My wife brought home giant marshmallows this past weekend. Seriously, they’re giant – the size of 4 marshmallows perhaps. When my kids saw those – all I heard from them for the next 2 days was “can we make s’mores?” I don’t know when marshmallows were invented, but for at least the last 25 years there’s been 2 sizes: regular and hot chocolate size. That’s it.
Of course, during that time the marshmallow people have experimented with colors, shapes and flavors and even miniatures, but to my knowledge – “jumbo” was like 2% bigger. The folks at the marshmallow company could have spent hours and days and weeks coming up with a brand new product – and perhaps they did, but someone there had the job of adding value to marshmallows. And from my kids’ point of view Giant Marshmallows are way better.
They’ve added value in other ways as well. I’m sure there are soccer moms out there who love those multi-colored marshmallows for their “after-game” rice crispy treats. Shoot, they might even be good on sweet potatoes. Those little tiny marshmallows make hot chocolate better, and are great for decorating desserts. And these giant ones . . . well just take a look at the picture.
I caught another glimpse of “adding value” this week when I was thumbing through a weight lifting magazine. One of the authors broke a good workout down into categories:
- One set for people who use a gym
- Another modified for people who only have 10 minutes per day
- Another for those who just have barbells at home
- And another for people who work out with a partner
The same workout – but with added value for the user in mind.
As soon as I saw this bag of marshmallows, I immediately thought – what a great way to improve on something without re-inventing yourself. If you’ve been trying to think of a new e-book concept, new t-shirt design, new service for your customers or new menu idea, maybe it’s time to shift your thinking. Why not start investigating how your customers are using what you already provide? Is there something in there you can improve upon – for them?
In fact, just a few moments ago I finished reading a post on Lynn Terry’s blog about adding-value, which has been an important component in her sites’ successes. Read what she has to say about the subject.
This year I’ve begun to do the same thing. Not only has repurposing my content been useful -but for many people a much better way to get the information. For people who can’t make my speaking engagements, I now provide the Notes in a Weekly Friday e-mail so they can get what they missed. And soon I’ll be uploading those each week to a new podcast channel so people can listen at home or while jogging.
The same stuff in a different format is very likely more useful to someone in your audience.
My charge to you is to look at what you do and determine how can you add value in your customer’s eyes? If you need help, light a fire, find a stick and buy a bag of giant marshmallows. That should get you thinking.
Have an idea and need feedback – post a comment and we’ll give it to ya!