Practical value in marketing has grown in importance more and more in recent years. Why? The short answer is simple: the COVID pandemic has caused everyone to tighten their belts. That means products and services with a lower perceived value will be the first to be jettisoned in consumer cost-cutting.

However, the long answer is deeper than that. COVID doesn’t just represent a blip in the marketplace. The pandemic disrupted spending habits altogether. In turn, the meaning of – and necessity for – practical value in marketing has changed as well. We need to find ways to appeal to today’s consumer by offering as much value as we can.

The Jell-O Girl from the recipe book that gave practical value to families who didn't know (yet) how to make great desserts with it.

What is Practical Value in Marketing?

To be clear, practical value in marketing is not a new concept. Here’s a practical value example. Back in 1905, Jell-O was struggling to make a dent in the consumer market. People didn’t understand what Jell-O was or how it might make their life better. Jell-O was about as inspiring as a pile of powder – which is exactly what it is.

So Jell-O went door to door with a recipe book. In it, they provided a number of appealing dessert recipes, stressing how easy they were to make. Suddenly, Jell-O went from a pile of powder to a gateway to fun desserts that were completely new and – most importantly – were fast and easy to prepare. If you’re looking for a practical value definition, this would be it!

Four Ways to Create Practical Value in Your Marketing

The practical value example above is one of many different ways you can create practical value in your marketing. Here are four ideas you can use for your own products or services:

  1. State Your Benefits Explicitly – This mattress helps you increase your sleep score on your Fitbit. That cola doesn’t just taste good – it will brighten your day. This knife cuts through soup cans like butter (so imagine what it will do with your tomatoes). That financial service gives you the best return on your money so you save as you earn. This coffee shop serves you fastest so you can stop for coffee even when you’re late for work. Take some time to drill down to the core of your brand and product/service. What can your customers expect and how are you better than the rest? Boil that down to one sentence and hammer that message home.
  2. Provide How-to Videos – Is your product or service fairly complicated to use? Create short videos to show customers how to use it and upload them to YouTube. Not only will this make your offerings more approachable (just like those Jell-O recipe books), you’ll increase usability and SEO.
  3. Give Away Free Samples – Everyone loves free! But in this case, it’s the samples that help sell your product or service. With a sample, they don’t have to envision how it might improve their lives. They can experience those improvements firsthand, which has a much greater impact.
  4. Associate Your Brand with a Good Feeling – At its core, Ralph Lauren sells clothing. But we all know what that little polo horse on their shirts means: outstanding quality and a better lifestyle. In other words, their logo makes a shirt more than a just a shirt! Creating these intangible benefits is a bit harder to do, but can have tremendous impact on creating practical value.

These are just a few of the many different ways you can provide practical value to your customers. As prices continue to climb, most consumers are looking at what’s most important in their lives. Again, this doesn’t necessarily mean spending less for everything, as you might expect. People are spending on things where they see most value: comfort items, better quality time with family and friends, and new ways of doing things in their lives. For example, they may cut out restaurants for more opportunities to travel – or vice versa.

Also of note: according to McKinsey & Company, consumers are switching brands at extremely high rates, all in the pursuit of value.

So what’s your practical value?

Elite Can Help with Your Marketing Plan

Maybe you’re not even sure what your practical value is or how to market it. That’s okay! Many businesses need that outside perspective to see what consumers will value most. Even Ralph Lauren relies on a marketing team.

Luckily, you have a marketing team on your side, too: Elite Marketing + Promotions. Contact us or call 215-491-0400 to find out how we can help you determine your practical value, and get those benefits in front of your target audience. We’ll make sure everyone knows your name.