I can buy a cold soda at a store for about $1.50. At the ballgame, the same soda will cost $5.00. In both cases they are the best value. Why? Context!
Value in its simplest terms is “What you get for what you pay.” It all seems very simple and easy to understand. I spend $1.50 for my favorite soft drink. When I am hot and thirsty the cold soft drink is refreshing and enjoyable. If that is what I wanted, it was a great value for a $1.50. If I am at a ball game, in great seats near the field, on a hot, sunny day, I am willing to pay $5.00 for the same soft drink. $5.00 is also a good value. The product I got in both cases was essentially the same. Why would I pay over three times more in one situation and still think it was a good value? In both cases, the soft drink was wet, cold and tasted the same. What makes the value more at the game? Context!
Value can go up or down depending on many things separate from the actual product itself. The location, conditions, convenience, style, and presentation all make a difference. Value, it turns out, isn’t a fixed number for an individual. It isn’t a cold hard number or fact. Value is all about the perception of the customer in the context of the moment. If I perceive the soft drink to be just the thing I need at the ball game to quench my thirst, I am willing to pay more for it. Especially if the game is great and I don’t want to leave my seat. The soft drink is a good value.
As a brand manager, we strive to have our customers perceive our brand as the best value. When we market our brands with the context in mind, we can charge for the value we create. Always ask “what is the context” to unlock all the value you are creating?