S.A.V.E is a heuristic filter that one can deploy both for business and personal interactions. S = Solutions. A = Accessible. V = Value(s). E = Experience.
People and potential clients look for solutions, but companies often focus on products, services and processes. This is understandable since the purpose of an organization is to provide products and services and often the way to differentiate oneself is by focusing on the special inputs (e.g., data), ingredients (e.g., saffron), processes (e.g., "bespoke", "hand curdled"), approaches (e.g., some sort of diagram of how the company comes up with results) or organizational structure (e.g., "our special way of working and organizational structure that is silo-less, client focused and efficient").
All of this is well and good and often necessary but never sufficient. Because what the buyer is asking is, "Can you show me some cool shit instead of showing me how your colon works?"
Ask how much of your selling efforts are about broadcasting a colonoscopy on your company’s methods, tactics, history, purpose and strategy and how much is simply "here is an amazing solution, idea, innovation."
Today, most people are constrained for time and want things fast, friction-free and optimized for their personal situation. Simplicity in understanding what is available. Convenience in buying. Flexibility in delivery and returns. Optionality in payment terms.
Are our solutions easy to buy and ourselves easy to deal with? For an organization this means being easily discoverable on all major platforms. Using language that is simple and free of buzz-word bingo and jingo lingo. Being available to purchase or interact with across all channels and offering varied methods of delivery and payment.
People will not adapt to the way of the company, but the company needs to re-tool its spine to adapt to the way of the people.
Today, when someone watches a video on TikTok and comes across a shoppable commercial which offers them the choice of picking up a product from a physical store one wonders the following: Was the transaction above the line or below the line? Was it about marketing since it was an ad or sales since there was a special deal at the store that was featured? Was it online since it began there or offline since it ended there? Was it mobile since it was a phone, social since it was TikTok or was it was e-commerce?
The customer or consumer journeys (and there are many and no longer one) has become a mongrel mix and fusion as technology, like hydrochloric acid, has dissolved the definitions, containers and organizational structures of the past.
In many organizations now, marketing and sales, regular commerce and e-commerce and a lot more need to be re-thought around making the firm and its solutions accessible.
Value is always a key since in addition to time, money is often a constraint for most. This often requires competitive pricing but is not necessarily about selling out with the lowest price. Ideally one finds a way to price the outcome versus the input. Buying cheap pigs could lead to poisoned hot dogs.
Smart archers use fewer arrows and can get to the bullseye of a solution faster, so quality has great ROI but often one must find ways to illustrate and numerate quality.
Some approaches include truly differentiated solutions or people where the result or experience are so clearly superior that premiums are justifiable.
It is important to note that Apple, LVMH, Disney and many others do not differentiate on price but value.
In addition, today like never before the values of a company or person matters. Purpose. A stance on ESG. Approach to DEI. Care and growth of employees and community. All these now become ways to signal value and values.
In the end people remember the experience and pay for the experience. Much of business and marketing is creating seamless experiences or rectifying and correcting lapses in the experience.
Experiences have always been key but in the next few years as Web 3.0/The Third Connected Age scales with increasingly open, decentralized and composable systems, AR/VR interfaces, new organizational structures (DAO's) and new currencies of trust and monetization (blockchain-driven tokens) it is likely to be the key differentiator.
One reason is that brands such as packaged goods which may have struggled to create experiences are likely to be unchained and unleashed using the next generation Web 3.0 tool sets (metaverse anyone?) and create truly valuable CRM programs using tokens that deliver value and unlock opportunities. A creative age for building experiences is upon us.
The Question to Ask
Is your company offeringsolutions that are accessibleand deliver valuewhile enabling experiences? Or is it selling poorly differentiated products and services in ways that are friction-filled for the buyer at cheap prices with a so-so quality of interaction?
Most companies are somewhere in between but using the S.A.V.E filter and focus efforts. But this also works for each of us as individuals. Do we look for solutions or fester and brood over problems? Are we easy to understand and deal with? Are we easy to get a meeting with or communicate with? Do we speak English and make things accessible to understand? What and who do we value? Are our motivations and methods transparent? Can we get people to trust us? Do people have positive experiences with us? Do we leave people with clarity, energy and inspiration or do we collapse the mood of the room?
Solutions. Accessibility. Value(s). Experiences.
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