April 15, 2020

Value is subjective, COVID-19 edition

Sent by Jonathan Stark on April 15th, 2020

Have you bought anything in the last few weeks that you had never considered buying before?

My family sure has.

The most public example is a basketball hoop that we bought to put in the driveway so our kids would have something fun to do outside during quarantine.

Why did I suddenly decide to buy a basketball hoop?

No, no, and no.

What changed was my context.

Here’s the thing…

Value is not an inherent property of a product or service. Value is subjective, and therefore contextual. This is why lots of people will pay ten times more for a beer at a sunny baseball game than they would at a store.

Value can seem like it’s an inherent quality of a product or service when your context changes very little. Especially if there are loads of people in the market who operate in a similar context.

But this is an illusion.

When the context changes, the value changes.

The question to ask yourself is, what has changed contextually for your clients? What has suddenly gone down in value to them? And more importantly, what has suddenly gone up?