When people pay more for things and lots of people buy them, many will look in awe and think, how did they do that? The answer is that somehow, the creator of the product or service has imbued it with some power attributes that make it more attractive than the alternatives. If you can work out what these attributes are, then it might help you come up with Power Attributes for your business.
Lets take a current example. The iPhone has created quite a buzz and is charging a huge premium price. They are charging £269 plus at least £35 a month for a minimum of 18 months, which comes to £899. For most fancy new phones today, people either pay up to £200 for the phone or £35 a month for a contract which is far more generous than the iPhone contract.
So will it work for Apple, will enough people pay? The early signs are that they will, O2 assert it is the fastest selling handset ever. This is despite a number of features that are missing from the phone. The camera is only 2MB, the internet is not 3G, there is no MMS, the battery life is short, limited ring tones, it does not work as laptop modem, the on screen keyboard is unfamiliar etc. Both iPhone competitors and the geeks on the blogosphere will point this out. (type in "iphone sucks" into Google)
Judging by the initial reaction, iPhone have got some things right. Obviously they have created a really cool image compared to a Nokia, Sony Ericsson on Samsung. How did they do that? In our experience there great image and reputation has a functional underpin. Identifying the Power Attributes will help you to work out not just the image strengths but to understand the functional benefits the product delivers. What might the attributes be in this case? Here is a short list
- beautiful appearance,
- the latest gadget
- smooth easy to use operation
- real internet access (not wap)
- easy to use email
- multi tasking between functions
- my friends notice I have it
- the best handbag/briefcase jewelry
- a big screen so I can read the content
- can watch real video.
There will be 20 or 30 of these attributes that can be discovered through brainstorming or workshops with consumers. The question is how to work out which are the real buzz attributes. Once you know this, then you will understand why people choose the brand and why they pay more for some things rather than others.
Our paper on Power Attributes discusses how to do this in more detail click here
Once you know which are your Power Attributes, then make sure you invest in them and tell your customers. If you are not sure which are your Power Attributes, then find out quickly before your competitors find out and steal them from you.