I recently wrote an article about Apple and Steve Jobs (and the 3 books I’ve devoured). And the one thing that stood out was Steve’s obsession with SIMPLIFICATION. The focus of that article was simplifying your product line.
Now – let’s go into another lesson of simplification. And we’ll take it a step deeper..
SIMPLIFY YOUR PRODUCT OFFER
As information marketers, we often get caught up in focusing purely on profits and not what’s best for your customer.
Years ago, Apple had a popular graphics software program. And since the company is always looking to improve their products – they purchased the rights to another software program which was essentially enhanced coloring. It was VERY expensive. In fact, this other software used to sell for $10,000 PER PERSON – so Apple bought the company and the program.
One of the teams at Apple figured, “hey, we invested a lot of money in this software company and people have paid $10,000 for it in the past.. so let’s create a PREMIUM version of our current software program. One basic (the current one) and one with the enhanced coloring package”
In other words, if Apple had their regular software which sold for $100, they can offer the Premium version (with the new color feature) for more money.
They spent weeks on the name of the premium product. On the special packaging. On the pricing. They worked hard to separate the new enhanced product from the regular offer.
They ran the numbers and figured out how many will take the premium. It all made business sense.
HIT IT WITH THE SIMPLE STICK
The team was excited to run the new idea by Steve Jobs.
And, according to the book, he simply look at them and after one minute said, “No. It’s too confusing. Let’s just include the new $10K color feature IN the current product. ONE PRODUCT. That’s it”.
They told him how much money they would sacrifice by not offering a premium – but Steve just said no. It’s ONE product. It’s INCLUDED with the product. Period. End of story.
And that’s what it became. One product WITH the enhanced coloring upgrade included in the price.
THE INTERNET MARKETERS WOULD DIE
A lot of my fellow marketers would never go for that. Not in a million years.
They’d see the money they are leaving on the table – BUT they don’t see how much better it is for the end-user. And how much good will they are building.
And yes, the argument could be made that by NOT offering the premium you are doing your advanced users a disservice. Or there is psychological pricing at play. And about a dozen other reasons why you should offer a premium version.
But stop for a minute and really think about it…. think about what is TRULY best for your customer. Think from your heart instead of from your bank account.
If you are the customer – wouldn’t YOU want the best product available? Or would you want to be forced to pay extra for another feature?
I’ve bought expensive software in the past only to be sold more “modules” and it never sat right with me. Why not just offer it ALL for one price. Especially since I knew they just had to click a button to enable that new feature.
DISCLAIMER: Yes, I’ve been just as guilty of this in the past. I’ve offered features as upsells just to increase my profits when I probably should not have. But I vowed that I now will ALWAYS put my customers before my profits.
Ok, back to simplification and offering premium versions…
Now, I’m not talking about programs that require more bandwidth for advanced users that costs the company more money. Or one-on-one coaching which is more time intensive. I’m talking about FEATURES that have already been developed and tested.
Does this sacrifice some initial income?
But what does this do to the RELATIONSHIP you are now building with your customers.
You are seen as the company that puts your customers before profits. You are seen as their trusted resource. You are seen as truly caring.
And that is the power of simplicity.
So look at your products right now. Look at your upsells and your downsells. What can you do to truly deliver outstanding value. What can you INCLUDE in your offer….to show the customers you truly care about creating the best products. To show everyone you are in this to help people, not just line your pockets.
It’s one of the reasons why Apple is one of the most profitable companies in the world.. and why so many “marketers” aren’t living up to their potential.
Are you ready to join the movement and deliver products and services that make the world a heck of a lot better?
AGREE? DISAGREE? COMMENTS?
CAN YOU SIMPLIFY YOUR PRODUCT?
P.S. Oh yeah.. it’s on.
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