7 Ways To Elevate The Perceived Value Of Your Content

by Eric Tsai

measuring value

Understand how people learn, think and communicate is the key to create effective marketing. In fact, communication is the core of your marketing and if you know how to leverage it, you will be able to elevate the perceived value of your products and services so people are willing to pay higher price for as soon as they see it.

However; it’s often much more counter intuitive than you think. It all comes down to what you say and then how you say it via your communication.

So what is communication?

According to Wikipedia, “…Communication requires that all parties have an area of communicative commonality. There are auditory means, such as speech, song, and tone of voice, and there are nonverbal means, such as body language, sign language, paralanguage, touch, eye contact, through media, i.e., pictures, graphics and sound, and writing.”

In other words the only way to open up the communication channel is by having a common medium, a means to understand and relate the information that’s being communicated.

The problem is everyone has a different style of communicating and learning thus the goal of marketing communication is to eliminate misunderstanding.

For example, when I say the word “car” what kind of car are you picturing in your head? A big SUV or a small sedan? A red sports coupe or a family minivan? Is it a Cadillac or a Lexus?

This is one of the biggest content marketing challenges in today’s attention fighting world especially with barriers such as information overload and attention deficit resulting in loss of concentration and focus on an ongoing basis.

There is a high chance that you’re losing your audience as you speak because everything is moving so fast and people can’t help but want instant information gratification.

As it turns out, in marketing you need to create crystal clear communications that are as specific, tangible, measurable and external as possible.

That’s exactly what great copywriters do, they write compelling stories that builds trust and use words that describe real world situations, things you can see, feel, touch and experience.

And since most purchase decisions are made by the emotional part of our brain, ineffective communication will never result in a sale so it is up to you to position the purchase in his minds.

Here are seven ways to help you build influence by mastering the basics of high perceived value communication:

1. Communicate Like How You Would Speak

If you want people to like and trust you, start by communicating like a normal person in a one on one plain English.

The key is to make your communication frictionless and easy to understand since everyone is not your customer so speak to people about what they want to talk about, in the way that they want to talk about it.

It’s not about being perfect but being authentic and on target to appeal to one market at a time.

2. Create Self-Contained Concept of Your Content

By making your content self-contained, you can reduce complexity while maximizing understandability especially when introducing a new product or a new idea.

This type of content should be modularized, to the point and does not take a lot of time to consume.

First introduce it by bringing the concept to the table then explain it in a practical way that conveys the outcome that your prospect want and finally connect the dots for them and wrap it up.

3. Look For Pain And Urgency

When people have unmet needs they become more idealistic about their situation.

Not only will they believe that they know what they need to solve the problem but will start to think in simple terms to get to their solution.

Focus on delivering simple action steps that would provide the result they want predictably and consistently with as little risk and hassle as possible.

Do you know what thoughts, emotions or pictures pop up in their head when they encounter that exact pain or problem?

Connect on high pain and urgency values will instantly grab their attention.

4. Translate What You Do With What They Value

Realize what motivates your customers is one of the most effective way to get them to take actions. You must be able to communicate the value of what they want and realize the meaning of their desire outcome and its direct impact to their lives.

Translate it in all 3 currencies they want: monetary value, time investment value and labor/workload value.

5. Use Powerful Reframes To Increase Understandability

Leverage psychologies, histories, insights and stories to frame your content into high perceived value formats. Involve their situation in multiple perspectives will dramatically increase the specificity of your communication.

It will also likely increase the memorability and appeal of your products by structuring and organizing them into alternative frameworks that eliminates misunderstanding. It’s saying the same thing in many different ways.

6. Provide The Why, What and How To’s

In order to do that you must be on top of your customer’s emotional drivers knowing what benefits they’re looking for and what value meanings to them.

Incorporate the why, the what and how into your stories.

Explain to your customer why they should pay attention to you right now then introduce what it is, the actual product or services they’re going to get, and finally how to get the result they want with what they get, the step by step recipe.

7 Minimize Risk Maximize confidence

Getting customers to take the action to buy is about making everything “believable.” It is not simply about taking all the risk out but just enough that it doesn’t seem too good to be true.

