Is the concept of ‘value add’ or ‘value added’ overused? Perhaps it’s more correct to ask, is it misused? Has ‘value added’ become like the tipping issue? Many of us tip automatically, whether it’s deserved or not. Has the term ‘value add’ become interchangeable with just doing a good job, or simply meeting expectations, not exceeding them? What happened to going above and beyond, every time that you can? To me, that’s value added.

The retail landscape is rife with ‘value adds’

The retail landscape is rife with ‘value adds’. Think about extended warranties. You purchase a new refrigerator. You wanted value for your money, so you likely paid for the brand name as well as the fridge’s features and benefits. Brands that have been around for a while, proved their worth, built a following, have intrinsic value. But as you’re buying that brand name fridge, the salesperson encourages you to purchase an extended warranty beyond the standard one-year warranty —  a warranty that will protect you — and one you’ll have to pay for. Where’s the value in that?

What is that saying about the product? Shouldn’t you be able to expect that the refrigerator will work for you a heck of a lot longer than one year? And if it’s not going to, then shouldn’t the manufacturer promote an offer to fix anything that does go wrong in the 13th month after you bought it, and fix it for free. That would be a true value added proposition! Same thing goes for a car purchase and the extended warranties that go along with those purchases. Fundamentally, these types of things are not adding real value, they’re just up-selling and increasing the profitability of “you”. I believe I should be able to expect that most high-ticket items that I purchase are going to last a while; that they’re going to meet my expectation of performance, without me having to buy protection in case they don’t.

‘Value added’, from a business owner’s point of view, is having my vendors go beyond… which make them partners… not vendors.

‘Value added’, from my business owner point of view, is having my vendors go beyond. It’s having their service and their staff perform well beyond my expectations, not just meet my expectations. I hired them to meet my expectations. And I’m ecstatic when they exceed them!  In other words… you got the business, now keep it by impressing.

In terms of my clients, value added doesn’t mean giving them great creative. They expect great creative. Why else do you go to an advertising agency? It doesn’t mean delivering on time, that’s an expectation from the outset. It doesn’t mean delivering results. That’s expected too.

‘Value added’ happens when we anticipate what the client needs before they need it.

Value added happens when we anticipate what the client needs before they need it. It’s when we nudge them by showing them there’s a better way. It’s by surprising them with things that they didn’t expect; things that help and delight them. Value added is exceeding beyond what our clients expect, and giving them a reason to keep coming back. It’s making them feel good about working with us because not only are we delivering on their expectation, we are adding value to the service and valuing them as clients, by exceeding their pre-conceived expectations. At its core, value added should be about building relationships.

Jump! How High? That’s not value added.

Jump! How high? That’s not value added. Leap as high as I can for my clients before they ask me to jump… now that’s adding value.

What is your idea of ‘value added’ in your ‘world’? I’d be interested to hear!

#ValueAdded #SharedWisdom #ExceedBeyond