What's the Narrative Around Your Product?

"Communicating the value of the offer is like telling a story. It's not just numbers; it's about making customers see the worth in what they're getting"- Vita Nikolaieva, Marketing & Communications APAC at Columbia Group on pricing and positioning your product in fluctuating markets.

Reading Time: 5 min 


  • Marketers would no doubt wish for calmer times. Call it the aftermath of the pandemic, but things are far from calm. Considering consumers are tightening their purse strings, the marketer’s role is more crucial than ever if businesses are to beat the competition. Price sensitivity is a measurement of how much the price of goods and services affects customers’ willingness to buy them.

    We spoke to Vita Nikolaieva, Marketing & Communications APAC at Columbia Group, about how marketers can stay flexible in changing market scenarios, and how to ensure customers see value in their purchase decisions.

    Full interview;

    What advice would you give business leaders to adjust your pricing and promotional strategies to stay competitive while maintaining profitability during economic downturns? 

    Keep an eye on your value proposition. What makes you stand out? 

    Back when the travel industry hit some bumps, Airbnb didn’t just tighten the belt and wait it out. They added value to their offerings with unique experiences alongside stays. It not only kept them competitive but also created a whole new angle that appealed to a broader audience. And don’t be afraid to get creative with promotions – loyalty programmes, bundles, you name it – another way of staying competitive without sacrificing the bottom line. 

    How can marketing leaders prioritise marketing budgets, and how can they cut waste? 

    Ever heard of Google’s Micro-Moments? They nailed it. 

    Instead of spreading the budget thin across every possible channel, they identified key moments when consumers turn to their devices for answers. By prioritising these critical touchpoints, they made every marketing dollar count. 

    First, pinpoint those micro-moments. Understand where your audience is in their journey and be there.

    Second, be creative and quick on your feet. Around a month ago, a viral video showed a woman’s Stanley tumbler cup surviving a car fire. But what happened next is a demonstration of Surprise & Delight marketing on behalf of Stanley. When they heard the news and Danielle’s video caught virality, the company responded by stitching her original video and offering to replace her car (along with a few Stanley products). Not only was this a nice thing to do, but it garnered massive positive exposure for the brand, all achieved without a substantial marketing budget. 

    How can we approach communicating value and pricing to customers? 

    Communicating the value of the offer is like telling a story. It’s not just numbers; it’s about making customers see the worth in what they’re getting. What’s the narrative around your product? 

    Tesla sold more than cars; they sold innovation. Amazon sold more than shipping; they sold a lifestyle. It’s about giving your customers a reason to believe that what they’re getting is more than just a product – it’s an experience. Because when you communicate the ‘why’ behind the price, it’s not a transaction; it’s an invitation to be part of something extraordinary. 

    How can one ensure flexibility and adaptability in marketing strategies towards changing customer expectations? 

    One way to achieve this is by embracing anticipatory marketing. Take Amazon’s predictive shipping, for instance, where AI and data analytics foresee customer needs before they articulate them, showcasing the power of data-driven adaptability. A customer-centric approach is also pivotal. Microsoft’s transformation under Satya Nadella is a prime example. By shifting focus from products to solutions that directly address customer pain-points, they not only met but exceeded evolving expectations. 

    On a corporate level, fostering a culture of continuous learning and experimentation is key. Google’s “20% time” initiative encourages innovative projects, ensuring our strategies remain agile and ready to pivot based on emerging trends. This blend of data-driven foresight, customer-centricity, and a culture of adaptability positions our strategies as anticipatory, synchronised with the ever-changing rhythms of customer expectations.


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