• Tristan

Value Proposition: What, why and how?


Try and guess which companies each of these value propositions represent:

  1. Save money. Live better.

  2. Dinner is solved.

  3. See what's happening in the world right now.


What?

A promise of value your company delivers to your customers. Normally just a few words or a short sentence that encapsulates why your company exists, it is your raison d'être. It should be clear, provable and focused on the benefit you're giving customers.


Why?

The value proposition is the headline for your company. In a world full of information and distractions, where consumers and decision makers have limited time to assess every brand they come in contact with in fine detail, a headline is often all you have in catching their attention.


All your company's messaging should derive from your value proposition. It determines whether a prospective customer clicks on your advertising and whether they can instantly understand, and can relate to, what your company is about.


How?

As Simon Sinek says "Start with Why". What is your company's vision and what does it stand for? Simply, why do you exist? "Why" is a deep, visceral feeling that happens in the limbic part of your brain. This makes WHY difficult to define in words. It is made up of a collection of impressions and actions that a person or business undertakes.


Tools like the proposition canvas can help you define the pain points your product or service is solving for your customer. Likewise, customer research projects based on the Voice of the Customer can help you to better define the core benefit you bring to the market.


Conducting customer research projects, such as Jobs to be Done (JTBD) can help you better define why your customers use your product. In Clayton Christensen's book "Competing Against Luck" he describes how the JTBD framework identifies what your customers are trying to accomplish at the time when they turn to your product, is how you should define your company's marketing messaging, product development roadmap and your companies value proposition.


Further A/B testing of your wording and phrasing can help to refine the language you are using. This can bring clarity to your value proposition, and will make sure the message resonates with current and prospective customers.


Answers:


1. Walmart: Save money. Live better.

A common business school case study for Cost Leadership, Walmart exist and thrive by keeping costs to an absolute minimum throughout their business to undercut the competition's prices. They structuring their value proposition as FEATURE (low costs) and BENEFIT (live better).


2. Hello Fresh: Dinner is solved.

This clearly alludes to the customer benefit, the fact they don't have to think about their dinner (the customer pain-point. 3 words and you basically know what the company does.


3. Twitter: See what's happening in the world right now.

Depicts how Twitter is a platform for you to stay up to date with everything going on, be it friends, celebrities, news or sport. A live feed of things you care about.



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© 2019 Tristan Gillen.