It’s a summer day. There are thousands of children playing among the rocks. The tide is low and the sea is making small pools where the children swim, play, and most of all, fish.
Once they’ve captured a fish with the crabbing net they put it in the bucket and go for more. When the day is over they return them to the sea.
On a sunny day you can see children touring around, checking the buckets, admiring and commenting on what others have, and telling stories about extraordinary beach events such as the day one of the kids saw a small octopus among the rocks.
Sometimes you can see a small group of children running around in a hurry. They have more advanced tools than the crabbing net and the bucket. Without a doubt, you know that they’re after the big fish.
The rocky summer beach full of children can become quite a competitive and stressful place if you are after a big fish.
No one told them that they had to do it – it was their choice.
Maybe they wanted to be part of the story that children will tell next summer, maybe they wanted to feel important and better than the other children, but one thing is certain: they didn’t need to do it because there were enough fish for everybody.
Hunting the big fish makes sense in their eyes because they think that there are only one or maybe two along the whole beach, and if they are skilful enough to get them they will become a beach legend.
The whole game would be over if the rock pools were full of big fish, because catching one would not be a remarkable or special event.
Scarcity is a powerful belief. It can turn a nice day at the beach into a stressful race.
Similarly, the value that we provide with our business is dependent not on creating the most amazing product or service, but on how people feel about it.
These kids didn’t want a big fish: they wanted to feel important, they wanted to become a legend at the beach, and, if you look at it closely, this is not related to the fish at all.
Your customers don’t want the perfect product but the narrative that they create around it, something they can talk proudly about.