A good question to regularly ask yourself is: “Am I creating value for my members?”
Whether you run a subscription business or a transactional business, it is important to stand out and provide great value – continuously.
Why is it so important to differentiate in a world where the market is often packed with offers? The answer is almost self-explanatory: With so many offers and options, it is sometimes impossible to choose. Because how do I find exactly the service or product that suits me best?
Even if you think that everyone can use your service, not everyone can see the value in your offer. We are different individuals, and we are in different places in our lifes, so even though it seems that everyone is in need of what you offer, reality is, that it is only a small percentage who think they have an actual need. .
It is YOUR responsibility to increase the group of potential members. One of the most important factors that your upcoming members look for when buying your service or product, is whether they get value out of the purchase.
What is Value?
Ask your self these 2 simple questions:
- What benefits and yield do customers get when they shop with you?
- Is your product solving the challenges your customers experience on a daily basis?
If you were sitting in front of me, and gave me the answer to these 2 questions, my next question would be:
Is this something you know for sure, or are you guessing?
There is an incredible amount of knowledge hidden in your customers’ feedback to you – if only you know how to pick it up. You may be surprised to know that your customers often think they get a completely different value from your product than what you expected. And that is important knowledge for you.
Subscription Makes It Easier
The two most important things in subscription business are:
◎ Trust in you and your business
◎ Perceived value
With a membership club or subscription business, you can easily help your members use your service or product so they can see the value of the membership. As they are not making a traditional purchase, but in stead initiating a long-lasting connection, you have a unique opportunity to communicate with your members. An option you don’t have in a traditional business where the only thing you basically have is your newsletter.
By creating a close and strong relationship with your members you will experience that this relation will keep them engaged in the membership. With the strong relation being a member of your subscription business gives them high value.
Cigarettes as a Symbol of Women’s Emancipation
Perceived value is never only based on a good product or service. It’s about life forms, values and opinions. I’ll give you an example from the 20th century, but which can nevertheless trigger some reflections on value. The cigarette brand Lucky Strike wanted more women to smoke cigarettes. But their challenge was:
- Women did not smoke in public
- Women didn’t like Lucky Strike’s green packaging
- It was too expensive to change color.
They created a campaign that culminated in a “Green Ball” at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. In addition to making a ball that no one would miss, two ingenious features of this ball had tremendous significance for their brand. One was that they called it a “Green Ball”. The invitation said that everyone had to show up in green, and Lucky Strike convinced a number of fashion houses to create green dresses for this particular ball. As a result, a number of well-known high society women took part in this event dressed in the green color of Lucky Strikes. And they got a suffragist to be the hostess.
Lucky Strike’s challenge was solved with a unique approach that at no point was about smoking. Rather, it was about color and women’s liberation. Instead of promoting Lucky Strike directly to the women, they put the cigarette into a different and larger context.
The Lucky Strike cigarettes gained value because they were perceived as symbols of women’s emancipation.
Another, more modern example is the mp3 player. Young people wanted an opportunity to listen to digital music. Apple realized that buyers were not interested in the music player itself, but instead being able to easily search, find, download and listen to digital content.
Therefore, one did not give the users a music player. Apple gave them the freedom to listen to what they wanted, where they wanted.
The iPod became the fastest-selling music player of all time!
What Can You Do?
When we in SignUp Academy work with either our own or other companies’ products, we very often use Blue Ocean Strategy. This strategy is used to create company’s unique market position. You have to find your market advantages through creativity and new ideas, and constantly rethink the way we promote, sell and communicate. Just like Lucky Strike and Apple. The blue ocean symbolizes unique market positions where competition is minimal, unlike the red ocean, which symbolizes markets with fierce competition.
The model behind Blue Ocean Strategy, inquires that you must:
- remove the things that the industry takes for granted, but that customers basically don’t like,
- reduce the things that customers easily can get less of,
- increase the things that customers want more of,
- add something new that the industry doesn’t offer customers, even if customers would find it attractive.
So you have to consider what you reduce that doesn’t create great value. And then you need to increase the value of your product by creating new/additional benefits and services that are new in the market, or have not been seen before in this context.
- What do our customers need?
- What are they striving for and how can we help them?
- How can we become an integral part of their routines?
- What value will the customer pay for? And how much?
Rethink the Value of your Service
Depending on the product and the type of business you have, there are different ways you can rethink your value:
- One of the most important things when marketing yourself is that you differentiate yourself from your competitors. Otherwise, customers can’t tell the difference, and they won’t be loyal. You need to separate your product or service from the competition. Maybe with simplified solutions, more sustainable materials, higher degree of customization options, etc.
- You can use your network and get the best out of both your own and others’ strengths through cooperation, franchising etc.
- Maybe you have the opportunity to tie together the systems and additional products that surround your core product so that it becomes a completely new product, where you open up for other players’ sales through your channels.
- If you make your products or services easier to try, use and enjoy, you can create a better “user journey”, e.g. through maintenance plans, customer support, training, warranties, etc.
- You must challenge the established and traditional channels and expand or change them. Create synergy between the channels so that customers can buy what they want, whenever they want. In this case, subscription is a really good opportunity to understand your customers’ deepest aspirations and create long and deep relationships by creating engagement among customers.
For example, you can actively communicate with them on social media, create a community around your service or product, or find a way to make your product so attractive that your customers will love to recommend it to others.
- It is also important that you make your product or service difficult to copy for others. That is quite easy when it comes to subscription, because it it the strong personal relation with your members that make this solution so unique.
A combination of several of above mentioned points, will get you a long way.
A subscription becomes strong when the customer’s perceived value exceeds what they have to pay. Perceived value is not just developing products. It can also be putting things together in a new — and valuable — way. There’s a huge potential to ensure that you’re creating more value for your customers. The end result? Standing even stronger against your competitors.
Are you creating value for your members?
To learn more about how to create a succesfull subscription business, take a look at my Best Seller book. You can order it right here