A Question of Value

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"Your true value depends entirely on what you are compared with."

- Bob Wells

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Right, on with the newsletter!

As the festive season looms, many of you will be setting a budget for gifts and turning your attention to ways to get the most value out of the money you will be spending. Let's face it, there's not too many of us who enjoy the luxury of being able to spend whatever we like.

Old favourite

My nephew and his girlfriend arrived yesterday on holiday from New Zealand (his family emigrated there nearly a decade ago). When asked what he would like to do for dinner he was adamant: "I'd really like to go to my old favorite, the Spur. I haven't been there for sooo long!"

So, to make him happy we all traipsed off down to our local Spur as a treat from me. Being a Monday evening I half expected it to be empty but lo and behold it was doing a roaring trade, thanks to a buy-one-get-one-free special on burgers.

One critical thing

To cut a long story short, the meals were - in typical Spur style - tasty and filling (albeit quite pricey compared with my recollections) and the buzz was very pleasant. All in all I would have given it pretty good marks for value if it hadn't been for one (rather critical) thing!

And that thing was the service and attitude that we experienced from our young lady waitress. Quite frankly, it was appalling. She didn't understand the menu, wasn't able to offer us the detail we wanted, seemed incapable of raising a smile and came across generally inattentive and sullen.

Why, oh why, I ask, do people take on jobs in the service industry if they have no love for serving other people. And - perhaps more importantly - why do businesses hire such people?

Value - it's about the overall experience

My example goes to demonstrate that people's perception about 'value for money' comes from the overall experience they have with a company or service, not from the individual elements that make up that experience.

Having been the marketing manager for a large corporation at one point, I tend to base my own value judgement on the degree to which my experience of the company, product or service lives up to the marketing that precedes it. I am a great admirer of quality marketing campaigns - but only where the delivery meets the expectations that are created.

The marketing or the product?

Some marketers will tell you, without blushing, that marketing is everything and that the product or service that you are selling is secondary or even irrelevant.

On the other end of the continuum, there are those companies who are so wedded to their products and the pursuit of perfection that nobody out there ever gets to hear of them or if they do it is usually too late.


The right approach for companies wanting an assurance of success, is to be neither primarily marketing-, nor product-oriented in their approach but rather to be customer-oriented. A good product and good service that meets needs, backed by good marketing that creates expectations, is the way to go.

And this is what builds good brands. Quality products and services backed by quality marketing - companies that actually walk their talk!

At New Insights we love it when people compliment us for our product or our service and we take it seriously when we get criticism. But at the end of the day the only thing that counts is whether we meet the expectations of those who we seek to serve. If we didn't consistently do this, I, for one, would not sleep at night!

With the advent of the festive season and the inevitable spending on holidays, gifts, meals and essentials I truly wish for you that your all your expectations are met and even exceeded.

Till next week...

Warm regards,


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