Rollo recently posted an essay where he talks about the concept of value added, more specifically about a tendency among women to conflate their sexual market value with their worth as a human being. This is largely a function of women having reduced themselves to sexual commodities, and one key characteristics of a commodity in a market is that there is little if any differentiation. For instance, if I were to purchase aluminum ingots or oil in the spot market, no company really offers a differentiated product, they are all sold based on lowest cost. In the same manner, if the only thing being “sold” in the sexual market place is the act of sex, one could argue that such a product is largely undifferentiated.
Naturally, for the act of sex one prefers a packaging that is aesthetically pleasing, this goes for both men and women. In today’s online sexual market place, it doesn’t matter much how great your personality is, as most purchasing processes start with determining whether a product passes the hurdle rate for appearance, and then if it does one explores other product features.
Much of product design is based on an idea for a product, and then after the idea generation and prototyping phases, one comes up with the value proposition to the market. My preference is to begin with a market analysis, and then creating the product, in order to ensure that will be customers for the product. It is generally also much cheaper to conduct market research than it is to develop products. From this approach, one can develop a good sense of the market in which one will operate, and which product characteristics are important to the potential customer base. One can even identify the price ceiling, potential volumes and various other important input to the product design process.
If one compares Vodka to Whiskey for instance, the former is ethanol and water, the latter is also ethanol and water, but the process of production has a large influence on the end-product. Vodka is differentiated 90% using brand building and marketing. Whiskey is differentiated in the same manner, however, much of the marketing is based on differences in the production process. These differences range from the grain bill (malt, rye, corn, etc), malt processing (peat levels), type of distillation (pot still or column still) time spent cask aging, type of casks that the whiskey has been aged in, and single malt vs. blended. Continue reading