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The Value Story
During Tulip Mania, the new merchant class who wanted their gardens to reflect their newfound success, is said to have traded acres of land for a single flower bulb. The scarcer the bulbs became, the more valuable they were perceived to be. As a commodity, the tulip’s inherent value was derived from the fact that there were more buyers than tulips.
It wasn’t a sustainable business model.
Today we live in an age of abundance, where it’s becoming more difficult to sustainably create value with a purely status driven, scarcity strategy. Luxury brands like Gucci, Prada and Ralph Lauren are experiencing tough times as they struggle to remain relevant and profitable.
All business success depends on the business’s value creation story aligning with the customer’s value story. We not only succeed by being important and useful to our customers. We win by being worthy of their time, attention and financial outlay. Our brands become valuable not simply by creating value in the moment, but by valuing and adapting to the changing narrative of the people we serve.
It’s pointless shouting about how great your tulips are to a customer who wants to grow thyme.
Image by Hammerin Man