understanding what their current customer’s valued and failing to understand what new customer’s valued as well. The cost is high, and may, in fact, be their entire business. If you are a business owner, you absolutely must know what your customer’s value in order to ensure that you are able to provide this to them time and time again, and course correct the value you provide when you determine your customer’s values have changed as well.
Know Your Competition
If you are carrying quirky and unique furniture and household items, like Pier 1 Imports, you should know every home goods store and online retailer that is in your market and distinguish yourself from them in some way that allows a customer to see that your product and brand provides the value that they seek. Make sure that you are focusing on the correct competition. Pier 1 Imports has admitted that they believed their competition was Pottery Barn and William-Sonoma, however, most of their consumers were truly considering Pier 1 Imports on par with Etsy, Target, World Market, Wayfair, and Amazon. You must know exactly who your competition is to distinguish yourself and promote yourself as a better value for your customers.
Know Your Products
Make sure that the products that you provide are the ones that your customers value. If consumers are less interested in tablecloths because they view them as old-fashioned, but more into throw pillows which are an easy way to quickly change the look and feel of a room, your marketing research should detail that in such a way that your company can then provide the products your customer values. You cannot sell a product that a customer does not even want.
Know Your Value
Price and value are not the same things. Toyota does not cost as much as Mercedes, but both buyers believe they have received value for different reasons. Know your customer’s value and where they place worth, and you will do much better in terms of being able to create and sell products that consumers will purchase. There is also a brand experience at these two different car dealerships that some consumers will place a value on, while others will know. Know your customers and know what they value, and you can better sell your product to them.
Quantifying Customer Value
Quantifying customer value in terms of your product, the price of your product, your place in the marketplace, your competition, your products, and your customer’s experience is complex and challenging. However, as a business owner, taking the time to make this determination can be one of the best ways to provide an amazing customer experience, customer value, and ensuring that you stay relevant and continue to provide value to your customers.