August 2009

What Were You Doing?

The New York Times recently published a graph (it’s intereactive) that details what the “average” American was doing with their day during 2008.

It makes for fascinating reading (particularly as you change the group graphed).

Please find it at

There is a lot of information that can be gleaned from this with regard to advertising and access to people across the range of demographics charted.

Price or Value?

Pricing and relationships. A lot of decisions in our business and personal lives come down to the “cost” as perceived by the customer as to the value they see in what they are acquiring.

In many cases, people will go for the cheapest option – thinking that the saving they are getting will translate in to wealth.

A very successfully retired solicitor I know has always said “I’m not rich enough to buy second best”. His thinking is you pay for the best you can afford at the time because the initial savings will be more than up taken in poorer perfromance, replacement/repairs etc over the life of the cheaper product/service. This is such a true position.

A very successful farmer I know has always said “You’ll go broke buying bargains”. Again true – just because something is cheap doesn’t mean it’s good or serviceable or useful or needed. People buy cheap because they think they’re getting a bargain (witness all the mark-down shops). The stuff they buy looks similar to the “good” stuff but it’s, at essence, completely different.

Conversely, the successful people with whom we deal understand that true value isn’t merely reflected in the price of a product or service. They appreciate the value of a relationship and have an inherent focus on outcomes rather than price. The relationship is pivotal to successful operations. To “sell out” a relationship for a short-term saving is more often than not the pre-cursor to lower performance and less satisfactory outcomes (see The Price). In most cases, they end up paying the price of regret.

So, a relationship has a value which is often incredibly difficult to attach a price to. The outcomes that relationship yields are however, far more quantifiable.

Relationships don’t have a price tag. Price is not part of it. Do you truly value your relationships?