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29th October 2021 in News

What do your customers value?

Louise Towler

By Louise Towler

What do your customers value?

When we talk to our clients about their websites, they are often very clear on what services they offer, but this is different from the value they provide to their customers.

Everyone has great customer service, competitive prices, friendly staff and of course are experts in what they do. So my follow-up question is..

“Why should I choose you?” 

Many businesses focus on analysing price and view being competitive on price this as a way of increasing profits. But if you sell what people really need and focus on what ‘pain’ you solve and what your customers value, then your price will not matter so much.

Elements of value

It is important to understand what elements influence your service or product’s core value so you stand out from your competitors.

Imagine asking one of your most trusted customers “how do you benefit from this?” Which factors would they say they really value?

Bain has identified 30 elements that customers value, this is based on Maslows Hierarchy of Needs and is in the shape of a pyramid.

Elements of value pyramid
Source: Harvard Business Review: Elements of Value

The values associated with the most functional and common physical needs are at the bottom. Towards the top they are more complicated and it is more difficult to implement the elements of  value.

This Harvard Review article shows that to grow fast and be profitable, companies need to have some of the higher elements.  It is best to start with a foundation of the more functional elements.  Until these are met, it is not possible to make an emotional connection with a customer and the higher elements of value.

Some of these values address personal needs such as motivation and others are outwardly focused, helping customers interact in or navigate the external world.


Elements that provide practical and useful customer value are functional.

Saves Time: achieving something faster.
Simplifies: making an action or process easier.
Makes Money: has monetary benefits.
Reduces Risk: making a safe choice.
Organises: helping to organize something complex.
Integrates: integrating different aspects of a process.
Connects: connecting with other people.
Reduces Effort: helping to get things done with less effort.
Avoiding Hassles: reducing or avoiding a problem.
Cost Reduction: saving money in any type of monetary transaction.
Quality: providing high-quality goods or services.
Variety: providing a wide variety range.
Sensory Appeal: appealing to one or several senses.
Informs: providing reliable and trusted information.


Elements of value that emotionally connect with your customer and they are given a feeling that makes them comfortable to purchase.

Reduces Anxiety: helping to feel more secure and less worried.
Rewards Me: providing benefits and special offers.
Nostalgia: reminding of something positive in the past.
Design: having a visually appealing form.
Badge Value: representing a certain aspiration or status.
Wellness: improving physical or mental state.
Therapeutic Value: therapeutic well-being.
Fun: offering entertainment.
Attractiveness: helping you to feel more attractive.
Access: giving access to exclusive or valuable items.


Elements that are life-changing values, give your customers a personal transformation.

Self-Actualization: providing a sense of personal accomplishment.
Hope: providing a sense of optimism about something.
Motivation: helping to achieve a certain goal.
Heirloom: investing for a future generation.
Affiliation: giving access to a community.


This applies if you are delivering value that affects a group and not just your individual customers.

Self Transcendence: helping other people.

Ask your customers what they value

It can be hard to pin down what makes you different from your competitors. If you can define this then it becomes the cornerstone of your marketing.

It is easy to think you know the answer to this question but why not ask? One simple way of finding out is to ask your newest customers why they selected you. What made them choose you rather than someone else?

At Indigo Tree we know that we are often recommended to clients because of our WordPress website care plans and:

  • Technical expertise in WordPress website performance
    • Makes money: making their websites faster and improving conversions
  • Quality of client support, with clients on Care Plans
    • Saving time, reducing costs: so updates and changes can be made in a cost-effective and timely way
    • Avoiding hassles, reducing risk: proactive in solving problems
  • Collaboratively working with other agencies
    • Motivation, hope: working in partnership with marketing, SEO and PPC agencies to do what is in the best interests for our clients

Adding customer value

So once you have asked your customers and know what they value, you can then think about how you can add value and find new elements of value.

Are there additional elements from the pyramid of customer-needs shown that you can meet and then raise your prices. So finally then you can answer the crucial question…

If you are to significantly increase your prices (e.g. +25%), which of the elements of value would your customer expect you to significantly improve?

Contact us to find out more about how we can help you discover what your customers value to improve your website and marketing.

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