What’s the true definition of value?

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Do you see the old woman with the nose or the young lady with her head turned?
Do you see the old woman or the young lady with the feather with her head turned?

Last week my wife decided that our ten year old purple couch, with the worn fabric and small baby vomit stains we’ve never been able to remove, needed to go. Besides the obvious failings, it didn’t seat enough people and guests in our home would often have to sit Indian style (or should that be criss cross applesauce?) on the floor in the living room.

So, as husbands must do, I spent several days last weekend trying to make my wife happy. We shopped. We labored. (I labored and she directed) We improvised. We stressed. We re-did. The living room looks better because of it.

While shopping on Saturday for the perfect coffee table, one of the stores we visited was Value City. While the quality of the furniture wasn’t on the level with the Williams-Sonoma home collection, it was still nice and the store displayed well. My beef about that store is the word value in the name.

Value. It’s a tricky word. Its varied meanings remind me of a famous optical illusion photo where depending on how you viewed it, you could see either the young lady with her head turned or an older one with her face forward, her nose large and protruding.

The various definitions of value:

: the amount of money that something is worth : the price or cost of something

: something that can be bought for a low or fair price

: usefulness or importance


Value means many different things to those on different sides of the conversation. Creating value? Doesn’t value mean cheap? How does one measure what something is worth? Who determines the low price that’s fair?

Remember everyone, marketing is not a battle of products, it’s a battle of perceptions.

What’s your definition of value?
What’s your definition of value?

You must create value and make people believe it’s the best value.

You can’t rely on true facts to create it. All that exists in the world of marketing are perceptions of what something is worth in the minds of our prospects. Their perception of that value is the reality.

If people don’t find enough value in your product, they won’t buy it. If you don’t create enough value in your product, people won’t buy it. Price your apartments with a value that’s too low and you cheapen it. After their experience in your apartment over the past year, does enough value keep them there for another? It’s the old lady with the nose and the young one with the hair feather. Two sides of the coin. Two ways of looking at the same picture.

I’m hoping you’re going to look at the word value differently now.

Happy renting everyone.

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