Happy New Year, I hope that you have made some great new resolutions for healthy eating or better still getting a little more active, so you don’t feel so guilty about the occasional indulgence.
So now that the festivities are behind us and we reflect on what we spent where, where we chose to buy our turkey, vegetables and other essentials from, do you feel you had value for money?
I want to look at the perception of what we are prepared to pay as a consumer for an experience. We all like to treat ourselves and that is even better when we don’t feel like we have had to pay through the nose, but how can us suppliers get the middleman to appreciate the value we give their business when a large-scale competitor comes in on average around 20% cheaper?
To me it is all about the quality of the product, how that enhances the experience, on taste alone there is always clear difference in quality, but unfortunately the middle managers are usually pressured into cost cutting and producing results, the first and easiest option is to always find the same thing but cheaper.
This often strikes me a naïve, it may be the easiest option, but it isn’t always the right one. Here’s why.
When we reward ourselves with a treat during our weekly shop, we don’t look for the cheapest wine, beer or meal deal. We may look at the offers available, but our decision is based on what we like and how that product or experience makes us feel. We are rewarding ourselves for our hard work, our difficult week or something else. The cost is less important over the quality of the product we have come to love. We will by it again and again over the similar one on offer, because we know how good it is.
The same can be applied when we are buying coffee and cake, you find that great little retreat, one you haven’t stumbled across before, it’s cosy, the staff are welcoming, and the counter has plenty to tempt you. As a consumer we will always be persuaded to buy with our eyes. Now, not that you’ll know that the cake is 20% cheaper to buy in, it looks okay, produced in high volumes and almost identical to the next one in the box waiting to replace it. It tastes ok, but isn’t anything special. It isn’t going to be in the for front of your memory when you are asked about your weekend.
’We found this great little coffee shop, and the cake….’
Replace that average cake with a cake baked just a day ago, similar to the next one but not identical as it’s handcrafted, costs around 20p more per portion to buy in but tastes amazing, with no synthetic aftertaste to coat the roof of your mouth. You have just found the perfect excuse to meet up with another friend or family member, you will want to tell them about the great place you found. Using suppliers of quality products and produce in the food industry will increase your sales, which will increase your profit, customers will also happily pay a little more for quality, so the 20% that management thought they’d saved becomes irrelevant because you sell more great cake and customers are paying that bit more because they love it. As we did with our weekly treat in the supermarket. Quality produce also adds value to the customer experience and will go a long way to increasing your repeat business.
There is a field expertise in independent local suppliers, they are out there looking to work with and support small independent businesses. I have such a great rapport with some of my customers that when I walk through their door I don’t feel like the external supplier, I feel like I am a part of their team, I value them, and they value me, it is what I love about my business.
So, in 2018 why not take a long walk, find that independent retreat, buy the local produce, and if your retailer doesn’t offer it then tell them about someone who offers amazing local produce that you know that would love supply them, and why you would be happy to pay a little more for better. Let’s all do our bit to bring quality produce back into the heart of our towns.