Brand Strategy

Brand Value: Racing to the top…or the bottom?

Every morning, I read Seth Godin’s daily blog post. If you are a disciple of Seth and/or want to become a better customer-centered marketer, leader, value builder, you should subscribe to his blog.

Seth’s post today hit on something every company faces in their lifetime – reducing cost or increasing value. I have realized an interesting shift in my business. When I started Growth Street Marketing five years ago, I was trying to push and convince CEOs and C-level folks to shift from “doing less with more” to “doing more for more.” The reality is that, just like personal relationships, trying to force someone to change their thinking and behavior is 99.9% of the time futile. I would leave these client engagements frustrated, disappointed and questioning my value. Today, my clients either 1) believe in the more for more value play from the start or 2) have been down the “more for less” road, hit a dead-end and realize the must get help or their business is doomed.

Take a moment today to be honest – is your company creating more value for your customers or have you taken the road to “more for less” to keep things going?

Value creates value. Less creates less. It permeates your culture, your clients, your partners, your advisors, your life. Don’t be less, be more.

From Seth’s blog:

Cost reduce or value increase?

Organizations that want to increase their metrics either invest in:

Creating more value for their customers, or

Doing just enough to keep going, but for less effort and money.

During their first decade, the core group at Amazon regularly amazed customers by investing in work that created more value. When you do that, people talk, the word spreads, growth happens.

Inevitably, particularly for public companies, it becomes easier to focus on keeping what you’ve got going, but cheaper. You may have noticed, for example, that their once legendary customer service hardly seems the same, with 6 or 7 interactions required to get an accurate and useful response.

This happens to organizations regardless of size or stature. It’s a form of entropy. Unless you’re vigilant, the apparently easy path of cost reduction will distract you from the important work of value creation.

The key question to ask in the meeting is: Are we increasing value or lowering costs?

Race to the top or race to the bottom, it’s a choice.

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