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5 Ways to Add Lasting Value to Your Products and Services

There’s no substitute to having a product or service that serves the legitimate needs and wants of consumers. So, this article cannot provide a miracle cure for a product or service that consumers neither need nor want. However, there are methodologies, lines of thought, and manners of presentation that can enhance or detract from a product/service. For example, openness, clarity, perspective, frame-of-reference, and customization are five significant factors that enhance the perception of products/services in a B2B and B2C relationship.

Offer Openness
We are attracted to inviting spaces. This includes the literal visual appeal of uncluttered space, the willingness to listen to others to receive feedback, and the ability to remain honest with an audience. It's perceived integrity. Integrity is not often discussed explicitly so, it may not seem that important, but it’s absence is always a “silent killer.” It’s an underlying basic - there for our own good, and yearned for when absent. Respect the customer’s basic needs: provide open and honest spaces for them to congregate and to purchase goods and services.

Offer Clarity
Make it easy for consumers to figure out what you’re offering. It is a torturous experience to land on a page that search results indicate will solve a problem, only to be frustrated with the task of "figuring out" the intent of the organization. Even worse is when you're asked to provide personal information before obtaining a real understanding of which needs and wants the organization can satisfy.

Be clear, concise, and helpful. When placing the customer first we recognize that more information may be necessary for the consumer to make an informed decision. Reduce consumer frustration by providing a reasonable amount of additional product/service information and clear measures for contacting the organization.

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Offer a Unique Perspective
Traditional, the norm, and status quo may work for an established organization. At least for a time or two, but after awhile even they have to do something to stir the pot to re-engage their audience. When choosing a color scheme, a layout, a philosophy, a model, etc. the goal should not include fitting into a cookie cutter form. Presentation of products/services in a unique manner helps to ensure that the organization's competitive advantage sticks with the customer – leaving a lasting impression.

Offer a Frame-of-Reference
Provide a synopsis for each product or service line item. Never assume that customers know what purpose a product/service is intended to serve. Help customers connect-the-dots to see your frame-of-reference or your vision. Provide a brief description, a discussion of key ingredients, or a fun story to help customers see themselves using your product/service the way you imagined them using it when you created your product line or service suite.

Offer Customization
No two customers are the same and product/service must appeal to a wide variety of individuals to be successful. At first thought generics seem to be the answer for this variation; however, it's actually customization that helps the organization excel beyond this hurdle. A generic brand is great for the the price-sensitive customer; but what about those customers that are quality sensitive?.

If you offer a product to serve the legitimate needs of the public it is least prohibitive to build a little flexibility into the offer. This can be accomplished by introducing complimentary products and services, offering different package or combination options, providing different shipping options, etc. It's a strategy that works whether you are the low price point generic offer, the high price point quality offer, or the moderate - spanning the breadth of offer types.

Of course the underlying concept to all of this is to "put the customer first." If we remember why we embarked on the endeavor and who it's all for, the things we do to maintain our customers engaged with our brand begins to feel like second nature. And if we're not adding value to our product/service so that they serve the consumers' legitimate needs and wants, what exactly are we doing, and is it worth anything to anyone?