The Elements of Value

The Elements of Value model provides a checklist of important values to the consumers. It is based on the Maslow’s  hierarchy of needs theory. In 1943, Abraham Maslow published a paper titled “A Theory of Human Motivation” where he proposed the hierarchy of needs theory that describes human motivations and stages of growth. Maslow’s theory is very popular in several fields of study such as in sociology, management, and psychology. The theory is usually portrayed in a pyramid that puts the basic and fundamental human needs in the bottom [wikipedia].


In 2016, Almquist, Senior, and Bloch, proposed the “Elements of Value” model in their paper published in Harvard Business Review. According to the authors, the model extends Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model. It extends Maslow’s insights “by focusing on people as consumers—describing their behavior as it relates to products and services”.  The Elements of Value model below clearly says under the title that “the more elements provided, the greater customers’ loyalty and the higher the company’s sustained revenue growth”.


The model gains importance as it looks to the needs from the consumer’s perspective, which eventually helps producers focus on the elements as sources of value to their customers. It is worth noting that in overall, any type of product must provide a value/values in order to succeed. Therefore, this model can be used in line with the process of product/service ideation and design. Interesting examples are provided for each element. For instance, Google AdSense service helps generating revenue from advertising, which is an element of value “It makes money”. Another example is the Amazon’s 1-Click feature. It also provides an element of value “Simplifies. It simplifies the order checkout process and reduces complexity.

The Elements of Value model gains importance because it helps product/service providers focus on these to help values gain more revenues and customers loyalty. In addition, the organization, categorization, and presentation of the model makes it easy to follow and understand. The checklist is detailed in ways that covers many dimensions of value and with examples.

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