Skip to main content

The utility trap and what consumer value is.


We do a change of places and visit a new barber shop to cut Jaden's hair. You see, the regular had one its shutters down and despite our waiting it out, it remained as it was. The new place didn't look promising, yet we decided to give it a try.

When we stepped out after a while not only did Jaden sport a decent haircut but he was also the recipient of a smart li'l handshake at the end from the proprietor. All through the process the man was at his nicest best. Now that made a lot of difference to me. That 'difference' and the 'decent haircut' in marketing is termed 'value'. Smart marketers are those who understand value in its entirety. Though it may seem simple on the surface most businesses mistake utilitarian value for total value. Nah. That's just one component of value. Total value is in addition to utility. So for example, the handshake by the proprietor has nothing to do with the utility he offers at his salon. That's him adding to utility by engaging at an emotional level. A dad is guaranteed to feel elated when a service provider treats his kid well. That's psychological value delivered to a parent that's over and above mere utility.

When marketers build brands, they step into psychological value territory. Ditto when service providers froth the top with emotional connects. Funny thing is, even now most Indian businesses don't get it. They are stuck in what I call the 'utility trap', believing utilitarian value is total value. It isn't. If Indian businesses stuck in their limited understanding of consumer value want to behold enhanced value delivery, they just need drop by and visit our local hair salon.

The one that doles out handshakes in addition to haircuts. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Situational Involvement of Consumers

There are two types of involvement that consumers have with products and services, Situational and Enduring. Situational involvement as the term suggests, occurs only in specificsituations whereas Enduring involvement is continuous and is more permanent in nature.

Decisions to buy umbrellas in India are driven by the onset of Indian monsoon. Monsoon rains arrived in India over the South Andaman Sea on May 10 and over the Kerala coast on May 28, three days ahead of schedule. But then, after a few days of rain, South India is witnessing a spate of dry weather. Temperatures are soaring in the north of India. The Umbrella companies in the state of Kerala are wishing for the skies to open up. So is the farming community and manufacturers of rural consumer products whose product sales depend totally on the farming community. The Met. department has deemed this dry spell as 'not unusual'.

India's monsoon rains have been static over the southern coast since last Tuesday because of a…

Prior Hypothesis Bias

Prior Hypothesis bias refers to the fact that decision makers who have strong prior beliefs about the relationship between two variables tend to make decisions on the basis of those beliefs, even when presented with the evidence that their beliefs are wrong. Moreover, they tend to use and seek information that is consistent with their prior beliefs, while ignoring information that contradicts these beliefs.

From a strategic perspective, a CEO who has a strong prior belief that a certain strategy makes sense might continue to pursue that strategy, despite evidence that it is inappropriate or failing.


Ref : Strategic Management : An Integrated Approach, 6e, Charles W L Hill, Gareth R Jones

Wearing Cuba means Walking Cuba

There's something ethereal about wearing 'Cuba'. Suddenly its the streets of Havana, smoke filled and lit by the groovin', more than the lights. The bars are packed to hilt and dreamy women seem to glide by. The feeling's beyond magical.

How did I get there?

Before I explain, I gotta tell you about the power of brands to take you places. Brands bring with them an ability to prompt you to conjure up the unreal. They can transform your reality into fantasy. And consumers are more than willing partners to brands as the drudgery they face in everyday life begs an injection of fantasy. Brands that operate in a zone of the unreal do the conjuring act as there's nothing else that consumers can call for, while making judgements. For instance, what should I be judging the lip paint on? Its colour and tone or its ability to turn me into a diva?

Cuba's a perfume. The moment I wear it, I am traipsing the streets of Havana. Its smoke filled bars I see. Its music I hear and…