How Do You Measure Delight?

Scroll down ↓

Last week, I bought a jar of almond butter at Trader Joe’s for about $5.

Then, my sister came over and when I told her about it, she said she’d been paying $15 a jar for a different brand.

“Really,” I said. “Here, try this and tell me if your brand is worth 3 times the price.”

With that a spoon was scooped and sampled.

A moment passed, she pondered then said, “not convinced.”

“What,” I said, “are you seriously telling me your almond butter is 3 times better?”

And, that’s precisely where I lost the argument, and where so many marketers lose the prospect and the sale.

Because I was using a metric that made sense to me, but not to her.

In her mind, it wasn’t about being 300% better, it was about being $10 better. And, not just $10, but $10 in the context of a monthly household budget that made that $10 only marginally significant. Ten bucks in the context of how much more delightful her brand would be as she savored it every day over the monthlong period it would take to consume the jar.

In her mind, it didn’t need to be 3X better, it needed to be $10 a month more delightful…and that it was.

At least for her (I still love my Trader Joe’s).

So, the question is…

When launching a new product, service or solution or reworking an old one and the messaging around it, who’s metric are you using?

One that’s relevant to you?

Or, one that’s relevant to the person you’d most like to delight?

Join our Email List for Weekly Updates

And join this amazing community of makers and doers. You know you wanna...

35 responses

35 responses to “How Do You Measure Delight?”

  1. Love this story. I think I often get this wrong even though my readers/customers pull me up on it. We need to realize we are not always the same as the people we are communicating with – in fact we are freaks really (we read blogs, we tweet, we value different things than the norm). Guess first step is finding out their values and why?

  2. Jonathan,
    I love your blog, wisdom and ideas. Without missing the point you’re making here, had you offered your sister Trader Joes Almond Butter with Roasted Flax Seeds I think your point would have come across more emphatically ;)http://chewchewtrain.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/dsc02563.jpg
    Only this stuff is so good you’d have to judge it on “$10/day more delightful” because it never lasts a month in our household! Best to you.

  3. Awesome story Jonathan! It really underscores the importance of getting out in the field and listening to the people that we are trying to reach with our product/message/service. We’ve been conditioned to think that price is the only measure that matters, but value doesn’t always correlate with price. Great reminder – thanks for putting it out there!

  4. Great story that reinforces the need to communicate with customers.

    I wonder how your sister’s perceptions might have changed had you told her your jar cost $30.

    🙂

  5. R Yost says:

    The funny thing is, the same company probably makes both almond butters!

  6. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chris Garrett, Jonathan Fields, remarkablogger, Grant Griffiths, Julie Roads and others. Julie Roads said: Loving this (and now going to dig my spoon into my own jar) from @jonathanfields How Do You Measure Delight? http://bit.ly/bIsb3Q […]

  7. Irene Ross says:

    Powerful! I remember so clearly–and it was over 10 years ago–when someone tried to force a product on me because it was less expensive TO HIM and I snapped (really, really snapped) “how dare you try to take that choice away from me!”
    I’m getting red in the face just thinking about it as I type this.

  8. Greg Hopkins says:

    Jonathan, thank you for reminding me when it comes to reaching out to another, it’s not all about me (darn). It’s about them. The only way I can know what delights someone is to ask. So, the first step is to understand, not to be understood. My reference points for what delights me are not what usually delights someone else. Besides being $10 cheaper, what is it about the Trader Joe’s, brand of almond butter that delights you? Which of your senses registers the most delight? Keeping in mind a wallet is not a sense. ;o) Great post! You got me thinking. Thank you. We(photographers) can move a mountain. Just move the camera and change the perspective. Have a terrific weekend, everyone.

  9. Great point Jonathan,

    And there’s the rub – figuring out what delights your market. I don’t think you can “just ask” – because often people can’t articulate the motivation behind their choices, because they often aren’t rational. We buy emotionally and then sometimes justify rationally. But ask the what delights or why you paid $15 for almond butter – and you just get the rational explanation, not the emotions.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      No doubt, Shaun, that’s one of the biggest challenges. One of the approaches I use is to go at least 5 layers deep with variations of the question, “so, what’s important to you about that?” The first or second levels of response you can almost always pretty much throw away. The cool thing is, so few people go that deep that when you do, as a marketer, it allows you to be that much more effective.

  10. MarcoB says:

    Great thought provoking post.

    I have to agree with Shaun. I have asked my clientele on numerous occasions what they want and it is normally opposite to what they are willing to pay for.

  11. Nick Roberts says:

    See I think I get wrapped up in this a ton thinking about how much I might value something when I should think about what my target my value something. I generally take my ideas or suggestions out to people who I trust to be of the mindset of my target audience.

    I find sometimes I’m way off base and other times I’m right on. Find a good group of people who will be honest with the feedback on the value of whatever you are working on.

  12. superb, wonderful way to highlight a very important distinction… it’s not enough to clarify your own thinking on what you’re doing or selling, you have to also be able to set it aside completely at times, get out of your head and try to get inside someone else’s. easier said than done, I would wager.

