The customer value proposition explains the unique and specific benefits for your core customer and it is not necessary statement about your product and services.
For example, your unique statement can simply communicate the way you do business – which means that you don’t have to offer the best product in the market in order to develop a strong position and market share. The Domino Pizza example illustrates a perfect textbook example: ‘Fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less or it’s free.’
As you can see by the example this marketing message is all about the way they do business and uniquely position their overall offer. While in many cases your product features and benefits will be key to your value proposition, try to think about shaping and positioning your way of doing business in a different way which creates extra customer value in addition to your product and service features and benefits.
This marketing message should be the central part and the foundation of your positioning and every sales and marketing campaign you’ll use. Without strong and compelling marketing message you are running the risk to be all things to all people and may end up nowhere.
The best test for your value proposition statement is to evaluate how effectively it converts your business into a specific offer and value for your core customers. It must translates your way of doing business into tangible benefits for the customer such as cost savings, faster delivery, easy-to-use, time convenience, place convenience, risk reversal… You should have at least one compelling and specific benefit in your marketing message.
Considering your competitors in your marketplace is critical for your marketing approaches including your value proposition. Competing on the same core benefit should be avoided unless there is a strong reason for doing that. It is safer and easier and in addition cost-efficient to create your own category of benefits in your market and differentiate yourself – by doing that you can efficiently communicate with your target market and grow your market share without direct competition.
When your core benefits are hard for others to copy, it means that your proposition is powerful, distinctive and unique. It is not enough just to come up with a unique phrase but your core benefits should be unique as well.
In addition, what worked last year may not work as effectively now or in the next years, so you should periodically evaluate the strength and the benefits of your value proposition and if it is required you should brainstorm new ways to differentiate and position your organization.
The 3 most important elements you need to consider are:
- your target market
- your core capabilities
- your competitors
Strong value proposition should be positioned well against all of the 3 elements:
- very well positioned for your target customers
- a very good fit for your core capabilities
- positioned in a unique way compared to any of your competitors to avoid direct competition
However there are many assumptions you are working with related to these 3 elements: you assume that you know exactly what your customers value, how your competitors market their products and services and you have a strong capabilities to execute your promise.
Marketing analysis can help you in the process in order to minimize the risk involved in these assumptions. For example, you can interview or survey your target customers in order to test your ideas and gather their direct feedback. You can analyze and review the marketing campaigns used by your competitors and you should definitely reevaluate your core competencies.
As a summary, your value proposition is your promise to the customers related to the value or results they will get from your company if they decide to do business with you.
The single most important question is: What unique results or value they’ll get from me compared to the value they would get from anyone else?
The process of creating and developing your value proposition is a good exercise and opportunity to evaluate your market position as well as your company’s strengths and weaknesses. It is a chance to evaluate your market, core capabilities and better understand your core customers.
- talk with the language of your target customer
- be as specific as possible and don’t use vague statements
- try to learn as much as possible about your customers and competitors
- try to further improve your core capabilities and create even better proposition
- be unique by ignoring what others are doing and come up with your own customer value
- educate and train everyone in your company to understand your new value proposition
- develop all your marketing materials and website based on your new proposition
- talk about the benefits and experiences for the customer not about product features