When you build solid experiences with customers, flexibility allows you to start creating additional services for others.
The services/product that you offer your marketplace can go beyond that one thing you sell to everyone where they pay. You can package together additional services that come back to your core belief. It all comes down to the relationship you have with other people.
Creating a range of content services can go way beyond the products and services that have been product x to audience for y and the way we have all behaved ie. one product for one audience. You now have the ability and right to provide education, entertainment and continuous learning, as long as people are familiar with your core product.
It is possible for the B2B world to adopt the approach from the likes of Amazon Prime, Spotify and YouTube.
YouTube have just launched their new TV subscription service (launching in the US with 30 cable channels). This will be a paid for service where the customer doesn’t require a contract just unsubscribe at any time (for $35 per month). The world of being comfortable with video content at the drop of a hat, just got more interesting (considering we’re now watching over 1 billion hours a day of YouTube videos). A huge opportunity for YouTube, the audience is already there!
It is a case of how a brand evolves but with the customer always in mind and a package that suits them. With the democratisation of media, you can now break down what you at various price points.
Be Patient & Build
Amazon owner Jeff Bezos said, “We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful: put the customer first. Invest and be patient.” From buying books, to ordering a granite bench, we then moved to streaming films via Amazon Prime. Amazon are now looking at distribution to a colonised moon. The deliveries of gear, food and equipment to the lunar surface is intended to be by mid 2020. You could say the one word that Amazon completely stand by is distribution.
The creation of packages are all intended for an audience who believes.
Spotify, who have just reached 50 million paid subscribers, are about to expand the selection of their podcasts. Last month (February), Spotify announced that they will feature more original podcasts to go head to head with iTunes.
Spotify have also announced, in the past week, the option for higher quality lossless streaming, for a higher monthly fee. It is going to be called Spotify Hi-Fi (so an extra £7.50 option could be on its way to you). Further proof of a brand creating different options for an audience who are happy to pay for access.
Film studios are now sharing their skills for others to learn from. Want to explore the art of storytelling for your business? Perhaps it’s time to take this free course from Pixar, click here. When it comes to creating packages for your audience, education and training services as a content platform have a key role to play.
Moving To Your Arena
Creating packages is not just something centred on the big brands from the B2C arena.
I highlighted in an article from November 2016 on creating new streams within your own ecosystem. The focus was on Crimson Guitars who had not rested on their laurels as a guitar manufacturer.
Crimson Guitars are a team of 17 people who understand how guitars work. Owner, Ben Crowe, is one of the most persistent people I have ever met. They have new shows on YouTube six days a week, this explains the 80k+ audience they have built.
What is fascinating is not just the commitment to provide value outside from the core business but creating additional services for their audience. They have created separate revenue streams from guitar making, teaching (online or offline) and tool making. People have options for how deeply they want to connect and to become involved.
If you can bundle together packages that suit your audience but fall under the same overall topic for your business you start to grow legs and head in a new (but clear) direction. It is all centred on finding the right package for the right audience.
What I Have Done
As my business has changed tact over the past year, everything is focused on three areas, creation, strategy and learning.
They all sit separately but come under the banner of ownership with a content marketing approach. Just to explain: the creation service is for customers on an ongoing basis; the strategic side is to get companies up and running so they have a purpose to then build momentum; learning is in a group environment for businesses to learn together, such as the You Are The Media Lunch Club and the You Are The Media Strategy Day.
Harvard Business School, in 2012, created a paper titled, ‘The Dynamic Effects Of Bundling As a Product Strategy.’ One of the findings was that success with a variety of products is where one piece of the bundle is produced at a lower cost. I am finding this true when selling a higher ticket item alongside a lower ticket equivalent.
Let me explain. The monthly You Are The Media Lunch Club is priced at £10 and has been active each month since June 2016. I produced a survey at the end of last year asking people what they would want to learn more about.
Over 60% of people wanted to learn how they could apply a strategic approach to their business. Basically, from what they are hearing, how can they put into practice.
I recognised that this couldn’t be covered in a single lunchtime session (Lunch Club is from 12.15pm to 1.45pm), so I introduced a Strategy Day at the end of April for a smaller, more intimate audience but at £195 (or £250 for non You Are The Media subscribers). By breeding familiarity with the Lunch Club, selling spaces for the Strategy Day has been far easier than originally anticipated and sold 75% out with a month to go.
According to the Harvard research paper, Assistant Professor, Vineet Kumar highlighted, “ideally you should be bundling products that have a positive synergy together.”
“Bundling is a rather easy way of putting new product offerings together to complement the product line. There’s more potential to get it right than to get it wrong.”
Introducing Your Side & What You Need To Consider
If you are looking at creating packages that complement your main product/service, here are some points to think about.
- Allow people to familiarise themselves with not just your product, but also your message. For instance, can you create and distribute to a subscribed audience on a frequent basis that shows your proof and commitment such as a regular email round up that has to be relevant and of interest.
- There has to be a clear correlation between your products and services. For instance, you cannot just chuck anything in and think it is going to be credible. If you are a gym instructor, a personal fitness programme, accompanied by a healthy eating meal plan and then selling blenders and supplements becomes overkill.
- Survey your audience. You cannot just put together a package that you think other people will need. What you think is different from what they want. The main reason for the April Strategy Day is because people highlighted that they believed it would useful for them (here’s the survey results). This allowed me to explore deeper.
- People associate the value being presented. In order to move from a £10 lunch, to a £195 day and then to a monthly package, I have to make sure that people grasp the value and see everything in context and not the world I once was in by considering anyone and everyone as a customer. There always has to be ways to deepen a conversation. From sharing articles such as this, to being present in someone’s inbox every week, to inviting someone to be part of a much wider network of people on the same wavelength, an objective has to become a trusted source.
When you can find a way to create packages that are bundled together you have direct access to an audience at different stages of their life cycle. For instance, a new business is more than likely to invest in the monthly Lunch Clubs than a monthly creation retainer package.
Lets Round Up
You now have the ability to create and batch services together, and take control of online and offline channels as a way to complement your overall product offering.
It all comes down to widening and deepening the relationship with people who want to be onboard, so when you reveal new additions in the future, it becomes easier for people to buy in.
When you package experiences to an audience who are already familiar, people are ready. The need to spend and allocate budget on promotional tactics to raise awareness becomes minimal when you already have an audience who are already locked in.