I want to share some old news with you: the rope used to hang ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2006 was on auction on a website in 2015. You can read the Washington Post article about this sale here. I am not interested in this sales; I always think about the marketing side of these situations.

Who does want to buy something like that? Why?

If you are reading my articles, you know that I always talk about the unique value proposition of the products. For example, you can read a different approach to ice cubes here. The true question for this case must be, "Do we still talk about the value propositions of the rope?"

We don't talk about the physical or functional benefits of a rope in this case. I think we are not planning to use the rope as a rope. We don't care about durability, portability, or quality of the rope now. Nobody will be using it as a rope anymore. The rope has new values attached to it. They are:

  • Power of the story
  • Unique piece
  • Collectible
  • Resale opportunity
  • Social status by ownership

If you can add this kind of new value to a commodity product, it will be unique, and it will start to be trading as an exclusive brand. The price will increase if you frame a product with new benefits and values. If you succeed in framing your product like that, you can sell it for millions of dollars.

Marketing strategy is a framing process.  Never underestimate it!