Monday, March 04, 2013

What readers really want from you!

(or my interpretation of it...)

Latest acquisition!
Hey beautiful people!

Back on board with a random thoughts' post today. A few things have happened over the weekend, leading me to a realization that I believe applies to everyone of us.

What do readers want? I know most of you are writers, so this is the question that never leaves your mind, but this conclusion can be applied to any area where something is being offered to an audience (goods, services, experience, whatever.)

Let me first explain how I came to this conclusion. Yesterday was my birthday (and yeah, I turned 30. Dunno if I should cry or rejoice, because I've finally reached this big number. Anyhow...)

I've actually walked 1 mile in this at a mall
& not gotten any blister!
So my husband knows something about me - I'm a shoeholic and a book junkie. Whether for my b-day, Eid celebration, Mother's Day, or when he needs to be forgiven for something, he knows he better take me directly to the closest ALDO shop. And it's ALDO and nowhere else (fyi - ALDO is a Canadian brand of shoes, handbags, accessories. Mainly known for their shoes, though. Nothing close to Blahniks or Choos, but good stuff, still.)

Now, I love shoes. Most of the shops here sell imported goods from China and India. At around 300-600 rupees a pair (that's roughly $10-20 in US currency), these are not exactly cheap. Compare to ALDO, where shoes start at the Rs2,300 benchmark (about $80). For one pair of ALDO shoes, you can get like 4-7 pairs of 'other' shoes.
ALDO also does handbags. Leather, fabric, suede - you name it, they have it. A regular handbag in a local shop here would cost you around Rs900($30). At ALDO, bags start at Rs1,600 (roughly $55, let's say).

My gift yesterday!
Over the past decade, I must've gone through an average of 13 handbags. I lug mine everywhere all the time - it's got all my stuff from wallet to hand sanitizer to makeup pouch to cell phone to tissues, moist wipes, a small bottle of lotion, lip balm, keys, a notepad, pens, and whatever else I need to carry with me. My bag sees a whole lot of action... and needless to say, one rarely lasts beyond 9 months. That's the most one of them has gone (the 'cheap' kind).

Kinda blurry but you get the
September of 2011, hubby bought me a handbag from ALDO. Fabric, in a custom-made weave that had ALDO written all over the textile. Leather handles, and finished with leather piping all around. Price - Rs1,900. Yep, twice the price of a regular, 'good' bag out there.
Did it last more than 9 months?

Actually, I'm still using that ALDO bag. That's 18 months later... 18 months of daily wear and tear and being put through the worst wringer of Mummy-rush and me needing to cram everything in. Absolutely no sign of abuse on the bag!

And let's talk about shoes. All my shoes come from, you guessed it, ALDO. There's one pair I bought 3 months ago at another shop, for Rs800 (I loved the style). But that shoe, though I do wear it everyday to drive, is already having the trim on the espadrille wedge heel unraveling!

Yep, the sole is unraveling! Already!

My go-to shoes,
be it summer or winter
Contrast with the ballet flats I got from ALDO back in May 2011 - shoes that I must've walked miles in (grocery aisles and shopping malls), that I drove with all the time, that have been plunged into rainwater puddles more times than I can count during our rainy summers. State of those Kelli flats? Except for some scuff marks on the tip (that go away with some shoe polish), the shoes are almost like new.

My point being - ALDO has proved itself to me by now. I might get great stuff at other places (like, Longchamp for bags and Bella Donna for designer shoes), but I'll always, always go back to ALDO for what I need.

Reason? Because ALDO gives me value!

The perfect beach/summer
And that, my dear writer friends, is what readers are looking for from you - VALUE!

My bestie knows I'm a book junkie so she sent me my birthday gift in the form of an Amazon gift card. I went on a total rampage, and got tons of books.

But what made me choose one book over another?

Simple - based on the Value of what the author/read would bring me.

I look for light-hearted comedy usually when I shop for books, and some names are a given for me. Example, Jill Mansell, Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes.
Each one of these authors is sure to bring me what I'm looking for - a good time with lots of twists and turns in an engaging read where I can lose myself. All 3 of them have proven to me that they deliver consistent value every single time, and it is now with eyes closed that I snatch up their books when a new one comes out.

Ask yourself this question - what value do you bring to a reader when you put a story out?

More than saving money, people look for Value out there in whatever they are consuming.

Why else do you think organic foodstuff is so hot right now? Because consumers know what they are getting from these goods - no chemicals, a return to traditional rearing, like it always should have been. This in turn will not affect their health adversely. Yes, organic costs more, but do you see people blinking twice before buying organic stuff? No. Because they know the value they'll get from these goods, and value is what they're after!

Here ends my ramblings, peeps! I believe I've found the key to unlock the secrets of what I should be offering to my audience. It just might happen that this same key unlocks the secret to what will work for you, too.

From Mauritius with love,



LaVerne Thompson said...

Great post! And rejoice at turning 30. It was one of my best years. And I love your shoe collection. You have great taste.

Zee Monodee said...

Thanks, LaVerne! A new page of my life is starting with 30, true.

And glad you like the shoes - they're my vice & my indulgence :)


Unknown said...

Awesome, awesome post that I'm going to have to share, darling! VALUE and QUALITY - this is what keeps 'em coming for more! In other words...consistency! Love this. xx

Alissa Baxter said...

Thanks for a wonderful post, Zee. What you say is so true! And belated Happy Birthday! Hope you had a wonderful day and that the upcoming year is full of blessings :-)

Kathy Bosman said...

What a fun post, Zee! Those are some serious heals there! I'm such a naff with heals - can barely wear anything other than flats. My hubby bought me a healed boot last winter which I wore twice and moaned the whole time from the pain. I'm going to try so hard this winter to wear them again. Maybe I'll get used to them.

Love your handbags. I want a new handbag for my birthday soon - something bigger that can hold more. I need to show my family the list of what you keep in yours because they tease me about mine.

Alexa said...

Good advice!

D L Jackson said...

My youngest son got me a Coach handbag for Christmas. I think that's the first time I ever squealed when I opened a gift. I'd also like to add it's great when you get more than you expected. Thanks for sharing, and love the shoes.

Zee Monodee said...

Thanks, sis!

Yep, in other words, deliver quality and keep this offering consistent :)


Zee Monodee said...

Thanks Alissa.

Lol, the day was great, and thank you for those lovely weishes. xoxo

Zee Monodee said...

Lol, Kathy! I recently got back into the heels' game. When my son was smaller, it used to be flats and slip flops so I could run around the shops after him.

Try using one of those party feet gel cushions under the arch of your sole. They ease the strain when wearing heels esp when you're not used to them.

And lol about the handbag - that's just off the top of my head. You'd prolly find more stuff if you really went looking :)


Zee Monodee said...

Thanks, Alexa! xoxo

Zee Monodee said...

D, I love coach bags! They are the bomb!

And true about getting more than you expected - definitely a warm fuzzy feeling. :)


Unknown said...

Great, fun post, Zee! I love the shoes - unfortunately, with my duties as a mom on the run, I'm usually in flats. As for turning 30 ... a BIG happy birthday! Embrace the thirties - I'm LOVING the confidence, peace and joy that has come with this age bracket!

Zee Monodee said...

Rae, I'm only now getting to your comment *sorry!*

I remember the "Mummy on the run" years - I wore nothing but Ipanema by Gisele Bundchen flip flops and sandals, and always, always flats back then. I rejoiced the day I could stop chasing around little kids playing Fast&Furious with shopping carts in the aisles! :)

I'm finding I love the thirties, too. It's like I can give myself permission to just be me now, if that makes sense.