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Selling Valuable Experiences

October 15, 2014

Every business strives to deliver value. Many even say so in their brand/company name, mission statement, and/or tagline. We are bombarded by the word hundreds, if not thousands of times each day – so often that we de-value and ignore the word itself.

Like the adage says about beauty; Value is in the eye of the beholder. But this is an impossible metric to quantify; and an even more impossible thing to scale. In spite of it being impossible; businesses sell on ‘value’ every day.

Value can be shown through larger sizes or smaller sizes; heavier weight or lighter weight; faster deliveries; plastic vs metal; metal vs plastic; custom options; permanence; disposability; and so on. Value is about what we, the consumer, consider being worth money. More and more, we are leaning towards things that create memorable experiences.

In order to sell valuable experiences we must connect on a human level with customers and take time to listen to their needs, wants and desires. Here are a couple very different examples of how one might experience Van Gogh’s Starry Night:

300px-Van_Gogh_-_Starry_Night_-_Google_Art_Project

Art.com offers a poster for $9.99 (shipping not included).
Does this sound like a good value? You can mount it on your wall with a couple thumbtacks or bits of tape and experience it every day.

At $25.00 (transportation not included) you can get a ticket for the Museum of Modern Art and see the original. Here, you will also get to se lots of incredible works of art and will likely leave with a greater appreciation for art, or even in a state of inspiration to create your own work. On your way out, you can stop by the gift shop and purchase a poster to re-inspire you for another $26. Chances are, that you will be more inclined to put this poster in a frame than the one bought online, because you value the experience of seeing the original.

Some estimates of the original say that it is valued at over $100 Million. Owning it would be an entirely different experience altogether!

Works of art are truly one of a kind and last a long time, so some consider this a very unique situation. Cheeseburgers on the other hand are pretty consistent from one maker to another; ground meat, melted cheese, bun, and a variety of fixin’s. Since the actual cheeseburger will only last a day or two, it’s value is much more about the experience.

Nearly every fast-food drive-through offers a cheeseburger at $0.99 on their Value Menu.

One of my favorite burgers is nearly $20.00. It is really tasty, and I don’t mind admitting that part of the reason I go to Proof On Main is for the service, ambiance, art, and experience of it.

Finally there is the Paris Las Vegas’, Le Burger Brasserie, where you can get a cheeseburger for $777.00! I have yet to try it out, but I am certain that it will be a memory I value for a lifetime.

Regardless of what the actual item you are selling, people want an experience. Take a moment to make it special for them while being authentic to you.

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2 Comments
  1. David,

    No one can tell us what we should value. Each of us may value something completely different. I can understand the $20 burger, completely. On the other hand, I know folks who would think that is highway robbery.

    Cheers,
    Marc

    • Exactly true Marc. Thanks for the comment.

      Purely for ‘research’, part of me does want to try that $777 burger

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