Do you own a smartphone? If so, does it have a case? What sort of case? One of those heavy-duty ones that look like it would survive a drop from a four-story building? If so, I’m guessing you either have kids or butterfingers. If not, maybe your case is plastered with cartoon characters or decked out with a mini kick-stand?
If you google “iPhone case” or “Samsung phone case”, you’ll see pages upon pages of cases of various styles, features and colours. They might all be great cases, some better quality than others, but not all of them will appeal to you.
Why is that?
It’s because what you value is different to what others – be it your colleague, brother, sister, partner, the stranger sitting opposite you on the tube – value.
Value is relative
A few years ago, my wife dropped her beloved iPad mini. It fell out of her hands, flat on its face, and the screen shattered. She had a smart cover but no protective case. Compare that with her previous phone, an HTC. She dropped that phone as commonly as birds poop on car windows. That phone didn’t have a case and it withstood all that she threw at it. When she moved to iPhone she was understandably concerned; with her tendency to drop phones and the delicacy of an iPhone, she needed a bomb-proof case that was slim enough to fit into her pocket.
She looked for iPhone case reviews on YouTube. One review caught her eye. The reviewer, much taller than her, dropped his phone inside the slim case, over and over again. The phone bounced several times before settling and survived without a scratch. Pretty cool, huh? “That’s the case for me”. Almost two years in, the phone is intact.
So when choosing a case for her new phone, my wife valued something robust and slim – she doesn’t like carrying big bags but she wanted to protect her investment. I, on the other hand, don’t drop phones much. (“Whoop dee doo for you!” I can hear my wife say). I don’t know why, but I like those smart portfolio cases that look like a wallet.
It could be because my Dad dressed me in a long camel coat when I was 18 and insisted on getting me a brown leather briefcase for when I started university. I studied design in the art faculty. Go figure! I received many side glances when I walked into classrooms. Almost a decade later, during a mini reunion, a classmate said, “Yeah, of course I remember you. You were the one with the long camel coat!” I didn’t care for that jacket then, but now I love camel coats and classic stuff.
Anyway, I digress. I like those wallet-type phone cases that have a little kickstand so I can watch TED videos on the sofa with Whiskey (my cat) on my lap.
See, my wife and I value different features in a phone case for the reasons outlined. Now imagine we both walked into a shop looking for a case. And the sales assistant showed me all the bomb-proof cases and my wife the wallet-looking cases. While those features are valuable, they don’t match what we each value. We would walk out of that shop, empty-handed.
Value is relative
If you want to know how to communicate your value, first you must investigate and understand what is of value to your clients, because we each value different features. Only then can you successfully communicate your value or the value of what you’re selling. Because only then will it resonate with your buyer and meet their needs.
You can only communicate value when you know what is of value. Value is in the eye of the beholder.