Economics is about deciding what’s valuable. What the world needs now is to have more value added to it. And that’s what your business must do — add value to the world — if you want to lead a market in the post-marketing world.
Value Creation is fundamental to the healthy functioning of our free-market economy. Like the natural law of gravity, creating new value is the natural law of increase. People are always seeking “an increase” to their lives — always wanting to be a higher, more fuller expression of themselves. They seek out and purchase only products and services that best represent their shared values.
What forward-thinking entrepreneurs need to do to build a leading business.
Embrace crazy ideas:
Everything that ever was, is now, and ever will be is at first a formless thought seed in the imagination of a creative mind. Many of the products we can’t live without today started out as crazy ideas– automobiles, airplanes, personal computing, digital music and entertainment, smartphones, the social web – stuff nobody needed or was asking for, but once realized was just the thing they we’re waiting for. All the stuff that has changed how we live in the world begins as a formless crazy idea. Crazy ideas are always more richly embedded with game changing opportunity than safe ideas. A safe idea is the one you can “prove will work” before it takes form in the world. Few if any great innovations were proven in advance.
Innovate around a higher meaning:
Creating new value always involves proposing new or unexpected meanings. What matters most to people is not the function or performance of a given product, but their emotional, psychological and cultural connection to what the product means to them.
New value is in the “meaning” not in the physical thing. People don’t just buy product, they buy into a higher meaning. This unexpected idea, unsolicited by user needs, once discovered, turns out to be the very thing people were waiting for, just not asking for. Nobody was asking for an iPod, Facebook, baked potato chips, the Swiffer, or any other product innovation that has redefined or reinvented a category.
Forget user-centered innovation:
With so many such examples in every industry to benchmark from, I am surprised most entrepreneurs don’t seem to “get it”. Most are heavily invested in traditional market innovation – finding a consumer need and filling it. Many entrepreneurs are focused on how their new product / service innovation has more buttons and is easier to use, has more features and is cheaper than the leading competitior. A radical innovation of meaning rarely, if ever, comes from incremental improvements or user-centered approaches. Most companies continue to improve incremental performance within existing market concepts they know well– leaving only a few visionary companies to gain competitive advantage (market leadership) by proposing new and different meanings.
The message of hope.
Value creator entrepreneurs and business leaders are guided by a higher purpose beyond money-making… they earn and deserve the advocacy of high value customers because they represent an “increase to life” itself. In our post-marketing-social-media world, consumers create communities based on shared values. Businesses can’t add values to the world unless they have them.
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