A new way to look at the concept of value

It’s always been the case, but is even more so now as the economy’s engine slowly (painfully slowly) begins to crank back to life: Patrons want value from anything they chose to – or have to – invest in.

But how do patrons decide whether or not they are getting good value? What they are telling us, via our research, is that their value equation has three parts to it:

What I see: Do the buildings look cared for? Do the students who are being educated appear to be solid citizens in the community? (Good luck with having that be viewed as universally the case.) Do the teachers, principals, administrators and Board of Education members seem to be pulling in the same, positive direction?

What I hear: Not so much from the district – although news from the Central Office and the individual schools does play a part – but more from what the neighbors are telling me. What the teachers are saying. What my kids are saying about what happens in school.

What I believe: Do I start with the general view that the school district is effective and efficiently run, or do I have nagging questions? What’s happening that’s impacting that view?

Easy? Hardly.

But understanding that value is not something that the majority of your patrons associate with a numerical equation will help guide your brand-building communications toward messages that demonstrate value on the patrons’ terms.