You’ve probably heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, but you might not have heard about the Elements of Value.

Released by Bain & Company in 2015, the Elements of Value Pyramid is a model that addresses the basic fundamental values that products and services can provide. These are divided into four different categories: the functional, emotional, life changing, and social impact.

Through extensive consumer research over three decades, a total of 30 unique elements have been identified.

But the additional research findings are what make these attributes even more interesting. To summarize some of them:

1. Similar to the concept behind Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1943), the more powerful values are at the top of the pyramid. However, this pyramid is different from Maslow’s in the sense that the product doesn’t need to provide all lower-order elements to deliver the values at the top. In fact, as long as the company provides some basic functional elements, it can also provide more complex elements of value.

2. The more elements companies deliver for their product or service, the greater the number of loyal customers and revenue growth.

3. Quality is an extremely important value for generating loyalty–even more so than other attributes.

4. Engaging consumers through digital channels increases value.

But how does this matter to you?

Monitor the elements that are relevant to your audience

After determining their initial target audience, marketers often forget to go back and monitor the audience’s changing needs and behavior.

With new technological advancements rapidly altering our lifestyles, the target consumer may develop new needs that create an opportunity for the company to deliver additional value.

Take Spotify for example. They identified that a large part of their target consumers listened to music on Spotify while exercising. By developing a streaming feature that detected a runner’s pace and found music to match the tempo, they further tapped into the consumer’s value for motivation.

Your marketing collateral can be designed to communicate these elements of value. Whether a short promotional video or a print ad, your content should highlight how your product addresses the values that are most important to your target consumer.

Are your products and marketing materials cornering the values important to consumers in your industry?

If not, this model may be an extremely useful tool for you to discover other elements of value relevant to your consumer.

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