What Today's Consumers Want...More Than Price (Think 'Secret Sauce' of Benefit Companies)

Photo by  Mike Wilson

Photo by Mike Wilson

We all like a great deal - an amazing price for a product or service we are looking for.

Unfortunately, you often get what you pay for in terms of poor quality and inferior customer service. Those are big trade-offs. 

Price is not everything.   

 According to a recent article, “New research has revealed that 45% of consumers believe service is more important than price.”

So instead of price, let’s talk about long-term value – the cornerstone of Benefit Companies and Benefit Corporations. As you recall these are businesses that commit to the triple bottom line of “People, Planet, Profit,” with prices that are usually competitive, but they aren’t always the cheapest.

Yet, they offer a great return to the customer.

Indeed, with their dedication to sustainability and support of their community and employees, these companies often have higher expenses and as a result higher prices for their product. But, they also “bend over backwards” to provide exemplary personal service – little things for the customer that add real value.

It’s all about creating a relationship where trust, transparency, authenticity, equity and humility reign. And I, for one, will always buy from a company that delivers on this value proposition. These attributes are overwhelmingly found in Benefit Companies and Benefit Corporations.

Did I mention how easy it is to work with these companies? That’s because they listen to me, the customer, and check their ego at the door.  

And of course, the ultimate long-term value on the table is that these businesses offer even more than just great service. The fact is that this business model is committed to “benefiting the common good.”

Sure, Profit is important. But People and Planet are equally so. They stand as a business model that believes in “green,” believes in respecting and honoring their employees, and believes we can create healthy communities together.

That is value.

And so a story about one of our favorite B Corps. We have very good friends who own a Northwest web design business with full server services called Canvas Host. They embody the principles of the “triple bottom line,” but aren’t the cheapest provider in town. For Canvas Host, customers along with its employees always come first. And often when you call, you speak to the owners themselves, who will problem solve issues with you. They listen and deliver on time. Now that is what I call Conscientious Leadership!

However, they share they have lost potential clients when customers say they can get the same thing cheaper elsewhere. I maintain however, these same customers will not get the same quality or service elsewhere. And that is worth something way beyond price alone.

So, the next time you go shopping, pause and make the choice around value, not price. Look for the certified Benefit Corporation or B Corps stamp, on the website or packaging. It’s a promise and hope of a better business model that is dedicated to service, quality and the community.

If you'd like to see if your business is ready to become a benefit corporation, just take our free 12-question "sniff" test and find out right now.




MaryAnne Harmer