Saturday 13 February 2010

Convenience is the new price

Time is scarce, consumers both business and private all have busy lifestyles and their time needs to be wisely spent. Price is no longer as influencial in the decision making process as it used to be, when Kotler started talking about the 2nd P for price.

Convenience is the new P for price, if the brand creation is not convenient it will not sell now adays, even if it is the cheapest. This is not to say price is completely irrelevant, it is just less important in relation to the other elements of the customer decision making tree.

When I talk about convenience, this is convenience of product, the channel, the service and experience, not just online channel convenience, but across all interactions the customer has with the brand experience. Convenience does not translate into more features or faster, the key criteria for convenience, is if it saves the customer time, because it is so convenient to buy, deliver, consume or use.

Of course companies have known this for a long time, there are enough brand failures that show that launching the product with the most features is not the way to win over consumers [Betamax is a prime example of this] especially if it is too complicated. And companies didn't move to sell online just because they thought consumers prefer sitting behind their computers, but because they knew it was more convenient for some consumers to buy that way. So this is nothing new. What is new is making convenience more of a focus in the marketing mix than price is/was against the other elements.

Convenient brand experiences are easier to create if brands have done this hand-in-hand with their customers. Convenience happens to coincide nicely with being able to measure more conversion across all combination of channels, which is the topic of my next blog entry.

Convenience is the 5th of the 6 c's of measurable marketing: customer, content, conversation, creation, convenience and conversion.

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