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In hard-headed, rational commercial environments where tangible advantages are sought in order to make the books balance, we often overlook the value of our products and services being more than commodities. Everything a customer chooses to exchange time, attention or money for says something about who they are. Purchases are forms of self-expression. What we choose to invest in or own is an outward reflection of our internal narrative about who we are and what we value.
The product you’re trying to market is more than the sum of its features and benefits. For example, a car becomes more than a car when it’s part of the driver’s story. The car my husband drives is a ten-year-old, 1.1 litre Yaris with hundreds of kilometres on the clock. We bought it when we moved to Australia and shipped it interstate when we relocated. All three of our boys learned to drive in that little car. For better or worse, I don’t see us parting with the Yaris anytime soon.
The goal of every innovator and marketer is to create the thing that is not just more reliable or useful, but the one that is more meaningful in the life of the customer than he expected it to be.
Image by Bass n’ Roll.