Have you ever wondered just how many ad campaigns and marketing slogans would be rendered mute if you struck the word “value” from the English lexicon? It’s a tantalizing concept, since it would require companies to be a bit more specific about just what their products and services contribute to the lives of their customers.
Like the words quality and service, the meaning of value has become a marketing cipher into which many businesses expect their customers to apply their own definition.
Which is precisely the problem when applying value to the business of remodeling. While the concept of value may be a bit fuzzy to many consumers, far fewer have a difficult time defining the term bargain. And unfortunately for those of us in the remodeling industry, these two words are too often thought of as being synonymous. As a company that takes great pride in the value that our services represent, we think it’s high time to open up a discussion as to just what that term means.
The idea of “getting a bargain” when it comes to a remodel makes us very uneasy. After all, there is a reason that so many businesses throw out the lowest bid when it comes to getting quotes for products and services. There simply is a cost to things below which you cannot go without sacrificing the quality and integrity of materials and services. The willingness of a service provider to go below that threshold should raise a red flag when it comes to their professionalism and experience. And while quality and integrity are certainly “value propositions” in our minds, we think these two attributes should be a given for anyone in our business.
A more popular concept of value in recent years has been “return on investment”, or ROI. In the heady days of the real estate boom, the idea of picking up a property for little or nothing down, upgrading the interior and/or exterior, and then “flipping” the property for a windfall profit was a mighty tempting behavior for a lot of homeowners. Too tempting, as it turned out.
With real estate prices languishing for the foreseeable future, we think it makes a lot more sense for homeowners to look at where they live as a “quality of life” rather than “return on investment” proposition. The days of treating ones home as an ATM are long over…to which we say, “thank goodness”! We encourage our customers to look at a remodel as a process and outcome that adds to their quality of life, and not to their indebtedness!
In thinking of value as something we experience, rather than a “bottom line” transaction, we see value in both the process and outcome of a successful remodel. And after all, if you reject that idea of value as something material, what you are basically left with is a qualitative definition – one that looks at the experience of the “thing” rather than the thing itself. In our next blog installment, we’ll talk more about the concept of value as an experience, and just what that “thing” is from the perspective of our customers.