What is the value of your digital product compared to your in-person product?
Today we are seeing many businesses, universities and others deploying a remote or virtual version of their in-person product. This trend has been incredible to be a part of in 2020. What’s interesting at this time though is the variance of value applied to the products we saw before the pandemic vs during/after the pandemic. An example I will highlight centers on the universities, who offer both online degrees and classes. These were priced substantially cheaper than tuition at the university and for even the Ivy league schools, they even offered completely free digital learning classes. This is the same content curriculum, exams, references, resources that happened in person, yet they were either severely discounted or free (MIT and Harvard for instance offer these various degrees with a steep discount towards online).
The whammy came in to the universities with the introduction of COVID-19. Today, universities much the same as others are forced to deliver their in-person product (class based degrees) remotely leveraging their online platform. This was a nimble move, but created pricing pressure and demands or discounts by students due to the pricing variation. Now reports are starting to indicate some universities are canceling in person classes for the Fall, yet the tuition remains the same for the students that are attending only virtually. Clearly a misstep and misalignment of value, offering, and service by the universities.
Pricing digital offerings without the boat anchors of the past
So there is a variance here where the university had valued the digital product versus the in-person product and now is charging two different price points for the same material. Universities here are a single example. There are several others that have been equally as nimble but with different results.
Service, Coaching, and Consulting pricing done well
Another example in the knowledge of space has to do with coaches, consultants, and mentors where they equally leverage in person and remote service delivery. The difference is there was no pricing variance - the price was the same before, and when pandemic requirements were put in place, the same price point was applied for those being served remotely.
- Coaches in the fitness industry were coaching their athletes and members by cameras. At home kits, loaner equipment, or simple home items were utilized for equipment as they were coached via video cameras on phones
- Consultants were able to eliminate travel expenses, travel delays, and include more team members on projects — delivering better services for all ongoing projects.
- Mentors still gave 30 minutes or an hour with their clients, achieving the same results and consistency the is so vital in developing healthy habits
The product value was the same in all cases, and so we see in these price points are the same.
The value exchange is the same and so the price point is the same.
Universities and services — what is the value you are offering?
As we look at businesses that seek to adjust their execution, the value discussion and how you deliver it has to become the center point. Whether you are a university, teaching an online course, a business mentor, are steering product development, or any knowledge worker service — your value proposition is what you deliver, not how you deliver it in both a in-person. The next level business leaders and organizations will further extend to a distributed individual format that scales.
So how are you setting this valued offering?
How are you changing your behaviors, and is it possible to save institutions such as universities that have priced themselves in two completely separate manners?
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I am a father, study of human behavior, strategist, cybersecurity executive, and a coach and mentor on a journey to give more than I receive everyday. I lead teams globally, build products, and daily an executive for a leading company where I serve the largest companies in the world using the largest cloud deployments in the world impacting the financial services, healthcare, and fintech industries. I provide these publications and content through my media agency to deliver insights and advantages. Mindset, mental strength, mentorship, personal improvement, health, fitness, and humanist ideas are drawn from personal research and practice. Everything read and heard is my original works and my own perspective. All rights reserved for noted authors and sources. I produce research and strategy, as well as provide advisory services that include inquiries, briefings, consulting projects, and presentations on published findings as well as bespoke speaking engagements where I often keynote at conferences, seminars, and roundtables annually.