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The Essence of Value

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The Essence of Value

Secrets of desired products. 80 inspiring strategies for creative companies


15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Objects have no intrinsic value. Their value derives from people’s reactions to them – here codified by 80 parameters of value.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


Objects have no intrinsic value. Their value depends on the reactions of people who observe them. Mario Pricken catalogs the factors that people consider valuable. He analyzed 300 different products, artworks, events and organizations to discover 80 different “parameters” that signify value to consumers, collectors, and others. Planners and developers can refer to these parameters to instill value in their offerings. Pricken’s book is beautifully illustrated, entertaining and fascinating. getAbstract recommends his insight and approach to product designers, developers, marketers, branders, CEOs, media professionals, and anyone who wants to imbue a product or service with increased value.


Observers Determine Value

Every object’s value depends on its observer. A woman planning to buy a pair of shoes projects value onto them. Besides the shoes’ design and the quality of the material used to make them, value may involve the woman’s taste, dreams and desires. Such value is subjective: an optical illusion. Imagine that only one store in the world offers this particular pair of shoes. Imagine that the store is on a tiny island and that one day the island and all the people who know about the shoes vanish beneath the ocean. Now the shoes lie at the bottom of the sea. No one cares about them. Their value disappears, like the island, the people, the store and the shoes themselves.

Value’s provenance is “coevolutionary.” It depends on the object and the observer, who together establish value. The greater the number of observers who value an object, the greater is its value. Value rests on at least 80 separate, identified, “visible and invisible parameters,” though more may exist. These 80 parameters constitute the “value catalog.”

The 80 identified parameters appear in multiple cultures and most have applied since ancient times. Objects of great value always...

About the Author

Creativity and innovation expert and consultant Mario Pricken wrote the bestseller Creative Advertising, a standard work in the field. He also wrote Visual Creativity and Creative Strategies.

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