Marketing Essay on Intangible Value

Topics: Veblen good, Conspicuous consumption, Thorstein Veblen Pages: 2 (587 words) Published: April 14, 2013
Marketing Skills: Assignment 3 on value

Student: Adriaan Brabander
Student number: 372961
Skills class: IB02B

Value is defined by Kotler & Keller (2012) as ‘the sum of the tangible and intangible benefits and costs to customers. Value is primarily a combination of quality, service and price. This implies that there’s more to value than just the tangible benefits. In this essay I will argue that in a prosperous society, value is predominantly of an intangible nature. For my theoretical argument, I will a theory made up by Maslow (1943). In his article Maslow states that the needs of humans can be organised in a pyramid structure, consisting of five layers of needs, namely physiological, safety, love, esteem and self-actualization. Note that the lowest two levels are of a more tangible nature than the others when it comes to satisfying them. You cannot eat or drink something intangible, or live in an intangible house. Maslow further explains that the lowest level of unsatisfied needs is dominant. Once this level is satisfied, the level of needs above that become more important, and so on. When you apply this structure to a prosperous society you will come to the conclusion that for most people, the lower levels of the pyramid are mostly satisfied up to a certain level. People might not all live in mansions. But most of them they not prefer living in a mansion all by themselves to living in a smaller house with a loving family, since humans also have the need for love. Therefore, in a prosperous society, needs are of a more intangible nature. An example to illustrate this point is a Veblen good. In contradiction with the law of demand, a Veblen good attains more demand when its price increases. Thorstein Veblen argued that individuals would pay a high price for goods and services, in order to advertise their wealth. The reason, he states, for this is that people associate a higher price with higher social status. You can interpret this as a way for...
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