The expression “you get what you pay for”, begs the following question: what exactly does one pay for when buying something? A product or a service, yes, but increasingly, it is also the value that said product or service adds to your life both during and after the process of buying it.
Think of a luxury product like a high-end car: customers pay a princely price not just for the car, but also for the smooth, hassle-free experience of buying it and the perks and the prestige that come with owning it. They want to be treated like royalty both before and after they have bought the car.
Product plus the process of transaction plus the quality of their on-going relationship with a company are what customers pay for. These three factors are what the price of a product comprises, as well as communicates to, a customer. The Value Vanguard Cutting costs and merely lowering or raising prices aren’t sufficient in today’s crowded and highly competitive marketplace.
‘At this price, what value will this brand of product add to my life that no other branded product can?’ is what matters to increasingly discerning customers. This is where the chief value officer comes into the picture, and this is what she brings to the table:
One great way to keep adding value is through innovation. As with anything, the impetus to innovate needs to be institutionalised, i.e. it needs to be an organised and well-managed effort. To have one person at the helm of this process, is to have someone who is dedicated to finding ways to create value for a brand on all fronts: from pricing, to product quality, to customer service. It recognises that value accrues from all corners and is a holistic quantity.
A CVO is a key intercessor, or broker, between a brand and the wider world. S/he makes a compelling case for a company and its products to the media, the public and future investors. This is someone who can champion a brand on multiple fronts, because they have made it their business to understand all the different ways in which the brand claims to add value to customers’ and clients’ lives and can actually do so.
The customer has her biggest mouthpiece in the CVO. A CVO is constantly thinking about the brand from potential and existing customers’ perspectives. In doing so, they become their advocates, actively lobbying to change and improve a brand’s value proposition.
A CVO makes it her job to function as a proxy for the customer; she seeks to understand and enhance the quality of a product in a way that’s not piecemeal or disjointed (i.e. approaching it from a purely technological point of view, or a purely design point of view).
The CVO creates valuation metrics and devises useful ways of quantifying value growth or shortfall for all stakeholders, not just customers. In fact, it can be said that a CVO manages a company’s value-creation sites, agents, and beneficiaries, thus cutting across departments and treating value-creation as a holistic rather than a linear process (company to client/customer).
If value can be created, it will be bought though the price be princely. Customers and clients often opt for more expensive options if the customer service can save them a lot of time and money in the long run. For any startup, the lightening quick ability to troubleshoot any glitches or problems is always an advantage.