Price sensitive products – how can you differentiate?

When you’re selling price sensitive products, find a way to add value, so your customers will pay a premium.  Understand your customers’ needs and preferences, however, and understand what you can do to improve your products and services.

Standard Textile was faced with this dilemma – in particular, hotels and hospitals kept going with the vendor with the lowest price.  How could they break the cycle?

Price Sensitive Products: Bedsheets for Hospitals

What are the key concerns that hospitals face as regulations increase and hospitals are graded on their healthcare outcomes?  One of the issues that continues to plague hospital patients are bed sores.  How can sheets help prevent bed sores?  The team at Standard Textile aimed to find out.  Eventually they discovered that bed sores fester when there is moisture and heat generated by the patient’s body.  Once a sore begins to form, it is further irritated by the friction generated by moving around in a bed.  Standard Textile help resolve this by developing sheets that were cleaner, dryer and smoother.

Bed sores? Ugh! Bed sores impact 2.5 million patients annually and incur $9-11.5 billion/year in health care costs.  The National Pressure Advisory Panel Guidelines: “Consider using a silk like fabric instead of cotton or cotton blend to reduce shear and friction”.

The hospital bed problem:

  • Moisture associated skin damage
  • Excessive moisture and odor
  • Patients that are difficult to move and position

Standard Textile’s solution was DermaTherapy®, sheets that are FDA-approved for atopic dermatitis (bed sores).  These sheets help control moisture, friction and shear.

Consequently, hospitals desiring to lower bed sore occurrences flock to the Standard Textile sheets.  Therefore they lower the incidence of bed sores, thereby raising their patient outcomes scores and lowering overall system costs.

Price Sensitive Products: Linens for Hotels

Over the years, hotels have used bed and bedding materials to differentiate their brands.  As a result, what could Standard Textile do to further optimize the hospitality industry’s operating costs? Here is what they found:

  • Hotels wash new sheets before they are used for the first time
  • They wanted premium but durable towels that were not only soft, but absorbent
  • Bedcovers – now washed – how to get them back on the beds without ironing, but still have them look good?

Standard Textile solutions included:

  • Room Ready for You®; sheets that arrive already washed and ready for use
  • Towels that are more absorbent, durable and soft using patented weaving technology
  • Cumulus® Bedcovers: waffle-design bed covers that are room-ready after washing (Cumulus®)

How does Standard Textile turn typically price sensitive products into value added products? First, the company strives to understand customer issues. Second, it leverages its competencies in weaving, textile materials and laundering. This developed products and services that lower their customers’ operating costs.

How are you lowering your customers’ operating costs thus raising the value and  the price of your price sensitive products?  An understanding of the issues your customers face will help you develop products and services that provide more value.

Do you want to learn more about differentiating price sensitive products?  Attend the Simplified Strategic Planning Seminar for more instruction on how to develop all aspects of Simplified Strategic Planning.

Author, Denise Harrison

Denise Harrison

Denise Harrison is a senior consultant for the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc.  She can be reached at .

© Copyright 2018 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission

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