I started my working life in retail. By 1997, I was working in a National Jewelry Chain selling mostly diamond rings. I learned many lessons in the diamond industry about teamwork, management, and above all sales. I became one of the top 3 associates in the country and not by discounting the product, but by understanding and dialing into the consumers motivation. The lessons I learned are applicable to today’s natural and organic industries. Let’s walk through the hows and whys to embrace your value.

Embrace Your Value blog image is a banner that reads Hidden Consumers making grocery shopping safe for everyone.

The Consumers Perceived Outcome

When a customer walked into the jewelry store they came in with an idea of what the outcome would look like when they gave the gift. Maybe they were proposing. Or maybe they were celebrating an anniversary with a ring for her and a watch for him. Whatever the reasoning, they wanted to make a dream reality. I loved hearing these stories! I would ask questions about how they met or if he was proposing what his plans were.

In the natural and organic industries, you may not be dealing with proposals but you do have consumers who are dreaming of an ideal outcome.

The American people are starting to understand in larger numbers just how terrible the food supply is for their health. The amount of food their doctors are telling them they can no longer eat is staggering and upsetting to them. More and more people are turning to natural and organic food for a better outcome.

Understanding Why Your Consumer is Shopping

Bottom line, consumers are realizing they cannot trust the food industry. A few days ago, there was an article about an NYU DOCTOR who died due to an allergic reaction at a restaurant. Why did this happen, and to a doctor of all people? Because of the inherent trust the public puts in our food providers. We THINK those in the food industry understand the depths of food allergen contamination, but reality is the industry does not.

This is why customer service teams can make or break your company. If the company customer service is working for doesn’t fully understand the ingredients or materials that go into the product; how can they train a customer service team to accurately answer questions?

This might seem like a rant, but it underscores how companies miss the VALUE in their products.

Companies offer value by being able to have honest and transparent conversations with consumers about what really goes into their products. Maybe you spent extra time picking out the right ingredients based on your knowledge. Are you promoting your product to demonstrate that as a value?

Consumer Sticking Point Isn’t Cost – It’s Perceived Value

So, by this point, I can hear a chorus of people saying…” BUT AMY, the PRICE!!!”

When I started selling diamonds, I gave everyone a discount. I did not fully understand the value of a purchase. It was not only in the item but in the experience and meaning behind the purchase. I wasn’t selling a diamond ring. I was selling you a meaningful gift with your vision as guidance.

Food may not be diamonds. But it does have meaning for many. How many of your gatherings involve food? Now think about the people in your life who struggle to find food without nightshades or without hidden salt or sugar. What about those who might die like the NYU doctor? They shop around the value of continuing to thrive, not only survive.

The value of being able to buy your product means freedom to them. Are you going to discount that value?

Consumers Understand High Quality and paying Full Price

Cheap food = poor quality.

Think about your SWOT analysis. I would put money down that you put price as a threat to your brand. The truth is your price is a strength. You need to change your perception to fully embrace your value.

The price of your product shows value, but it also underlies your feelings around your product. Do you believe so strongly in your brand that you refuse to discount it? Or do you have a hard time embracing what your product can do for others that it seems only discounting it will sell it?

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