Value addition is at the crux of branding. Whether you are branding a product or service, a company or yourself as an individual professional, the entire approach must be firmly rooted in the value you can offer to those you are targeting. While superiority of a product or efficiency of a service does matter, eventually it will boil down to how the product or service affects the life of a customer. Even if you are a writer or an artist, the value you offer to your following will influence how many fans you would have and how many you can retain.
In the age of social media, value needs to be communicated or showed. Offering value in a product or service is not enough. The messaging needs to be there so people are explicitly shown there is significant return on their investment. In some cases, the investment is not monetary but time or engagement. That too should have sufficient returns.
The value doesn’t always have to be material. It can be immaterial. Information is the most treasured value today. While there is no dearth of information in the virtual world, there is a need to offer personalized information, facts that matter to an individual, related or presented in a way that is understandable and an eventual message that makes a difference in the lives of people. That is the only way to effectively communicate or show your value to others.
There are influencers on social media who don’t necessarily offer a product or service, they are not scholars or wealthy entrepreneurs but they offer useful information, their opinions are trusted and they help people, at least those who are following them on social media, to enhance their own lives. It is all about enrichment of one’s lifestyle, be it materially or what is tangible and immaterial impacts.
The absolutely ill-advised way to go about communicating value is indulging self promotion or trying to reiterate that one is valuable. Value is not thrust upon someone. It is perceived and then manifested in reality. Only self assessed value is deemed significant. Your audience must be made to realize how valuable what you offer is. That will only happen when the audience is truly touched by what you offer. You can create spells of absence and sprees to create that fear of missing out or fear of loss but eventually it would be what content, substance, product, service, opinion or information you offer.