You Don’t Need Value Proposition
You probably do not have to create a Value Proposition
What questions does a useful value proposition answer? It is a statement that addresses topics such as WHO your ideal customers are, WHAT specific need they have, WHICH of your solutions address this need, HOW your solution addresses that need, including the benefits, and WHY customers should select your solution over the competition.
Assuming you have decent data and insights (Segmentation, accounts, personas, etc.) and are operating at a given level of success, even if you do not have a formal statement called a value proposition, you are most likely very aware of the ‘who, what, which, how and why’ aspects mentioned above.
So, does it make sense to formalize your value proposition? I believe it does, as it synthesizes your strategic thinking and creates a single platform for marketing strategy and tactics (target markets, needs analysis, solution selection, messaging, competitiveness, etc.). The good news is that you do not have to create a value proposition, you rather only need to formalize already existing insights. How do we do that?
“Your value proposition is the answer to the question: Why should I buy from you and not your competition.” (Neil Patel)
Value propositions can be, and some argue should be, tiered. Company-level, segment-level, product-level, and prospect-level, for example. There are numerous formats and types of value propositions. I have found this process useful.
- Marketing drives the process
- Select and agree on a format. I prefer the Geoffrey Moore version.
- Start with a company-level value proposition
- Leadership populates and uses a technique called shredding to refine
- Run the shredding technique through all business functions
- Run the shredding technique through your ecosystem (Selected, trusted suppliers and clients)
- At this point, you should have a company-level value proposition that is clear, relevant, and compelling (that internal and external stakeholders have bought in to)
- Repeat this process for segment-level, product-level, and prospect-level value propositions
Now, consistently, and relentlessly, use these respective value propositions as the basis for all branding and ‘ecosystem-touch-point’ thinking, strategy, messaging, and tactics. It is useful to review value propositions regularly or as the market dictates.