Vantage Blog


What Value is There in a Value Proposition?

Lots if you get it right. Unfortunately many don't! A lot of value propositions contain little of the value they aim to deliver.

Why? Because they are created from the inside out. That is they are all about what businesses think their customers want, rather than what their customers actually need. They focus on what you want to sell, rather than starting with the customers’ problems or needs that you are uniquely able to address.

So what exactly is a value proposition? It is the sum of what you deliver (the attributes of your offer), how you are perceived (your image) and the relationship you have been able to develop. It's how it all comes together in a coherent and consistent way.

Put simply, it is how you deliver value to your customers.

I use a value proposition wheel to try and tease out all the elements. Attempting to be clear on these factors goes a long way towards having a coherent and compelling value proposition.

Take Boost Juice as an example. They have a crystal clear view of their value proposition and, if you were to try and deconstruct it, it would look something like this.

The key is making it clear and concise. But also easy to understand and be applied across the organisation.

Critically, however, it needs to be grounded in your competitive advantage – what makes you different. For Boost it is around the “Boost Experience” and the essence that runs through everything they do...“Love Life”.

What does your value proposition wheel look like? Have a go at filling it in and seeing where there are gaps or inconsistencies.

In developing or refining your value proposition you need to be really clear on what problems you are solving or needs you are meeting. This is where the real value to your customers should emerge.

A simple exercise to do that is the product surround model.

In every product or service there is a core product, the substance. As a rule of thumb the core is normally about 80% of the cost but provides only 20% of the impact.

It is the product surround, usually 20% of the cost, which contributes up to 80% of the customer impact.

A great example of a business that reinvented not only its offering, but the category, is a BRW Fast 100 winner Jetts.

The approach they took was to think through what the customer problems and issues were with how traditional gyms provided services to the market.

Customer Problem: Jetts Offer:
“Don’t like being tied in for years” No Contracts
“Too expensive“ Weekly Fees
“Too crowded “ No Classes
“Not open when I want it” Open 24/7

So in reviewing your value proposition think about the following questions:
• Can you define what is core and what is surround for each of your current offerings?
• Can you list the key problems and needs for your target market?
• What could you build, refine or deliver better via your value proposition to solve those problems and needs?

A simple exercise that may well help you define and deliver real value in your value proposition. 

Click here to watch our free 30 minute webinar on Value Propositions.

by James Atkins, Vantage Strategy & Marketing.
This article is linked to James' Google+ profile

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