After completing the Harvard Review Uber case study and reading the “elements of value” article course reading, I find it very interesting how companies and products create value for customers that instill trust and allegiance. Innovation is at the forefront of creating this value and although the innovation part can be complicated, the value a product creates from innovation is basic and fundamental to the customer. There are some companies that are doing it well and some companies that are not doing it so well.
Apple is at the top of the list at creating values for customers that are functional (quality and connectivity), emotional (entertaining and provides access), and life changing (affiliation effect e.g. the “blue bubble” in iMessage). Apple accomplished this through it’s ecosystem that links all Apple users together, their first rate products, and most recently, them lowering the price of their most acclaimed product, the iPhone back in June 2018. “Quality (defined as the results of using its products), saves time, and reduces cost. These three elements had the greatest effect on customer satisfaction and loyalty” (1)
On the other hand, some start ups have a hard time creating value for their customers. Some “focus on scaling up their business before knowing how their customers perceive value.” (3). Also some startups often agree to unnecessary partnerships and additions to the product in order to make money as fast as possible. This could lead to a “CTO who over-engineers the product with its 100 features — except that none of those features have been validated to provide any value for customers.” (3) In my professional experience working at a few start ups and based on the history of successful startups, its best just to say NO in some cases. “Innovation is not about saying yes to everything. It’s about saying NO to all but the most crucial features” (4)
To gain the loyalty and confidence of customers it is essential to create strong bonds between the brand and the target audience, this creates value and depends on the quality and functionality of the product, which is quintessential. However in addition, something else which can be just as important, how does it make the customer feel?
(1) Elements of Value Course Reading
(4) Steve Job quote