Using Trust and Credibility to build Value Equity
The Webster’s Dictionary for the word Value is: a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged; relative worth, utility, or importance. Without Value, your product, project, or purpose will live a very short life. Value is the proverbial glue for the ideas, people and potential profits that you seek to create.
Changing of the Guard
I was recently told a story of an officer in the US Department of Commerce who worked with the Chinese. The officer was unique in that he took the time to not only become an authority on the products and services he represented, but to also become a student of the customs and protocol of his ecosystem. He was well respected and had an incredible personal Brand. His Value Proposition was strong and his Ambassador Equity with the Chinese was at an unprecedented level.
The officer eventually retired from his post and was replaced by another very capable officer of commerce. The new officer, while skilled at his work, did not conduct his affairs with the same level of excellence and respect as his predecessor. He thought that he was only there for commerce, but seemed to forget that the key to his success was in building and maintaining relationships. His attention to the customs and sensitivities of his surroundings waned and the Value Equity suffered. The result was a strained relationship with the Chinese and a decreased number of American imports in the region.
This is a great lesson for any CEO, business owner, territory manager, or person in a position where past and current relationships must be stewarded. The Brand can be the greatest in the world, but if the Value Proposition of the past is not honored in the future, all can be lost.
The Bonding Agent
A good friend and client who is developing a never before seen, sports related, health bar. He initially ran into problems keeping his ingredients in bar form. He had an uphill battle and searched for a solution for over two years. His goal was to have a 100% certified organic bar that was gluten free. Gluten is a proven bonding agent on one hand, but is quite unhealthy for digestion on another. You can see his dilemma. No one wants to buy a health bar that crumbles. Eventually, he found an organic, healthy and tasty bonding agent. It has become his trade secret and I can attest to the quality of the product.
The Main Idea
Value Equity is the bonding agent for your ideas and your initiatives. If the Value can be created and communicated, you then have the power to exploit your Brand and acquire Ambassadors for it. Value Equity is tough to attain, and as my friend experienced, you may not always be able to use the same ingredients as the rest of the crowd. But, the fact that your product, project, or purpose is different is what often makes it, well…valuable.