You Are Not Your Customer

Or more politely: I am not my customer.

But it does sound more authoritative when I declare: “You are not your customer.”

Right? It’s like… official.

What I mean is that just because I (or you) wouldn’t pay some amount of money for something, doesn’t mean that someone wouldn’t happily pay that if it somehow represented sufficient value to them.

This is something I “know” — but occasionally need to beat it into my head to actually KNOW.

I was working out details of a monthly service I could offer that would be very useful to a certain group of people and I was trying to figure out what would be in the real of a reasonable price to charge (and of course, by charging more I’d bring in more money and thus actually be able to afford to provide even better service). Now this service would be targeted towards people who have a serious life-long problem — suffice to say, it’s not something frivolous. (At least I don’t think it would be frivolous.)

Something made me think of looking up “Cookie of the month” clubs — and what I found were that there are plenty of them. And they seem to start at around $30 a month for 2 pounds of cookies.

I am obviously not the customer for that. I think that’s absurdly expensive. How good could those cookies taste? Especially compared to when *I* make cookies? (Yes, I’m that good. But I digress…)

Anyway — someone *is* the customer for these programs. Maybe a lot of someones, maybe only a few. But since enough of these clubs exist, there are probably customers out there using them.

I’d rather be the most expensive vendor in a market than the cheapest — so if I were to sell cookies on a continuity program I’d probably want to look at pricing them at maybe more like $100 a month. Or more.

Is there money to be made selling cookies at $15 to $50 a pound? I’d think there better be. It would seem to work on a small scale (like I could bake it myself), and probably works on a high volume. Maybe it gets iffy somewhere in the transition if you try to do all the manufacturing yourself (though there must be all sorts of commercial bakeries that could do all the fulfillment).

Anyway, past all the crazy dreams of getting 100 people to give me $100 a month for cookies and trying not to get fat while making them…

The point is: I’m not the market for buying that. So I don’t see it being worth $100 a month or even $30.

BUT it means that I shouldn’t undercut the value of the thing I’m developing by offering it too cheap. To someone (who will become my customer) it’s worth a lot more than cookies.

And that means that whatever you might be selling — make sure you examine its value through the eyes of your customers, not your eyes.

Repeat after me: I am not my customer.