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If you’ve been reading this for a while you know I’m a big David Ogilvy fan.

But there’s someone else working at Ogilvy to this day, who I believe is a true marketing genius.

Enter Rory Sutherland.

He’s the Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather UK and the author of the brilliant book “Alchemy” (where do you think I got the name for my business?).

Anyway, I was listening to a recent interview where Rory was talking about the concept of value and how it relates to marketing and advertising.

Value is not a physical element. It’s not precisely quantifiable. And it’s subjective.

The only way for you to really understand how much your customers value your product is to put a price tag on it and see if they buy it.

Then test and iterate on it.

But it goes way deeper than this.

Here are 3 concepts that stood out from that interview:

1) Value can be created in the mind as much as in the factory.

In other words, it is as important to create perceived value (in the mind) as it is to create objective value (in the factory). Without the first one, you won’t sell. Without the second one, you’ll soon go out of business.

But the other important factor at play here, is to understand that you can actively create value in the minds of people. It’s not something that happens as a byproduct of selling something good.

You do it with good ideas generated from research and empathy, good copy and good positioning.

Ok, moving on….

2) “If it makes things feel more valuable, is it a con?”

Big controversy here.

If what you’re doing is merely increasing perceived value when in reality it’s just that, a feeling, are you messing with people’s minds?

That all depends on the soundness of your product to begin with.

Sure it might not be as unique or as revolutionary. But is it “good” and worth paying for?

Always ask yourself that. If you can make the decision of touching up the perceived value with that confidence, people will buy.

And finally…

3) “The worst thing you can do is creating under-appreciated value.”

On the other hand, the “build it and they will come” philosophy is unlikely to work, unless you actually have an argument for why people should buy.

There’s too much competition nowadays for anything.

You have to stand out.

And if the only way to do that is to create value in the minds of people, that’s what you gotta do.

No shame in that.

On the contrary, you should see it as a way to tell your story.

Story sells when it resonates.

Create your value in the “factory”, then make the right people appreciate it “in their minds”.

A lot of my clients do the first part very well but need help with the second.

Are you one of them? Get in touch.

brain dump?

Every week I write about what I’m learning at my copywriting/UX desk ,with fun, insightful and quirky stories.

Let’s nerd about decision making, persuasion, habits, and conversion optimization.