Establishing Elusive Value

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The practice of selling empty value hurts the consumer that invested into the asset/value box they thought was filled with a solution to their every day problem, but turned out to be empty.

Important: It’s important to remember that not all value is created the same and there may not be a monetary exchange. Sometimes, where one person may think a product/service/asset has no value, it may actually have a lot of value to someone else for a different reason than the first person thought of or identified in their research.

Why value is so elusive

Have you ever heard the term “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”? Value goes hand in hand with that saying.

For example: A digital nomad may not find any value in a gym membership, but a weight-lifter will find value in one. Just like a weight-lifter may not find any value in a $25 per month nationwide portable router with 30 GB data, but a digital nomad more than likely will.

Once you’ve matched the consumer that values a product/service the most, you then have to dissect several other sub-values to verify the absolute best, over-all value, for each individual.

For example: A full-time RVer finds some value in RV parks, but not all RV parks are created equal. They have different amenities, attractions, and price-points. If a full-time RVer can not afford the most expensive RV park, they more than likely will not find value in it due to budget restrictions. They will, however, find value in RV parks with amenities under $350 per mo..

Matching the right value with the right consumer can be challenging for most and not everyone can master it.

Different types of value

Value comes in so many different variants, that it can boggle the mind when you really think about it. For instance, here’s just a few different kinds of value:

  • Monetary Value
    • Sub-Value: Liquidity, Material Quality, Antiquity, etc.
  • Health Value
    • Sub-Value: Nutritional, Extended life, Healing, etc.
  • Educational Value
    • Sub-Value: Certification, Degree, New Skill-Set, etc.
  • Title Value
    • Sub-Value: Owner, President, CEO, etc.
  • Emotional Value
    • Sub-Value: Happiness, Love, Passion, etc.

The list goes on and on. You can pretty much match just about everything to a category and various sub-categories of value and that’s not counting short-term and long-term value considerations. Remember, what is not perceived as value to one person may be the most valuable to another and vise versa.

For instance, one person may find more value in monetary gain than educational or emotional, while someone else may find more value in a loving marriage/partnership than being single and going through life alone without anyone telling them what to do, except their boss at work.

Identifying Value

This is one of those psychologically digestible situations in life where the best answer is, “It’s complicated”. As you saw above, value goes in many different directions with their own set of categories and sub-categories of an individuals distinct perception of value.

Whether you are a business looking to establish value that benefits the consumer or you are a consumer looking for the best value offered by a business, the process of identifying value remains relatively the same.

To simplify things (which is a form of value itself, simplification, making it easier to process or digest), you start with the core value first.

Consumers

Start with core values: Monetary Value, Health Value, Title, Value, Emotional Value, and Educational Value.

Then identify your targeted sub-value: Liquidity, Material Quality, Antiquity, Nutritional, Extended life, Healing, Certification, Degree, New Skill-Set, Owner, President, CEO, Happiness, Love, Passion, etc…

Now, expand on your sub-value (Need vs. Want): You generally want to choose a “need” (Definite buy/investment) over a want (Impulse buy/investment), first. As an example, let’s use E.g. Happiness – Do you want to be happy or do you need to be happy? – When dissecting happiness, it’s important to remember that it’s a two-sided coin. Not all things fit into ones (needs) or the others (wants) category and may fit in both, like happiness does.

  • Happiness is a need, because it’s been heavily researched and found to increase the psychological motivation to achieve ones own life goals. It’s so important, that the Columbia University researched it on a global Governmental interest scale. Hunger can also be a psychological motivation factor.
  • Happiness is a want, because most people in their right mind just feel better and enjoy life more when they are feeling happy versus sad or angry all the time. It’s desirable and a natural magnet when it comes to wanting it.

Note: When dealing with two-sided sub-values, remember to stick to your needs more than wants. Thankfully, the value of happiness has positives on both sides of the coin, so it’s easier to choose it as a core value.

Finally, compare your sub-values: E.g. Emotional (Happiness) with your Monetary sub-value (Liquidity), and other sub-values. For example:

  • If you will be happy, gain profit, and move-up in title, but your physical and/or mental health will suffer (Shortening your life-span), where is your core value going to be the most? With the capital gain or a longer life-span?
  • If you will be happy with getting a new car, even though the old one still runs and drives fine, but are cutting it close on your living expenses/bill payments already, that could lead to stress and past due fee’s (Maybe even a repo), is it really of value to buy the new car or keep the old one still doing it’s job?

Everyone’s answers to product/service/asset value questions are going to be slightly different based on the individuals own priorities and perspective of what value actual means to them, deep down.

Businesses

Start with core values: Monetary Value, Health Value, Title, Value, Emotional Value, and Educational Value.

Then identify your target consumers sub-value: Liquidity, Material Quality, Antiquity, Nutritional, Extended life, Healing, Certification, Degree, New Skill-Set, Owner, President, CEO, Happiness, Love, Passion, etc…

Now, expand on your consumers sub-value (Need vs. Want): You generally want to choose a “need” (Definite buy/investment) over a want (Impulse buy/investment), first. As an example, let’s use a E.g. Domain Name – Does the consumer actually need that particular domain name asset or do they simply want it? – When evaluating a domain name asset, it’s important to remember that most domain names are wants and not needs. Not all domain assets have core value.

  • If your target consumer likes it and finds it funny, but it will not provide them with monetary gain, liquidity, etc. and they still have to pay renewals every year + your purchase price on the domain that they may not be able to afford very long, is it a need or a want? Are you helping a consumer by offering an asset that may not help them in the long-term?
  • If your target consumer invests in an asset of yours with researched and established liquidity, can afford a long-hold of renewal fee’s and the initial cost to acquire, but will be unhappy or slightly stressed having to wait 10 to 20 years to double their investment, is that a needed value investment or just one they want? The consumers own emotions will be the true deciding factor on this one even though solid liquid investments are needed throughout life for monetary gains.

Once again, everyone’s answers to product/service/asset value questions are going to be slightly different based on the individuals own priorities and perspective of what value actual means to them, deep down.

The quickest way to figure out what your consumers value the most is to do what businesses have been doing for decades now, start a poll, start a survey, research data that’s been collected by others in your field, look at your own analytical data, etc.

In Conclusion

Remember, a need generally has more value than a want. You may want a $25 steak, but need a $1 value menu at a fast food joint to fit your budget and feed your family today. To someone on a budget, being able to feed their family from a $1 menu provides great value, even though the food they are consuming may not have much health value (long-term) it has affordable sustainability value (Short-term).

Or maybe you’ll find even more value in learning (Educational Value) how to cook for yourself and identify food products you can make that are more cost effective and healthier than a $1 fast food menu. Of course, this means you’ll need to invest in cooking supplies, appliances, etc., so get ready to figure out which one of those has the more value for you next.

The moral of the story is, never buy or sell a valueless item. It doesn’t help you accomplish your needed goals in life and it’s just bad business to sell an empty box with no value inside. The best value is one that actually helps you (Short-term or Long-term).

What are some of your core needed values? Think about it.

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Eric Lyon

Entrepreneur, Freelancer, Domain Investor/Developer, Brand Designer, Brand Manager, Founder of Scorpion Agency™, Founder of OfficeDrift™, And A Father. Since 1996, Eric has managed companies with 240+ employees, online communities with over 1 million members, attended numerous industry related events/conventions and has personally worked with start-ups, personalities, small mom and pop businesses, corporations, freelancers, news outlets, and a variety of domain investors one-on-one from all over the world. That equates to a lot of years behind the scenes with his fingers firmly on the pulse of multiple industries. LinkedIn: Profile/Resume - FaceBook: Profile/Social

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