The Importance of the Mona Lisa Concept

by Sean D'Souza

audit

There are 380,000 pieces of art in the Louvre Museum in Paris. Of these, well over 35,000 pieces of art are for display at any given point in the gallery complex.

Yet, most of the tourists rush past 34,999 pieces of art to see a singular piece of art.

A painting that has a dimension of just 30 x 21 inches. A painting that’s often known as the La Gioconda.

Yes, the other name for La Gioconda, is the Mona Lisa

Has it ever occurred to you why every visitor seems to be in a mad rush to find the Mona Lisa? It’s not the world’s biggest painting.

It’s not the most breathtaking. In fact even three hundred and fifty years after it was first created, it was hardly considered an important, let alone the world’s most famous painting in the world.

So how did it become the world’s most famous artwork of all?

How did it go from a price of 4000 écus* to being valued as priceless?

And what does La Gioconda have to do with your product or service?

The answer lies in isolation

And isolation means that you put a spotlight on one product or service. That product or service gets the spotlight. You make sure that the customer knows that this product/service is the most critical of all. That without this product or service, the customer is probably missing out on something incredibly important.

But surely there can’t be one product or service that’s more important than all the others, you may object. And that’s true.

In fact, the Mona Lisa isn’t more important than all the 379,999 objects of art at the Louvre. It’s been made to be the most important.

And therefore the average tourist will pay the full fare to simply walk into the Louvre, see the Mona Lisa and go home.

So how do you go about isolating the most important product or service?

And more importantly how do you decide which ones to put to the side and which one in particular to highlight?

The answer is: Pick any product or service. And then create an aura around that product or service.

Let me give you an example with the Brain Audit.

Now at Psychotactics we have dozens of products and services (more products than services). But we picked the Brain Audit to be the show piece.

This means that at least 99% of all our current clients will have read the Brain Audit, and applied it in their business.

You can’t buy any course without the Brain Audit.

You can’t attend any workshop without the Brain Audit. You can’t get any consulting without having read the Brain Audit.

In fact, if you do buy any of our products or services, without the Brain Audit, then you’re kindly and firmly asked to read the concepts outlined in the Brain Audit.

And it’s not like clients haven’t tried to bypass this step. On at least two occasions, clients have paid thousands of dollars (one paid $8000 and the other $2500) and the money was refunded, because they didn’t own the Brain Audit.

By isolating the Brain Audit, we’ve made it the most important part of our business. Which means it forms the core document for all our clients. When they have to audit their own work, they go back to the Brain Audit.

But what if you don’t have a product?

What if you conducted workshops instead? Or what if you were in services?

Or what if you sold physical products?

Let’s take a quick example of each of the above.

1) Workshops: You can highlight one workshop as being the most crucial or critical of all. And within the workshop too, you can isolate certain components as being the most important, by simply giving additional weight to that portion of the learning.

In workshops or courses, we’ll often give the attendees all the information, and then spend most of our time working on just one portion of the entire content.

2) If you’re in services, and let’s say you help build houses for instance. You can easily highlight the most important part of the planning process, even though there are ten thousand things that need to be done in any building effort.

When a contractor did our bathroom for instance, he was quite clear about the dates he needed all the materials. This got us focused and we made sure we had everything ready and on time, so he could start work without delay.

3) You may run a restaurant and sell loads of delicious dishes. Yet it’s possible to highlight a specific dish. The Indian Restaurant ‘Two Fat Indians’ in Christchurch literally rates the dish most-ordered at the restaurant, thus bestowing a Mona-Lisa status on the dish itself.

And there are a few reasons why this isolation is important.

1) It allows customers to focus.
2) It reduces the frustration of choice for customers.
3) It allows the customer to consume a smaller portion, yet have a richer experience.

But don’t believe me.

Look at what the Louvre does with the Mona Lisa. It allows the customers to blithely walk past amazing works of art, focused solely on getting to the Mona Lisa. Instead of getting frustrated with what to see first, the customers now have a must-do list.

And it’s this direction that makes the customers really happy, because they have the choice, but they know what’s really important. And finally, even if the customer were to simply see the Mona Lisa and leave, they’d feel fulfilled.

On the other hand, if they didn’t have a point of focus, they would always feel like they missed out on something really important.

Of course it’s not hard to see how this concept applies to a professor or trainer, as it does to a restaurant or a consultant or service provider.

So here’s an action plan:

1) List everything you ‘sell’ (whether it’s a product/training or service).
2) Highlight three of the most important (in your opinion).
3) Trim it down to just one (product/element of training/element of service).

And then watch as your customers swarm to your isolated product/service; Your own La Gioconda.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave Doolin August 16, 2010 at 3:50 am

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit. I do have a flagship product. It’s not very expensive. And it would be helpful for people to read it before we did any work together.

Haven’t experienced any swarms yet. =)

No worries. These things take time to mature.

Reply

Milton Thomas August 16, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Branding is what it is all about. Even tho I’m relatively new to the internet, from a business standpoint, I can appreciate the analogy. Mona Lisa, the painting, sounds like a movie title, but everyone has heard of and seen imagery of her. Does, your product, hold the same promise of that famed smile? How will you get thousands to wait in line, while you get the next piece ready for launch?
By branding yourself and your product.

Thanks for all the great and insightful wisdom.

Reply

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