Free doesn’t always put the customer first

A lovely article by Jessica E Lessin, the founder of subscription-only tech news site The Information describes how a tight customer focus and and prioritising quality content over quantity helps build and audience.

There’s lessons here for brands in any sector:

We believe the best way to build a brand is to be indispensable to some people, rather than try to appeal to everyone. The business model aligned with that mission is a subscription business where our only incentive is to write articles our customers want so badly they are willing to pay for them.

This echoes Cynthia Montgomery’s advice in The Strategist, that if your company has a strong strategy it would be missed by its customers if it were to disappear overnight.

An insistence on creating a premium service creates a strong business model and value that goes beyond financial returns:

One benefit of the model is it helps build our revenue quickly. But a far more important outcome is that it puts the focus exclusively on high-quality, original journalism. In the world of ad-supported media, traffic volume is everything. Too often that means sacrificing quality for quantity and prioritising stories that generate clicks. In the subscription world, quantity doesn’t move the needle. Quality does.

Hat tip – the excellent Fraggl curation service. 

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