What's Your Value Propositon Worth?

Monday, 20 January 2014 06:33
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At the heart of any offering is its value proposition. It should compellingly answer the question, "what's in it for me?"

Curious to learn more? Read on, dear friends...

What's Your Value Proposition Worth? 

I like Kellogg Professor Mohanbir Sawhney's definition for a value proposition: a differentiated set of promises of value (consisting of functional, economic and or emotional benefits) delivered to a particular audience at with strong and credible reasons to believe and without repellant costs. In effect, your value proposition should answer the question, "What's in it for me?" 

Rational description of features and benefits are certainly an important part of the value proposition equation, but they should also ideally tie to particularly strong consumer insights that will resonate with the target audience. Some of these will be emotionally charged.

For example, electronic cigarettes are catching on with their target audience: smokers who enjoy smoking, want to smoke, but feel that they are being deprived of their right to indulge their habit where they choose...such as public places where conventional cigarettes are prohibited. e-cigarette pioneer Blu, features actor Stephen Dorff (credible smoker) in advertising (actress Jenny McCarthy appears in separate messaging targeted to women) that focuses on smoking as a matter of personal choice, and the smoker's desire to enjoy their life unrestricted by (unnamed) parties who would deprive them of their basic freedoms and their right to individual expression. https://www.youtube.com/watch?.v=60rsOj3-9fI 

This value proposition communication isn't about non-smoker's right to clean air, although the vapor delivery system does spare them offensive tobacco odor. Blu's communication emphasizes that it enables the user to smoke and not have to feel guilty about it, be inconvenienced or risk offending others who might otherwise be socially attracted to them except for residual tobacco smell. 

That, friends...is a well constructed value proposition. It speaks to its target audience insightfully. As a non-smoker, it doesn't speak to me, but that's okay. I can still appreciate a company that has done its homework and researched its consumer's thinking and attitudes and responded with a well-designed product (if not one that is necessarily in the best interests of their customers' long term health and well-being).

Look at your value proposition from your end-user and internal customer's perspectives. Is it airtight? If not, what could make it stronger?

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