Is value in the eye of the beholder?
It is difficult to discuss business and innovation without discussing value as well.
But what is value?
If you look hard enough in your dictionary of choice, you might find value described as the quality that renders something desirable or the quality of being useful or important.
For our needs it is prudent to distinguish business value from the customer value.
Business value is usually easier to define since most of the businesses will strive for positive financial result. Hence, if something helps business improve its financial performance, without infringing on the organisation's vision, it might be valuable.
Customer value is something that organisations keep struggling with, especially in buyer's markets. Key insight is that we must learn what the customer values most instead of trying to force them to accept what we think they would value.
That can be learned by deeply understanding the customers' goals, desired outcomes, and intentions. Once we quantify that information we can use it as input to our innovation—i.e. value creation—process to create something that customer truly values. And is willing to pay for.
Value is indeed in the eye of the beholder.
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