"Are you competing on price or value?"
My friend "Mikey" asked me this about a new offering I plan to roll out to my Team and a Dream clients. It seemed like a good, solid question.
But the more I thought about it, the more I thought that the answer was "both". Of course, with traditional offerings, you are either trying to provide "good enough" value at a low price point (competing on price) or you are trying to distinguish yourself with excellence, depth or insight (competing on value).
If we look deeper into the mechanics of delivering products from these two perspectives, we see that they each gravitate towards one end of a polar extreme.
Price competitive offerings emphasize efficiency, low-cost labor and factory-like approaches to production. Many of the Universal Freelance Services follow this model.
Value-based competition focuses on the highest quality by using the "best" materials (the newest, most durable, most attractive) manipulated in the hands of elite professionals with a great deal of experience and education. We talk about these "value oriented" services as "Specialized Services" in The Cheap Revolution. They are generally NOT a part of the Cheap Revolution.
There is another path advocated by The Cheap Revolution. The path is that of The Hybrid Offering. The Hybrid Offering consists of three parts:
- Templatized Wisdom. Elements of methodology that represent "boiled-down" and extracted expertise
- Affordable Muscle. Sources of competent and effectively employed knowledge work from under-utilized market segments (university interns, stay-at-home moms, etc.)
- Executive-level Expertise. Well placed expertise to guide the offering - just a pinch here and there.
By thoughtfully combining these ingredients, service providers can put together powerful offerings that compete on the basis of price AND value.