Many of you have heard my diatribes of The Next Big Thing: “Do this”, “don’t do that”, “modify what you are doing here”, and so on. As we prepare for 2015, I thought it might be an appropriate time for a discussion on perplexing behaviors. Recently, I’ve noticed we have entered the age of what I term, the virtual reality of subliminal intangibles. Let me give you a few examples from my recent endeavors:
- I recently purchased a package with bold letters on the package of ‘20% more’. 20% more of what? For the same price? It’s up to me to decide.
- Everything is ‘new and improved’. New and improved from where? And who doesn’t want new and improved? It’s up to me to decide.
- “Buy one; get one free… just pay shipping and processing”. Since it used to be shipping and handling, nobody would pay for handling, so it’s changed to processing. It’s up to me to decide.
- Pharmaceuticals have been transitioning for some time to maintenance drugs. A recent commercial stated this as ‘Preventative Health Care’. This is classic supply and demand. Create the demand AND then supply. No one can put a price on your continuing health regime. Only a certain amount of people contract an illness, however, 100% are eligible for prevention. It’s up to me to decide.
- A new 2015 pickup truck has increased its base sticker prices up to ~$3,600 on various models. Don’t pay any mind to that; ‘it gets better fuel mileage’ and ‘is quieter than previous models’. Obviously, the new model improvements are valued by the manufacturer up to ~$3,600 in REAL value. It is up to me to decide.
So how do savvy consumers determine value and innovation in our market segments? All of our customers come to EMC Federation companies for one thing: solutions to their problems. It is that simple. Virtualization, big data analytics, and our vast portfolio of products is market leading and our customers consume our blogs as well as our other social media sites. Every customer wants value for their purchases accompanied by quality and innovative services. We do this every day at EMC; however, what I have learned recently is there is a diminished focus assigned to understanding them. Recently, I am asking our customers to calculate intangibles into their total cost of ownership. I am not saying we don’t welcome competition or to ignore it, I am simply asking to understand and place a value on quality.
Voice your opinion and let us know what and where you deem value. If I have learned anything, it’s that the expectation varies widely.
Let’s take one recent example: in the assumption that comfortable seats in your car have no value (I tend to differ). Of course there is no extra charge for ‘comfortable seats’ or a ‘safety and reliability uplift’ that you can point out in a car invoice. However, it is implied, and certainly has value. What is comfortable to one person may be uncomfortable to another and simply irrelevant to another. Everyone appreciates reliability and occupant protection in our vehicles.
This leads me to my point and some guidance when evaluating value in what we do at EMC; our culture, our drive, our DNA, and just ‘what we do’. We pride ourselves:
- With dedicated AND available sales, technical, and services teams to your business. We pride ourselves in being there ‘after the sale’. It’s up to you to decide how to evaluate this value.
- By being deeply involved in any issue, from performance to something not working as designed until it is resolved. Simply put, we never take a ‘not our issue’ attitude. It’s up to you to decide how to evaluate this value.
- We never say no to realistic requirements of our customers. It’s up to you to decide how to evaluate this value.
- We will do whatever it takes to do ‘something that has never been done before’ or to use an overused term ‘think out of the box’. I have countless examples where we have stood side by side with our customers to make their business challenges differentiators to THEIR customers. It’s up to you to decide how to evaluate this value.
I believe there is a difference between quality and value versus the lowest price. It’s not always the ‘bottom line’ price that determines the level of product or service received. Evaluate all aspects of ‘what’s included in the price’ when determining REAL value. The lowest priced automobile on the market is interesting since most customers never even purchase those cars. I recommend doing your research, comparing all aspects of the technology, services, and support, and certainly take that very, very long test drive. You just might put a value on safety and reliability – not to mention the pleasure from that comfortable seat.