Not all value is created equal
You may have heard the adage that businesses provide a solution to a problem, not just sell a product or service. However, when you dive deep into understanding the motivations, desires and wants of your ideal customer, the more it becomes clear that it is the VALUE of the solution they are really buying. That is, how well the solution takes them from where they are now (stuck in their problem) to where they want to be (having the problem solved).
The definition of a value proposition is quite straight forward. It is essentially a statement about the bundle of benefits your product offers target customers that makes it more beneficial than competitor alternatives. But it’s in defining the ‘value’ part of value proposition that’s a bit more complex to grasp. This is because not all value is created equal!
Like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, value is a perception that resides in the mind of each individual customer. For instance, let’s suppose I value ‘timeliness’ and ‘affordable’ pricing, I may choose to buy a plain watch from the local variety store. However, if I value ‘timeliness’ and ‘prestige’, I may choose to buy a Rolex watch from the local specialist watch store. While both watches will tell the time equally well, clearly, the purchase decision is influenced by what I value most.
When you can articulate the distinct value of the solution you provide through your marketing message, you will connect with your target customer in a very powerful way. So, how do you articulate a highly desirable value proposition? By finding, defining, then leveraging your brand’s highest value.
Finding and defining your brand’s highest value
Your brand’s highest value – it’s most significant benefit – sits at the intersection of your business’s greatest point of difference and greatest customer outcome. One way of articulating the distinct value that lies at this sweet spot is to create a signature value anthem, a short (two or three-word) phrase that succinctly captures the essence of this value.
Using the car market as a case in point, Volvo’s signature value anthem could be ‘innovative safety’, Mercedes’ could be ‘legendary prestige’, Toyota’s could be ‘practical reliability’ and Jeep’s could be ‘empowered adventure’.
My business signature value anthem is ‘aligned communication’ based on a methodology I have created that aligns an organisation’s passion and purpose with its product positioning and promotion. ‘Aligned’ represents my point of difference and ‘communication’ represents the outcome for my clients.
What is your signature value anthem? Your greatest point of difference could be a particular product attribute or unique feature, a methodology or technological innovation, for example. And your greatest customer outcome could be leadership, strategy, growth, skills, relationships, prosperity, wellbeing, vision, security, education, service or analysis, to name a few.
Leverage your highest value with a compelling proposition
Once you have identified your highest value and defined it with a signature value anthem, you can leverage it by developing a compelling value proposition. Below is a simple, four-step system to achieve this:
Here’s an example, using a bookkeeping business which has defined its signature value anthem as ‘meticulous standards’:
‘ABC Bookkeepers works with small businesses (intended audience) experiencing cash flow challenges because of poor bookkeeping practices (problem). Our meticulous attention to detail, accuracy and timeliness (solution encompassing signature value anthem), will get your paperwork back in perfect order efficiently and seamlessly so you can improve your cash flow and meet your tax obligations on time, every time (ultimate outcome).’
Want some help crafting a compelling value proposition? Contact Ros at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.rosweadman.com.
©Ros Weadman 2018. Ros Weadman is the creator of the Organisational Alignment Model™, founder of Melbourne PR & Marketing Group and author of BRANDcode®, a marketing guide for small business.