By Jenny Fujita and Joy K. Miura, Fujita & Miura Public Relations

Today, if your widget has only one use, it’s not likely to get a lot of consumer support or attention. Cell phones now have PDAs, cameras, and email capabilities. Universal remote controls can turn an assortment of home entertainment equipment on and off. Many vehicles are now equipped with computers, GPSs, TV screens, and DVD players. Even defense contractors are aiming their research and development efforts towards “dual use technologies,” which can be used by both the government and civilian world. The shopping public seems to want a bang for their buck. Two-for-one deals used to be a bargain. Now consumers expect to get three-, four-, or more-for-one for their money.

If you make and sell widgets, think about how you can give your customers added benefits by combining product features so that they serve more than one purpose. If you provide a service, think about how your expertise can be applied to accomplish more than one goal for your client. In terms of PR, consider what makes your communications methods better than the next guy’s. For example, when sending electronic press releases to the media, provide reporters with links to websites and email addresses so they can easily access additional information. Employee and consumer newsletters could include coupons, tips, and surveys, and be delivered via postal mail as well as email. Furthermore, any type of credible alliance or partnership, such as testimonials or co-hosting an event, that you can form and portray in your communications increases your saturation and elevates your reputation.

Whatever you do, figure out a way to pack all the value you can into your product or service and you’ll come out ahead. If you’re not sure what added benefits you can offer, ask a colleague for ideas. After all, two heads are…well, you know the rest.

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