Value. A core part of every business. For entrepreneurs and clients alike. But how do you define value? How do you know what to charge people? And how do you make people feel comfortable with paying the prices you charge? Well, at the end of the day, it’s all about your brand. It’s all about the way you position yourself, and the experience your ideal client has with you. That’s why, getting your brand on point is so critical when it comes to earning the amount you deserve. There’s a few sure-fire ways to do this, which a load of big brands do, and I’ve picked a few out for you in this post, which is all about how to define the value of your brand.
Before we get into it, we’re not talking about turnover or profit here. It’s not about market value, or assets, it’s about the value your clients associate with your brand and your products. Because if they buy into the brand you create, they’ll happily pay a premium price. If they don’t, they’ll switch off instantly. So let’s do this.
WHAT’S YOUR POSITIONING?
No, not yoga. We’re still talking about your brand. And in particular, how you position yourself and your brand. So what do I mean by that? Well, it’s all about your niche, and how you talk about yourself.
Remember at the top, I mentioned those big brands, and for this section I’m going to focus on M&S. That’s right, the supermarket behind the world’s best luxury fish pie (according to me). Now, these guys aren’t even subtle about their positioning. You can see it in their adverts.
‘This is not just food. This is M&S food.’
They’ve taken themselves from being yet another supermarket selling food, and positioned themselves as not just a luxury, high end choice but THE luxury, high end choice. I mean who wants ‘just food’ when you can have something better. Something with more flavour? Something more indulgent? And all of that means next time you’re in there, you’ll be willing to pay more for those cheeky biscuits than you would at Tesco, or Sainsbury’s for example.
So how does it apply to you? Well, if you are able to do the same, by positioning yourself as an expert in your field, owning that niche and building your reputation, then you too will be able to charge more.
CREATE AN EXPERIENCE
A brand is so much more than just the visuals. I know, I say that all the time. But it’s true. It’s about you, what you wear, what you say and how you say it. It’s also about what you stand for. But crucially, it’s about your audience. Your ideal clients. Your brand is what they say about you when you’re not in the room. So the experience has to be on-point.
Just think about when you are going for a haircut. Then imagine you have an option between a premium salon, and a more standard hairdressers. What’s the difference between them? Beyond the fact that one costs £200 plus, and the other maybe closer to £40? Well, it’s about the experience.
At the premium salon (I mean even the name makes it feel more special, right?), you can be sure that you’ll be in a stylish, on-trend space, and you’ll be offered a glass of bubbles from the moment you step in. There’ll be all the latest mags on the table and you’ll have an assistant wash your hair in a modern, massage chair. Then, you’ll have someone with a title like ‘Style Director’ or ‘Consultant’ taking care of you. Instantly you feel important. You feel pampered and the premium experience makes handing your card over at the end feel worth it.
Contrast that with the more everyday hairdresser, where you’re in the less premium waiting room, there’s no drinks on offer and you’re flicking through the July 2016 edition of Vogue. You’ll probably end up thinking £40 is expensive or you just don’t feel that special.
So make sure your audience are always getting the premium, VIP treatment. Make them feel like they’re your only client. Go above and beyond. If you do that, they’ll be more than happy to pay what your services are worth. They’ll probably tell all of their friends about you too. Trust me.
WHAT’S THE STORY?
Now, last but not least, the story. The story is key. Why? Because the story creates the emotional connection. And here I’m going to focus on one of my all-time favourite brands, Mulberry. Now, I’m not sure if you know this, but one of the first things I did when I reached my money goals was buy myself one of these bad boys. Why? Because I love the brand, what they stand for and the story around them.
I mean, it all started on a kitchen table in Somerset, with just £500 investment, and now look where it is. It’s an icon, and I just read this quote from Johnny Coca, the current creative director:
“Play with the classic, twist the conventional,
use the familiar to make something inspiring and new.”
So you have the story, and the philosophy. Both of which grab me and make me want to be part of it. In fact, just writing this makes me want another one… Anyway, back to this. What’s important to remember is that the story is always evolving. And needs to be told to either keep your audience engaged, or bring new clients in. Because of their ongoing storytelling you know that with Mulberry you’re buying into premium craftsmanship, premium materials and a heritage of luxury bags. Yes, the price is a huge investment but the story, and the way it’s told, plus the way it makes you feel when it’s on your arm makes it well worth it. You are buying the best!
So make sure you tell your story, it can be the difference of someone buying from you or not. Your story is still a part of your brand, to build that trust with your ideal client.
And that, as they say is that. But before I go, I want to leave you with a few final thoughts, which are based on this classic quote.
‘You get what you pay for.’
So why that quote? Well, everything you do, from your brand to your products and your story has to live up to the price you’re charging your clients. Position yourself as the expert in your field. Make them feel like they’re getting a better, more premium experience. Make them feel confident that you’ll deliver. Do that and they’ll not only like you, they’ll trust you. And when you have that, your brand will scream value to your ideal clients, giving them a reason to pay whatever price you’re asking.