Scarcity, Not Rarity, Drives Value

Something can be rare but not scarce. The difference is important to spot. It can tell us where value will and won’t show up.

Rare means something doesn’t occur or appear very often. This can be good or bad. The rarity of 100-year floods makes for 99 better years (in theory). Most of us can celebrate the rarity of root canals.

Scarce means something is insufficient to meet demand. Unlike rare items that may or may not be in demand (floods and root canals anyone?), scarce items are desired, and desire combined with a limited supply drives value.

We all want to differentiate our products and services. We all want to stand out. We all want to be valuable. So, where’s the scarcity? How do we tell that story to those who will demand our services?

Make a scarcity list and then think of how we communicate each item on it. Time saved, the quality of time spent, the limited number of people we serve, the physical product itself. It’s not the rarity of anything we do, it’s what makes it scarce. This is where our value is.

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