Surfing the value waves

Picture in your mind your organization’s typical customer or client.  Now picture the moment that customer purchases your product (or service).  Each transaction with that customer is preceded by some calculation—whether rigorous or informal— that your product is “worth it” compared to alternative solutions.  This worth-it-ness is called your product’s value proposition.

The sum of each of those value calculations over time is essentially your customer relationship with that customer.  In turn, the sum of all your customer relationships is pretty close to the value of your whole enterprise.  Each happy (successful) company starts with a happy (satisfied) customer—and the ability to scale that happiness across many customers.

Let me illustrate.   Apple (AAPL), in the waning days of a prolonged economic downturn, reported selling 3 million iPads (at $500+) in its first three months, and that same number of iPhone 4s (at $200+) in its first one month.  Millions of people (including me) made a decision to part with their hard-earned money, and possibly forego other purchases, to have one of these tools/toys (tooys?)

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