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I always ask my clients to send me a copy of their website, brochure or other marketing piece after the graphic designer has worked on it but before it is approved. I want to double-check everything – make sure that the text is all there, the bold type is still bold, the design reinforces the messaging, etc. Reviewing the layout in this way is a much-appreciated value-added service that I provide at no extra charge.

What value-added benefits do you provide? And what are you doing to ensure that your customers know that these benefits are part of the package deal?



ARE YOUR VALUE-ADDED BENEFITS A WELL-KEPT SECRET?


Two years ago I switched phone companies and signed up for a landline with what the customer service rep called “unlimited nationwide long distance calling.” I frequently have lengthy calls with clients located in other states, and I’ve been very happy with the value that this calling plan provides.

Last month I was rather surprised to learn that my “unlimited nationwide long distance calling plan” also includes all calls to Canada. Evidently as a value-added benefit, my phone company throws this second nation in for free. Who would have guessed?

If a tree falls in the forest…

This situation reminded me of the old philosophical question, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Only in this case I would ask, “If a company provides a potentially wonderful value-added benefit, but no one knows about it, does it actually do the company any good?” My answer is “No!”

What are value-added benefits?

Many businesses – especially those in very competitive or commodity-like fields – attempt to differentiate themselves through the value-added benefits that they provide. These benefits can take many different forms, such as offering free gifts with purchase, enhancing product quality, adding features to the product or service, providing fast delivery, and much more.

What makes a value-added benefit strategy effective?

From the marketing standpoint, the effectiveness of this approach is based on the prospect’s or customer’s perception of the value being received. If no one knows that the “valuable benefit” is being provided then the perceived value is zero, and the strategy is a failure.

Do your customers know about the value-added benefits that you provide? If the wonderful things that you do for your customers are a well-kept secret, now is an ideal time to change that!



CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT: BLUSHING BRIDE PHOTO & VIDEO

Wedding photography is an extremely competitive business. There are probably thousands of wedding photographers in the Los Angeles area alone! This is why when I wrote the text for the Blushing Bride Photography & Videography website, I was careful to include information about the value-added benefits they provide.

As I point out on the About Us page, because there are no “do-overs” in wedding photography, experience and education matter. With Blushing Bride you don’t just get some guy or gal with a camera. You get a photographer with over 20 years of experience, a bachelor’s degree in photography, and enough photography equipment to ensure that the moment isn’t lost while the lens is being changed



What Others Are Saying

"Each time I work with Linda, I am reminded just how well she understands marketing. Linda understands the principles of marketing on a psychological level. She sees the bigger picture. She is pragmatic, insightful and incredibly fast."

Kristine Putt,
Owner and Brand Identity Designer, Paragon Moon