The Eight Value Pillars

The Eight Value Pillars

Fundamentally, there are only 8 elements that humans value, which means there are 8 elements that people are willing to pay for.  These are wired into our brains for the most part.  Keep in mind that one of the key points about perceived value is that it is unique to each of us.  Someone might value a product feature highly, while another person wouldn't care if it wasn't part of the product at all.  Yet, fundamentally, we all intrinsically look for certain families of value.  The following list is my view of these families that I've tailored over more than two decades of pricing and value experience.

Power & Prosperity - The desire for power, influence, and wealth. This includes economic gains, hierarchical power, functional power, market share growth, share price growth, etc.  The most common features/products that fall into this bucket are making or saving money.

Knowledge & Capability - Gaining the knowledge and capability to complete a task in the manner desired by yourself or those in power.  This includes data, insight, courses, reporting, etc.  We are also just curious creatures and many times like to just learn about something new.  Education is the largest category in this pillar.

Simplicity & Productivity - This pillar is primarily about tools.  Things like hardware and software.  It's also about process improvement.  Saving time.  Saving effort.  Less In, More Out.  Making something more effective by changing the process.  This could be something as basic as a hammer or having a LEAN Six Sigma overhaul on a process.

Prevention & Protection - Humans don't like losing things of value.  They also like to feel safe.  This pillar is about preventing losses occurring and protecting us from the impact of the loss when it does occur.   Risk reduction, Insurance, Security, and Durability are a few of the categories of products that fall under this pillar.

Availability & Choice - While we value reducing risk, we also value increasing flexibility.  We like to be able to access the things we want to get into.  We like to be able to customize products or experiences to our needs.  We prefer to have 70 crayons over 50... just in case we want that unique color.

Image & Acceptance - Humans are social creatures.  We tend to care about what others think of us.  The same goes for businesses and their brand image.  Products and services that help a person or business achieve the image or reputation they desire are very valuable.

Health & Well-Being - Being physically and mentally fit is an important part of being human that is definitely valued.  For example, food, drinks, exercise equipment, medications, etc. are all things that help us survive longer.  There are some massive industries that cater to this value pillar.

Pleasure & Desire - Sometimes we just want things.  For example, someone might have wanted something since they were a child, but maybe it doesn't add any value beyond that.  There are industries built around pleasure and desire as well, such as the amusement industry, adult industry, and even recreational drugs.  Or, it could be as simple as liking a piece of art that you will put on your wall and no-one will ever see but you and it will not increase in value.

That is a very quick overview of the eight pillars of value.  However, I hope this has helped with your understanding of what can drive perceived value for both business and consumers.  If you want to make more money, add value to these pillars!