As we are moving from the Attention Web to an Everyday Life, where technology and communication are integrated parts, providing additional deliberate value becomes increasingly important in companies marketing initiatives – as opposed to attention, interest and interruption. But what is “value”?
After posting a slidedeck on value as the new currency of marketing (found at the bottom of the post, or here), I’ve gotten some interesting question regarding what I mean by value. I’ll try to explain:
It starts with the original intention behind the company and it’s products:
Products are the result of someone seeing an opportunity to create something that will add value to an existing situation. To keep it very simple, let’s say as an example this situation is exercising and the product is a dumbbell.
Now, during most part of the owner’s ordinary day the dumbbell on its own is relatively worthless and uninteresting, but when the owner wants to exercise its function inside the situation of exercising makes it pretty important.
The dumbbell belongs to the situation of exercising and everything that is related to this situation. The situation becomes a context.
- Context: “the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed.”
– Apple Dictionary
Now what I’m saying is that all products are designed to create a natural value inside a context. For the dumbbell it’s the effect it lends to the act of the exercise.
The dumbbell belongs to the context of exercising, and the brand (in the case of this example) does as well.
Now the new opportunities in digital belong to two categories: the Exchange of Ideas (Social Media) and Utilities. The best ideas come from the arenas were these two converge, but for the sake of clarity, I’ll explain it as two exclusive concepts:
Exchange of ideas
In social media people like to talk about stuff, things that are important to them. A lot of people like to talk about exercising. Now what we see is that people want to share things in order to have something to talk about, and companies have a lot of stuff to share. This is value: Something interesting or useful that people like to share in order to ignite a conversation. The company behind the dumbbell can create value on social media through sharing their valuable content.
In the context of exercising we are offering a product (a dumbbell) that adds value. Now exercising is a complex thing, and contains a lot of activities and operations that can be “helped” in addition to what the product itself can offer (the product on its own only offers added effect to the act of exercising itself). As an example this could be an exercising diary for registering dumbbell activity, or something outside of the exercising context with shared values: a healthy living eating plan, registering calories and giving you feedback on “needed” dumbbell activity in order to burn of appropriate amount of calories.
Now I agree, the examples aren’t that great, but hopefully they give a clear idea of what value is. The thing to understand is that this has so little to do with our traditional perception of communication, because it enters the concept of marketing from the other side. It’s not about the company finding new ways to talk about their stuff. The goal is to understand people’s everyday life, and how our product (or brand) can become an important and valuable part of that.
I’ll try to sum it up in a sentences:
- Value is:
Adding something to an experience, making it better, enhancing it or adding new concepts to it.
I believe it’s important to take notice, because the new marketing landscape is about earning ownership of the experiences where your products are used and brands are shaped. And Losing on these arenas has far greater consequences than loosing out in a standard format banner ad space.