Is whatever people believe it is. Not the sum of the parts, or the hours of labor. Not even the end benefit the product or service provides. The truth is, ‘value’ is a highly subjective measure, and highly-subject to manipulation. It’s less about what something’s worth, and more about what people expect to pay.
Consider the original iPad, which before launching had tech reporters everywhere speculating over sticker price. Most guesses were anchored around $1000. Even Steve Jobs, when publicizing the new product, was careful to point out that “this is something you’d expect to cost $1000.”
Of course, there was no such thing as an iPad before the first ones hit stores. But when we saw the price tag ($499), we were more than willing to fork over the cash. $499 feels like a steal when you’re expecting to pay twice that much. And never mind how much (or how little) it costs Apple to manufacture. When we don’t know what something’s worth, we rely on other people to anchor the price for us.
You can apply this to your own marketing, even if your product or service is offered at similar price points by a dozen competitors. It’s all in the packaging. Just as you’d expect to pay more at a European-sounding store than at a big box like Walmart, some tasteful window dressing (like a beautiful website or a great video), can completely change a prospect’s perception of your worth. It can make you “the premium brand” among plainer competitors. And make it easier to ask for more with a straight face.