How To Create An Effective Value Proposition

What unique and compelling advantage or benefit does your product or service offer customers to induce them to part with their money given all the other choices they have, including purchasing a competitors product or ‘doing nothing’ and keeping their money in their pocket?

A meaningful, credible value proposition, must pass through three critical stages:

1. Identify and critically review your core capabilities

Develop a shortlist of your organisation’s unique and defensible core competencies valued by your clients.

Importantly, this should not be a long laundry list of services (what you do), but rather what you do differently and better that is:

  • a genuine, unique and sustainable competitive advantage
  • valued by your clients who are prepared to pay a premium, and
  • difficult for your competitors to replicate

2. Competitive validation

Now the beginnings of a 'value proposition’ are starting to emerge. The next step is to ‘acid-test your claims in the cauldron of competitive tension’. You must do this to properly determine if your claims stack-up against competitors strengths and counterclaims. This ensures you don’t go to market with self-serving buzzwords like:

  • global best practice
  • customer-centric
  • solutions-driven
  • people-focused
  • change agent
  • committed to delivering exceptional service
  • satisfying our stakeholders

While the above may sound generic and familiar, you may be surprised how many companies go to market with similar-sounding claims that do not differentiate, make little sense and don’t positively influence the customer buying decision.  

3. Customer validation

The final step is customer validation. This is where the emerging value proposition is tested on a cross-section of key customers and influencers in the buying process to determine:

  • Is the claim genuine?
  • Is it competitively unique and defensible? 
  • Is it highly valued by clients and would they preference their buying decisions in favour of your company as a result?
  • Would they be prepared to pay a premium to obtain the advantage of the value proposition?

The above steps ensure the value proposition a potent, customer-focused statement defining the value for clients with the capacity to positively influence the buying decision, and not an inward facing statement of self-aggrandizement or hopeful aspiration.

What is your value proposition?


i'd love to see some examples of this in the real world , not just theory

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