On Creating Intangible Value and Tinkering with Perception
Or, the beauty of advertising and illusion
Many problems can be solved by altering perception rather than reality. If there are fewer material goods then why not supplement intrinsic value with intangible value to make the overall value greater?
Some problems of how to increase value may have an expensive material engineering solution but perhaps the better and less costly solution can be accomplished by an ad man rather than an engineer.
Why mess with reality when its easier and less expensive to deal with perception? What about placebos in general? If they work then why not use them? Placebos are less expensive than what they replace. If placebos have any side effects – they can only be imaginary so how could they harm anyone? What about placebo education? Convince people that they are well-educated and they will have the self-confidence and high self-esteem needed to succeed without really having a very good education at all.
Can you change consumption habits by tinkering with perception? What is undesirable can become desireable and what was desireable can become undesirable. How’s that Hummer in your driveway?
How do we change material goods without changing them? How do we increase the perceived value of a product without really changing the product in the slightest? Is a diamond shape higher value than a square? Is a diamond and a square only a matter of perception?
Real value may not be created by making material goods through labor and engineering. Real value may be the manufacture of value through illusion and alchemy – as an act of creation by illusion – much more expedient and of greater economic efficiency than producing material goods in a factory by traditional physical labor. If we have limited material goods then why not enhance their value simply through changes in perception?
Watch Rory Sutherland at TED – Life Lessons of an ad man