Just as I was about to leave for my WeWork space this morning, I received a notification in the App that there is an Internet issue at the work space with the chance that there might not be any Internet connectivity for the entire day. I had a choice of staying back at home and working, or proceeding to WeWork.
I ended up taking the latter option. While walking to the space, I started thinking – what is the intrinsic value of a co-working space, especially for freelancers?
Clearly it’s not just the Internet connection. Almost everyone these days has a reliable internet connection at home or through their mobile devices. It could be the work desk, but then again, most people these days have a space at home to keep their laptops and work. It could be the coffee, though nothing beats the cheap and tasty filter coffee served at Udupi restaurants, at least in Bangalore and Chennai.
My opinion is that, at least in the case of WeWork, it is something else that is more than the sum of its parts. Yes, we know that WeWork has had its issues, but my experience from the past three weeks is that they definitely offer something of value that is not easy to break down. And that is what Brand is all about. It’s the whole experience that’s of value, not specific components such as Internet or coffee (though those definitely help!).
And I think there’s a lesson there for all businesses looking to build their Brand. Brand building is not about splashing a lot of money in advertising. It’s about finding your unique value proposition and delivering that consistently. That will drive the virtuous cycle of satisfied customers, positive work of mouth and more new customers.
And, by the way, the Internet connection was back up within thirty minutes!