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Value add

This past week we took my car to a carwash that we’ve been frequenting since they opened 4-5 years ago. When we got to the front of the line, we noticed that the super-duper-wash (whatever they call it) was now two dollars more expensive, a 10% increase over the previous rate. The great thing about paying a premium for this top end wash was that you got a bounce back coupon for a free wash in the future. This is where today’s story takes us…..

We went ahead and paid the $22 for the top shelf wash. When they didn’t offer up the bounce back receipt for the second wash, we asked about it. Their answer was, “We don’t do those anymore.” So they raised the price and took away an amenity.

They lost us as customers on the spot.

Our goal as organizations, as people, as leaders, should be to drive added value to everything we touch. Everything we do, everything we sell, every move we make. We have tried to do that with our technology platforms (the Sports Tourism Index + Scout). We priced them reasonably, one is free and the other is surely fairly assessed, and our goal is to make them better and better each day. Since day one, we have added features without raising the pricing at all. There is no “platinum” level that we leverage to get a larger share of wallet from our partners. Build a solid product or service, price it fairly, improve it over time. That is a pretty simple formula for success.

(Note: Seth Godin’s book Free Prize Inside is a great read on the subject of added value).

Here is an industry example…..

Back in our Denver days, we were preparing to host the 2008 Frozen Four (ice hockey’s version of the Final Four). The year prior we hosted a Denver themed event for the top priority ticket holders of the event. We basically invited them to a social where we brought Denver to them. We showed them what type of culture to expect when they arrived the following year in the Mile High City. This had never been done before, and the NCAA took notice. The fans we entertained that night took notice. We added value to the core hockey enthusiasts that had been buying tickets to this championship for years. We separated ourselves as an organization and as a destination with two very key stakeholder groups.

How can you add value to what you do? To your job, to your friends, to your families?

There is always a way to give your partners more than they expect. More than they are asking for.

Raise the bar. Give them what they want, and then a little bit more.

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