When I turn on my tap, I get water. I fill my glass and it costs less than a penny on my water bill.
I go to my local Co-Op and buy a plastic bottle of water and it costs around 60p, unless I feel like Rockafellar and go for a brand, then we’re up to about £1.
If I buy that same branded bottle at a train station it’s about £2.75.
Then, although many restaurant owners have to suffer those people who just want tap water with their meal, a large bottle of still water will cost just less than a pint of beer. The better the restaurant, the higher the price.
As soon as you aren’t drinking from the tap, you’re not paying for the water. You’re paying for the location. You’re paying for the service, the rates on the building, the person who brings it to you (and their training) – you are paying for the packaging.
It’s why some people who do the same as you charge much, much more. They may be just as good or bad as you, but they have worked out how to charge for the package.
Now, you could compete on price. It’s a one-way race to the bottom, and you may well be competing with a computer over the next few years. Or, you could work on the packaging. Forget how good you think you are at your job and start working on how you can translate your business into something worthwhile.
It won’t happen with advertising. You’ll need a consistent marketing approach for your package that encourages word-of-mouth and develops traction so that other people can do your sales pitch.
Yes, you need to be fundamentally good at what you do and offer value. But, more importantly, you need to ensure your packaging is relevant because that’s what starts the conversation.