Value is always the name of the game

The San Jose Mercury News ran an article today on opening a business during a recession. The writer did a good job of profiling various businesses, especially retail businesses, that open during a recession and the thinking behind how and why the entrepreneur did what they did.

A key emphasis in the article is the idea of the consumer’s focus on value. Most articles that discuss so-called “value pricing” focus on the idea of low price (where the word value is a substitute for the word “low”). As we discussed in an article we wrote a while back on value pricing , why does value mean low priced? The value priced position has come to mean a low priced offering of “pretty good” products or services. Why is the term “value priced” defined this way? Does this really make sense? What if you are not value priced? What are you then, high priced, over-priced, cheap?

This Mercury News article was refreshingly different (at least to some extent) in suggesting that value does not necessarily imply low price. The press and most writers today focus on the consumer’s insistence on value in this economy. The truth is that consumers always want value, which is why so few companies have loyal customers. It’s just that in this economy more customers are not going to use trial and error to find value. They just don’t shop or buy if they can’t be assured of value.


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