It’s leading with the giving hand, earning trust over time and building reputation slowly via social proof.

Allowing your prospects to come to their own conclusion that leads to their own decision is a very powerful confident booster.

It’s both emotional and psychological commitment.

The take away: People want stories, techniques and someone that “gets them.” High perceived-value communication should include all those ideas. Then you roll them up in an easy to digest package full of incentives with the promise of great value.

Give your market what they want and you will be rewards with brand loyalty and market share.

At the end of the day it’s ok that you don’t speak to everyone, you only need to resonate with those that get you that you get them.

Effective marketing is not about manipulation, it’s about being human, it will multiply your sales.

Good Design: Part 3 – Marketing & Positioning

by Eric Tsai

The last element of good design is to maximize the design by selling it – distribute it in the market, execute on marketing.

Picture this: you have a product idea and spent a great deal of time laying down the solid design framework for this innovative product,  you think it’ll be a huge hit.  And finally you developed a production sample and it’s even better than you had imagined!  How would you translate that into success? Can you build a path to optimize the user experience?  Do you have the roadmap to revenue?


Integrate Ideas into Strategies

Great marketing doesn’t make the product great, but a great product usually have marketing built into it already.  It’s not about feature or benefits. This is a highly overlooked area for many creators and designers today, not having a playbook of strategies from start to finish.  The best way to start developing your game plan is to imagine your ideal situation, your desired outcome then work backwards into the design.


For example, you came up with a new type of shoes that can help runners run longer and faster, then you should start your design framework by addressing the needs of your targeted runners.  Perhaps those shoes solve some technical problems or have certain style advantages, they should all be part of the initial research so the end product could easily sell itself.

Think of how your want your users to view your product, better yet what reaction would you want them to have?  Who, where, why and how are just as important questions to ask.

  • Who is it for?
  • Where would they use it?
  • Why would they use it? Want it or need it?
  • How does it work?  How do they experience the product before committing to it?

The more specific market segment(s) you target, the more value you will bring to those customers.   If you can formulate those outcomes and keep them in mind before you start and address them during your process you will most likely have an easier time marketing the product.


Positioning and Messaging

Communication design is about translating the concept and selling the idea.  This is also one of the more difficult task for majority of the designers especially those focusing on aesthetics.  This aspect of design requires a lot more creative juices on the business side and it does not have to be pretty, it just has to be simple, concise and to the point.

There are many approaches in developing the right messaging however; many well crafted messages can sound professional but mundane. It could be nicely written and formatted by some marketing agency with all kinds of overrated phrases like “innovative, unmatched, or amazing,” but it won’t receive the attention it deserves.  In fact, the more you overpraise, the less unique you are.  Ironically what works are the cheesy, low-cost, infomercial marketing pitch that does the trick.

fsimageresizeaspxThe low-end positioning may not add much brand equity to the product, but the message usually is loud and clear not to mention easy to remember.  The objective is simple, reveal the message and show what’s inside, what you are really selling, no tricks of gimmicks because they only work short-term.

High-end positioning is all about sustaining your brand equity over time and usually it takes a lot of resources to maintain the product or services at a high level.  Think of all the luxury brands from Rolex to Bentley, from Chanel to Armani, all had to endure time and competition.  You are paying for character, history, quality and image.

In the long run it’s about incorporating the framework and user experience of the design to the end-user.  Everyone wants to sell good design, you can make money with good design or you can look good doing it, it’s market perception.


Leverage Technology and Networking

In today’s market, the design arena has evolved into a highly competitive landscape forcing designers and creators to utilize every possible resource to maximize the exposure and sales of good design.  The digital world has transformed the way that brands communicate with their audiences. Interactivity and engagement are more important than ever. Marketers are using web2.0 tools such as blogs and Twitter and social network platforms such as Facebook, Youtube and Myspace to reach out to as many audience as possible.

There are plenty of resources on the internet that can educate you on the power of social networking, but it is still only a tool.  If you want to maxmize your next design idea, you must have a solid framework with go-to-market strategies that includes the right message ready to communicate to your customers.  This will allow you to have a higher probability of gaining brand recongition, and through recognition you control the destiny of your design or ideas.