  13. Sue says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    Well, I have to admit that my first thought after reading about a $15 jar of almond butter was, “Holy smokes! Fifteen dollars for almond butter? What’s it got in it–edible gold flakes???”, followed by “Yikes! Fifteen dollars could send a poverty stricken child in India to school for just over a year–or send 15 kids to school for one month each.” I think your point is well taken about whose metrics–and values– we are applying when considering what others might perceive as “delightful” and “worth the extra cost”.

    I’d say understanding your clients’ values–including how they’d rather spend their money are probably the key pieces to take into consideration.

  14. Annie Sisk says:

    Excellent story and a near-perfect analogy. It’s fascinating to me, endlessly, how and with what criteria we all choose our “almond butters.” And when (as is so often the case, especially here lately) the budget gets crunched, how we decide what goes and what stays. If we as business marketers can understand that process in ourselves, we can at least grasp the contours of someone else’s process, which can only be a good thing.

  15. Moral of the story: Focus your efforts on creating priceless delight & you’ll never have to fight a price war again.

    I love it.
    🙂

  16. Hi Jonathan,

    A thought-provoking question. Seeing things from a perspective that isn’t our own is a challenge, but those who step up to this challenge yield a power which most can’t comprehend.

    I like the context add….300% vs $10 of a monthly budget, great stuff.

    Thanks for sharing with us.

    Ryan Biddulph

  17. Thanks for the reminder. I have a rather cheap friend who will spend hours and hours preparing for and holding a garage sale, just to make $50. I take the ‘save time, take it to Goodwill, and take the tax deduction’ route. For some reason that friend always comes to mind when I think about pricing and product ideas, when I need to remember that as someone who creates handmade items, customers who view cost as THE determining factor in purchasing are NOT my target audience and NEVER will be. (Although when it comes to that Almond Butter, I’d be stocking up on those $5 jars!)

  18. Jonathan,
    Great reminder to look at things from the client point of view. We often hear things like “i can’t afford it” or “I could never do what you do” and think we know what they truly mean –
    @ Suddenly Jamie – “priceless delight” I love that – and will shamelessly borrow it sometime soon!

  19. Tony Berkman says:

    Great post, though Jonathan who do you think of when you are writing this blog? You or delighting your audience? The pop up sucks and is poor ux made worse by a massive box for sign up for my emails.

    Excellent advice, though I’d recommend removing the pop up. It sucks. It may get you more emails but most users hate pop ups. You must be good at what you do, give the testimonial logos on the sidebar, though I never revisit sites that have pop ups. Time’s too valuable for having things shoved in your face.

    Have you been to Cabo or any Mexican resort? It reminds me of the timeshare guys on the street, or the drug peddlers or the little kids who want to sell you the bobbing head turtle.

  20. Sam says:

    We spend $9 on Barney Butter and it is worth every penny!! Great story.

  21. Reminds me of the great mattress and eyeglass frame secret holders, as well. The majority of the most popular brands are all owned by the same company.

    Excellent point on using the same metric; I’ve been distilling this to my customers when discussing how to talk so people actually listen.

  22. Karen Scharf says:

    This is an excellent example that really underscores the need for having a thorough target market profile and knowing your audience inside and out. Thanks for the great reminder.

  23. […] How Do You Measure Delight? In other words, if you have the choice between a $5 version of an item and a $15 version of an item, what qualities does that $15 version have to have to get you to spend the extra $10 (aside from volume, naturally)? It really depends on what you value as a person – as well as how much you value $10. (@ jonathan fields) […]

  24. I’m in an industry (weddings) where the customers I must delight come from all walks of life and all budget levels. This post is an excellent analogy of “different strokes for different folks” and has made me stop and think about how we package our services and the various motivations behind those who ultimately book us (and those who don’t!).

  25. […] How Do You Measure Delight? In other words, if you have the choice between a $5 version of an item and a $15 version of an item, what qualities does that $15 version have to have to get you to spend the extra $10 (aside from volume, naturally)? It really depends on what you value as a person – as well as how much you value $10. (@ jonathan fields) […]

  26. […] How Do You Measure Delight? In other words, if you have the choice between a $5 version of an item and a $15 version of an item, what qualities does that $15 version have to have to get you to spend the extra $10 (aside from volume, naturally)? It really depends on what you value as a person – as well as how much you value $10. (@ jonathan fields) […]

  27. […] How Do You Measure Delight? In other words, if you have the choice between a $5 version of an item and a $15 version of an item, what qualities does that $15 version have to have to get you to spend the extra $10 (aside from volume, naturally)? It really depends on what you value as a person – as well as how much you value $10. (@ jonathan fields) […]

  28. Without knocking Trader Joe’s (’cause some of their stuff is great), there is a difference with almonds and products made from them.

    Raw almonds tend to be more costly and a little harder to obtain than roasted ones, for example. Organic raw ones are still more costly.

    I can taste the difference. I’m not a snob about it, but there is a taste difference between the organic raw almonds and the non-organic ones.

    In any case, you’re on to something Jonathon