Value results from the interplay of quality and price—when you meet or exceed customers’ expectations at a price point they find fair, you provide value.
Value is externally focused. Value is in the eye of the customer.
Quality is not inherently valuable. Too many organizations indulge in self-absorbed debates about quality—how can we improve the quality of our education offerings? Quality focuses on the product (the Webinar, the seminar, the conference), but high quality alone will not guarantee the relevancy or appeal of the product. Customers have to ascribe value to the product—and you have to charge appropriately for the level of value they ascribe to it.
The Value Ramp Jeff shared on the blog last month encapsulates the price/value interdependency—the more value customers believe a product offers, the more they will pay for it.
Along the horizontal axis of the Value Ramp, the value offered by a product increases. Customers tend to find personalized, relationship-oriented products (lower right corner of the diagram) more valuable than generic, transactional products (the lower left corner).
As the value increases, prices can rise commensurately, as shown on the vertical axis, and an organization with a strong brand can raise prices more quickly than others.
Successful organizations tend to space education products along the Value Ramp, gaining momentum and trust with free or low-cost products (white papers, a blog, or a Webinar, maybe) and leading customers smoothly, almost inevitably to increasingly valuable products they’re willing to pay more for because of the associated greater value.
What do you think? Do you agree value is the most important word for your education business? If not, what word would you put before it? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
And if you want to learn more about value, I encourage you to register for the next in our 2014 complimentary Leading Learning Webinars. Tomorrow’s Webinar focuses on some often overlooked ways to assess what education products your market would find valuable.