More than just business-speak
The language scolds get annoyed with business-speak like value add/ adds value. I’ll admit it, I started researching this idea with this screed-like thesis: namely, that we should be talking about our products/ companies in terms of “has value” not “adds value.” Luckily enough the answer to value has vs. adds is, “Yes”.
Value added in investing is simply the enhancement a company gives a product (or service) before they sell it. Value add is often used in marketing to describe any feature added to create a differentiated product or service to make it more successful in the market. And “value has?” I define “has value” or “value has” as the inherent value of the product, including value add, akin to the company’s value proposition.
Product value add becomes brand value
As one looks at some examples of products with value added components that are successful, it is noticeable how many of these value adds have become part of the perceived value of that company’s brand.
For example, Amazon’s e-commerce site resells products, and it’s value adds include it’s comprehensive product offering, user experience, convenience, and speed of delivery. These are all product value adds that have become the value of the Amazon brand.
In entertainment, Netflix offers products at a lower cost in a convenient format. Their product value add has become a big part of their brand identity.
Illumina, a biotech company, has become so firmly associated with innovation that disrupts what is possible in biology research that any product improvement is imbued with the patina of innovation.
Codeship, a vocal opinionator of the philosophy that everything in devops tools should be in source control, offers tools that have everything in source control. Their product value add reinforces a key component of their brand identity.
Product development/brand identity loop
The takeaway here is that in the product development phase, the value add will also create value for your brand. Meaning that your product’s reputation based on the value add will imbue your brand with the same value. This value add becomes a value has that will be applied to all future activities and products.
From a marketing perspective, the brand identity created from a product’s value add should be leveraged and extended like an umbrella over all future products and company activities.
When creating a product, approach the value add as something that creates value for your company and brand. Then market that value as an inherent property of what your company is. Value add equals value has.
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