‘Crossword Recommends’: Creating Value

May 10, 2010 § 2 Comments

Note: This is an attempt to understand something I observed. There is no claim that these are the facts, nor is the author affiliated to Crossword bookstore in any way.

Waiting for my cousins in Bandra, on a warm Mumbai night, I found a Crossword bookstore and ventured in. Ambience was good, and though I did not read any books (except Batman comics), there was opportunity to learn.

Just as one enters the store one can see a shelf with books carryng the label – ‘Crossword Recommends’. The store even offers a refund if you purchase a book and return it within 15 days if you don’t like it. So I thought about who were the parties involved and what was the value created and gained in this process.

The publishers: They might have a deal with the bookstore to put their books in a prominent place. For an amount, they would get increased visibility and a better chance that the book is sold.

The bookstore: They add value to the publisher by giving him space and can charge for it. They add value to the customer by educating him about good books and allowing easy access to those books.

The customer: He gains value by the education and access. This value is increased if the customer does not read many books.

Hence, the bookstore adds value to both the customer and the publishers, and can charge premium from both of them. The source of this value was the hard work done by the bookstore in reading and selecting the right books (they were good ones which heavy readers generally recommend, like ‘The Fountainhead’ by Ayn Rand). And the source of this, I think, was an idea from a person who really loved books and was passionate about them.

Do share what you know about similar examples.

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