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Your value proposition is your response to customer needs
It covers every activity that generates value for the customer. It is the twin to your vision, mission and purpose statements.
The value proposition is made of three things
When we talk about customer needs we think about:
- Jobs-to-be-done – the functional, social or psychological outcome the customer needs
- Pains – the risks and worries that compromise the outcome
- Gains – benefits outside the delivery of jobs to be done
And the value proposition comprises the response to these needs and is reflected in our products, services and journeys. It talks about:
- How we help the customer fulfil their jobs-to-be-done
- How we relieve the pains associated with the job-to-be-done
- How we create gains for the customer as they complete their jobs-to-be-done
How to use your value proposition
Once you have a value proposition, it is the foundation of of your product and service design. Using it is also an opportunity to test / challenge the value proposition – leading to continuous development.
The Value Proposition is crucial to the design of experience. Having it to hand when designing a customer journey or individual touchpoint will yield higher levels of satisfaction, retention and advocacy.
During decisions, the value proposition – mainly the needs – can help customer centric decision making.
In sales in calls, meetings and proposals speak about your customer with your value proposition rather than features and benefits. Of course, new needs must go back into the value proposition.
Bridge cross-functional boundaries by sharing and exploring your value proposition. Support and empower your teams to live up to the promises you make in your value proposition. Then you will deliver a compelling customer experience; one that motivates your customers to come back to you and tell others.
So, who owns the value proposition?
No single department, function or person owns the value proposition. But someone has to be accountable for it. Depending on the size of your business that could be the owner/ founder or the board.
And then someone has to create and maintain it. That could still be the owner/ founder. In a larger organisation, marketing might manage it.
But building and maintaining your value proposition is a cross-functional responsibility. It grows stronger when operational teams contribute. In B2B, you can ask customers if your value proposition meets their needs and if you deliver on it.
Everyone in your business needs to understand how your value proposition applies to them. Externally, your customer experience must match your value proposition and brand promise.
A caution, the value proposition in marketing
Modern websites look very similar. They have a beautiful ‘hero’ image and short descriptions of products and services. They show customers who they will be (the hero) with your help, they set expectations and allay any doubts or fears about working with you. Their structure always involves the pain your customers feel and how you will help them succeed. Each part of the website is part of your value proposition.
All marketing contains parts of the value proposition. For instance, a content marketing strategy starts by identifying the questions potential clients ask at each stage of the buyers’ cycle.
Apple can say it with a single image, because their value proposition is understood. You may have to work a little harder.
Updated: 30 May 2022