Basically, your customers do not care. What do I mean?

Your customers don’t care about what you think your product or service is worth. Today, we’ll be talking about VALUE.

Your customers don’t care about any other thing other than value. They don’t care what your products or services (I’ll keep on using ‘product’ to mean ‘product or service’) cost to produce or deliver, where your business or factory is located (I hear a lot of manufacturers talk about how their factory is located in the wilderness so they can be free from blah blah blah), they don’t care about the recent update on your product (I know some of you think you care about it, but just relax and follow me to the end), they don’t care about how you train your employees or what happens between you and your employees, they don’t care about the stress you went through to deliver the product, they don’t care about how you were stuck in traffic for 12 hours. They don’t care about all these things. They really do not care.

This is what your customers care about. VALUE.

It’s that simple. So it doesn’t matter what you think your product is, it doesn’t matter what you think your product is worth, it doesn’t matter what you think your products can do. What matters is what your customers think your product can do for them. Hmmm. What matters is what your customers think your product is worth.

It doesn’t matter what YOU think. What matters is what THEY think.

This is where most people get it wrong. I hear a lot of people tell their customers things like, “No, no, no. I can’t go that low, I bought this product N2,500 I can’t sell it N2,700. N200 profit is too small for me, I have to keep the business healthy, I have three children to feed, I have rent to pay…” and they go on telling the customer about all their life challenges, and I wonder “What is my business with all these things you’re telling me?”.

These things have nothing to do with your customers, they do not concern your customers. What they are concerned about is VALUE.

Tell me what this particular product is going to do for me. How would it add value to me? Will it help me in achieving some of my desires? How is it going to benefit me, enhance my life, make me a better person? How is the new feature going to increase the intimacy between my family members? How would your business impact my business and help me increase revenue? Will your wig make people’s head turn when I pass? Will it give me bragging rights? Will it make a statement of status and worth? What will it say of me?

These are the sort of questions that the customer needs answer to. These questions are underlying in his subconscious. These are what the customer care about. The value your product or service is bringing to the table. It’s about them not you.

When you explain what your product does, what they care about is what your product does that affects them. They don’t care about everything your product does, they only care about the specific things your product does that affects them personally. Your customer cares about value, and value is not generic. It is customized for each customer.

This is exactly why two companies, company A and company B who are producing the exact same core products, command extremely different prices in the marketplace. Let’s say company A is selling it’s product for N3,000 and company B is selling the same identical core product for N35,000. This happens because company B has found a way to make its customers see the inherent value in their product.

For example a marriage counsellor or therapist may have a rate of N5,000 per hour, and after the sessions, he was able to successfully save a marriage. What do you think that act of saving the marriage is worth to the couple whose marriage was saved? Is saving their marriage worth N5,000? Definitely not. It’s worth a whole lot more. Right? That tells you that there may be a different marriage therapist whose rate is N30,000 per hour because he has been able to make the couple see the value of saving their marriage.

It is not what you think your product can do, it is what your customers think your product can do that matters. Your job is to make them see the value. It doesn’t matter if you see the value, THEY (the customers) are the ones who need to see the value more and your job is to make them see the value in what your product is offering. The moment they see the value — how the product can affect their life or business — you are now worthy of premium prices. The degree to which you make them see the value determines the degree to which you can charge premium prices.

So if you tell me this deodorant will make the lady I’m crushing on find me attractive or make me get the promotion I’ve been waiting for at my work or make my colleagues respect me more or make people patronize my business more. If these are the things I value, then I begin to see beyond just the deodorant, I begin to see how the deodorant fits into the big picture of my life. The more valuable it is to me, the more I’m willing to pay a premium.

So here’s the gist, you always have to make your client see how your products or services fits into their big picture. Everyone has a big picture.

For example, the reason why people decide to sew clothes are different. For some people, the main emotional reason why they are sewing that particular cloth, is to appear at the event as someone who has made it big, for some people, they have a reputation of slaying (e.g Ebuka Obi-Uchendu) and they would go to any length to sustain that reputation. Now that is the big picture, and like I said your job is to position your product and service in a way that they see your product or service as the means to the end (their desires, aspirations, dreams, fantasies etc).

Your customers won’t probably spell it out for you that that’s the reason why they are sewing the clothes. They try to justify it to themselves and to others with a logical reason, but just beneath that is a strong emotional reason that controls their purchase decision. They’ll tell you they want a cloth that is nice, your job is to discover for yourself what they truly WANT, and show them how your product fits in the big picture, how your product is going to provide that which they truuuuly long for and desire in their life, and immediately the perceived value of your product rises dramatically. Dramatically.

Vusi Thembakwayo talks about anchoring. This means changing the customer’s focus. Changing the customer’s focus from the generic view of the product to the inherent abilities of the product to achieve the customer’s emotional needs.

The reason some people patronize high-end hotels and pay large amount of money is not because of its core essence. It’s a hotel. There are several other hotels. But one of the main reasons is the status the hotel confers on them or the statement of status the hotel says about them (remember I talked about reputation earlier and wanting to sustain it). It gives them bragging rights. It gives them a reason to talk. Nobody talks about the sachet water hawked in traffic, but people talk about the bottled water served in high-end hotels. Same core product. Same H2O. Different values. Different emotions. Different positioning. Different prices. Different status.

Perceived value is important. How the customer perceives the value you’re bringing. The reputation of the hotel alone can permit the management to charge premium. It’s perceived value. The customer can proudly talk about where she had her night because of the prestige your hotel confers. VALUE.

Customers don’t care about your core product; they need to know how who you are and what you do will enhance their own life.

I read of this example in a book; There’s this particular family, when they want to have steak for their family dinner, they buy it from a local restaurant not far from their home, but when they have friends, colleagues and other relatives coming around, they don’t buy their steak from the local restaurant, they go to the other side of the town and buy from the most expensive steak company in the city. Why? They do that because they want to show a sense of status. This family do not want to be seen as cheaps, and that is very valuable to them and at that point, they don’t care what it would cost them as long as their perceived status is intact.

You need to make your customers see the value in your product that goes beyond the core abilities of the product. That is what your customers truly care about and that is when you can command premium prices without stress. You can read my previous article on “How your reputation is killing your marketing efforts” to understand more about perceived value and status.

The degree to which you show your customers the value in your product is the degree to which they’ll be willing to pay more for it.

To understand more about how this works, you can reach out to me to book a consultancy session and we’ll talk more about it.

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My name is May-Las Akorede (The Mouth to Mouth Expert), I’m the host of “The Business Gist” podcast, I run a Birthday Portrait and Fashion Photography Business called “Data Studios”, and an Exclusive Luxury-Wedding Photography business called “Wedding Clicks”.

I run a Consultancy Firm where I help businesses with little or no advertising budget come up with word of mouth marketing strategies that they can incorporate into their businesses to make their customers tell other customers about them.

Follow me on twitter and Instagram @maylas_akorede for more updates.

When in doubt, you can always find me on

See you soon.

#MayLas #TheBusinessGist #DataStudios




The Father's Son. I talk on Word-of-Mouth Marketing, Customer Experience, Pricing and Differentiation.

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May-Las Akorede

May-Las Akorede

The Father's Son. I talk on Word-of-Mouth Marketing, Customer Experience, Pricing and Differentiation.

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