marca strategy news & views
June 8, 2012
the value of perceived value

Rightly or wrongly we do judge a book by its cover. In fact we apply this same impressions based judgment on everything. We judge a person by the way she is dressed, we judge a restaurant by the way it looks and so on. Impressions have a huge effect on what we think and what we do.

Many organizations believe their “real value” comes for the actual product or service they offer, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Think of a restaurant for instance. When you go to a restaurant there is equal value on the quality or taste of the food as there is on the décor and how it looks and smells. You would not go to a restaurant that has fantastic food but smells bad and the floors are filthy.  That restaurant would not be able to improve its value by simply further improving on the quality and taste of their food.  Even though the core product of a restaurant is its food the value comes from the combination of the whole experience; the food, the service, the décor, the smells, the lighting, etc.

The primary product and the context within we experience the product have equal value. The primary product does not have priority over the other elements of the experience. 

Therefore the “perceived value” is the combination of all the factors surrounding your product, service or organization. It is the image people will have of you and the value they will attach to your organization, product or service.

You can’t just focus on doing your product really well, you have to consider the entire experience to create the highest perceived value possible. 

You need to ensure your primary product is good in fact outstanding, but you can’t under estimate the rest of the experience. 

If you think of Apple for instance, their products are great, but the entire Apple experience is carefully matched to the product. The stores who actually changed the entire retail concept and each floor tile comes from the place in Italy, to the website, the ads and the packaging that in its own builds an entire experience. The primary product and everything around it adds value to the organization. 

This is what a brand is, this is how you create and build on the value of your brand. From Apple, to the corner restaurant, to a non-profit, every single organization will create a set of perceptions and your audience will judge you not only by your core product or service but by the whole experience. 


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