My name is Sabina and I pay a pretty penny for my hair to be cut and colored at my hair salon, Ted Gibson. And by pretty penny I mean several pennies...A truck bed full of pennies perhaps. Before going to my quarterly appointment I always hesitate for a split second and think to myself, "Wait, should I just switch to the less expensive salon down the street?" The answer is always an emphatic no. The reasons behind this are part of what I like to call the Value Creation Equation and mastering it is a powerful lesson in brand positioning and value perception that every business - no matter what type - can learn and apply to everything from how you price things to the way you run your business from day to day. Mastering this equation and doing it as well as the Ted Gibson team does will help you increase your perceived value, which in turn will allow you to increase your customer or client base, perhaps even increase your prices, and at the end of the day, make the money you need and are worth.
The Value Creation Equation:
Expertise + Experience + Results + Visibility = VALUE
No matter where you are in your business right now and no matter what you do, you can begin working on improving different parts of this equation, and as you do this, your value (both perceived and actual) will begin to increase. Let's discuss it in terms of the lovely Ted Gibson and team.
Not everyone can be a master at everything. In fact, if someone claims to be an expert in multiple different fields I begin to question their expertise in any of those fields. People pay to have experts help them do things that they are not masters of themselves. We do it every day. We actively seek out people to provide services, information, education, products, you name it! Your expertise is valuable. There is someone out there - probably several people - right now who needs it. The better you get at it, the more you improve and grow your own skill set in that field, the more you educate yourself, the more you stay on top of what is "now and next" in your world, the more you'll grow that part of the Value Creation Equation.
When I was referred to Ted's salon by a friend after having one of the most awful hair cuts of my life (excluding that time I tried to cut it on my own at about two years old). This person was not an expert, but they were cheap. Lesson learned: I needed an expert. Ted Gibson and his team are known nationally as experts in the hair styling world, and everyone on his team is a highly trained expert at their craft. I was soon matched up with my stylist Dayna, and it's been love ever since. She knows her stuff, she is a master at a great haircut, she trained for it, she is always learning new techniques and methods, and it shows. Not only has she taught me the power of a killer "face frame", but her passion and skill have also taught me the power of a true expert. Master what you do, study it, make it more than obvious that you are a trusted expert in your field.
The moment you walk into a Ted Gibson salon you just feel amazing. They welcome you the moment your foot hits their impeccably clean floor, they whisk you away to a private changing room where you put on your cozy kimono while they get you a glass of lemon water, tea or coffee. It's the cleanest salon I've ever been into and beautiful from wall to wall. The energy is positive and powerful. The team looks like a million bucks, from the gal sweeping the floor to the men behind the reception desk. You can tell they like to work there as much as you're enjoying getting your hair done there. While you sit in your chair, they come over to give you a hand massage. You never feel rushed, you always get "star treatment" and when you leave (with everyone telling you how great you look - and you do look amazing) you're more or less high on the experience. When you return home that day, you'll find a sweet email from Ted and team in your inbox thanking you for choosing them and ensuring your experience was all that you wanted it to be. That is what creates value. That is what people return for. A negative customer experience, whether it be on your website, in your brick and mortar office or via phone can not only ruin one person's opinion of you, but that of their friends and colleagues all of which results in a loss of prospective clients. A positive experience does the opposite. It's what leads to referrals, to return and repeat customers and it makes a big impact in your Value Creation Equation.
Simply telling people you're an expert or giving them a positive experience at your office or on your website isn't enough, your results need to be able to speak for you as well. Whether you create products or services or your expertise is the foundation upon which your business is built, successful results matter. If you can't translate these things into favorable results the rest of the equation falls apart. I never returned to my first hair salon because I never wanted to have the experience of what was in fact an unsuccessful result (in the form of a terrible hair cut and color) ever again. I have never had a bad result (read haircut, color) at Ted Gibson. Never. I pay for consistently good results. Sure, we all have to start somewhere and there will always be room for improvement, but as your results success-rate grows, so will your value.
Expertise, experience and results are vital to growing your business and your value, but they can be exponentially more powerful if as many people as possible know about them! This means you have to be visible! This fact alone is one of the main reasons that Tin Shingle exists - because buzz building is essential to increasing your value...and your hourly rate, and your customer base, and your ability to survive and thrive! I was first "introduced" to Ted Gibson because my mom was a loyal fan of the program What Not to Wear on which he was their feature hair stylist. Ted can also be seen regularly in magazines, on television, on the social media feeds of the celebrities he styles and more. I'm not saying you have to be best friends with Lupita Nyongo to be visible, but you do have to put effort into your public relations, your social media, your online marketing and so forth. You have to be visible. This could even mean you put effort into speaking or educating your local community. Most likely it means you spend time on multiple types of buzz building efforts and strategies. The more buzz and visibility you get, the more your value increases.
The Force Is Now With You...
So there you have it, the Value Creation Equation. Though it may feel overwhelming try to see the power it gives you. Every part of this equation is in your control. Each factor in it can be tweaked and applied to different parts of your brand, from your website to your intern training to your social media campaigns to your packaging. You have the power to create more value, change your business and make more money! Go forth and prosper!
Have some other strategies you use to share your value? Tell us about them below!