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Key Idea: Charge More and Demand More Than Your Competition

eHarmony was late to the matchmaking business. This gave them a chance to learn from others and as a result they developed a completely unique product.

Key Question:

A: 

Figure out how to be unique. In this case, eHarmony is the most expensive service in its market.  They first started in business to teach the principles found in Dr. Warren's book, Finding the Love of Your Life. Yet, being late to enter the field of online dating had its advantages. First, they could look at what everybody else was doing and do it better and differently. Second, they could brand themselves not as a dating site but as the place to found a spouse.  The need for this service came out of Dr. Warren's research that showed that most singles do want to be married.

Q: How is it that they are winning customers by being the most expensive and the most time consuming of all the match services on the web?

A: Singles are exhausted by the dating process. The quick and the cheap has already been tried and there is a group of singles that have been burned by quick and cheap online services. Also, plenty of men have told us that dating is expensive because women want to be taken to very nice places. Not only do men have to fork over hard earned dollars to go on a date with someone that they have no idea will be a good long-term match for them, they have to spend hours on the date.

Let's just think about the price first. Spending $49 a month or $249 for a year to use eHarmony could save a guy hundreds of dollars and plenty of Friday nights. For a woman, the money invested in eHarmony is more about safety than about saving on the cost of dating. By letting eHarmony match them and screen potential dates when two singles who decide to meet in person do so it is only after the relationship has been somewhat established. The cost of the service is worth the reduction in risk it provides.

If time is the #1 commodity that no one seems to have enough of, why would an eHarmony customer be happy to invest over an hour in the first step of the process?
 
And though it only took us one hour to answer the 436 questions for the personality profile, we know people who have taken as long as three hours to complete the questionnaire.

Of course, time is not an issue to singles looking for their soul mate.  The goal to is to get married to the right person. Everybody knows the pain of divorce and to find that right personand is easily worth the time. For many, it is the only unfulfilled expectation. People often have the best job and live at the best address but they are alone and they don't want to be alone.

eHarmony has set itself apart. As Dr. Buckwalter says, they are far more than any typical dating service.

Think about it

What can you do to make price irrelevant? Should you raise your prices? What would you have to do to your product or service that would allow you to raise your price?

Clip from: eHarmony

Pasadena, California:  Meet Dr. Neil Clark Warren. He has always been an excellent marriage counselor;  failures in marriage bothered him.  He decided to look into the broken heart of divorce. He probed and researched 512 couples -- divorce autopsies -- and discovered most of these people married the wrong person. He wrote a book about it and that book was selling well, until Oprah invited him to come on her show. Of course, sales exploded. When his son-in-law challenged him to expand his reach, they took that business to the web and almost lost everything.  That was 2001; the dot.coms had become dot.bombs.

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eHarmony

Neil Clark Warren, Founder

300 N. Lake Ave.
Suite 1111
Pasadena, CA 91101
6267954814

Visit our web site: http://eharmony.com/

Office: 6267954814

Business Classification:
Service

Year Founded: 2000

Charge More and Demand More Than Your Competition

HATTIE: (Voiceover) At eHarmony.com, anyone can take the free personality profile. Answer the 436 questions. And what is easy to use and seems like common sense today is the result of decades of work by Neil Clark Warren.

NEIL: (Voiceover) People come to therapy after they're in deep trouble. And so I saw so many marriages die. And so I started saying, jiminy Christmas, you know.

HATTIE: Is that depressing?

NEIL: Oh very depressing. I want to try to understand, why did these marriages die, so, I did 512 divorce autopsies. Now this is an effort to look at why the marriage died, just the way you look at a patient who died physically.

And, and I'd go way back. I would court information. I'd court people to give me information, kids and everything. Why did the marriage die? In 75 percent of the cases, in those 512 divorce autopsies, I found that the marriage was in deep trouble the day it began.

GREG FORGATCH: We formed Neil Clark Warren & Associates to take a book he wrote, Finding The Love Of Your Life, landed among Oprah, it's now in 17 language, nearly a million copies sold and that message of how to choose a marriage partner, we were going to teach singles across the country. And, so we started developing teaching tools to do just that.

NEIL: I held 150 seminars, all over the country. Wrote the book and so forth, thought that was enough, just to educate them. And then the people started coming to me and saying, the women would say, are there any good men out there? I mean, now you told me how to choose between a bad man and a good man, but I don't meet very many men. And men would say the same thing, "Are there any good women out there?"

GREG FORGATCH: Well we thought, l"Let's build teaching materials." How do we leverage them? How do we take what Neil does in a seminar -- get him out of the airplane and taxi and all the travel which you know how hard that is-- and package him into video, audio, and testing instruments?
 
How do we mass market? ...franchise Dr. Neil Clark Warren and his teachings?

HATTIE: There you go.

GREG FORGATCH: And in doing so, we also said let's wholesale. If there's a dating service industry, which at the time was offline, let's wholesale to them. It was the walk-in brick and mortar, we'll help get you set up with somebody or you look through books and you find somebody. Let's give them these teaching tools, shouldn't they be great promoters of this material to the audience that we're really trying to get to. What a great way to wholesale and thus distribute our teaching materials in greater volume than one at a time through mass marketing directly to singles.

HATTIE: Did that work?

GREG FORGATCH: ... the communication, to the population. It didn't work.

HATTIE: I mean, the reason I know it didn't work is that there's turf we're talking about here.

GREG FORGATCH: There's turf. When they have only so many dollars they think they're going to extract out of their consumers.
 
 
 
 

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