Unclear Customer Value leads to Failure


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All of us know we must distinguish ourselves in the marketplace to be successful. However, do we go to the marketplace to find that unique dimension of matched value is? In fact, there’s been study after study showing that we don’t even get out of our own organization with an understanding of our own unique value proposition.

When organizations were dominated by one single individual your value proposition was very clear. Different views and questions were discouraged. Now in the age of collaboration, it is becoming more and more difficult to arrive at a clear understanding of the value that you provide your customer.

One of the classic marketing books, The Discipline of Market Leaders: Choose Your Customers, Narrow Your Focus, Dominate Your Market says that the only way to reach common ground is to find fact-based answers to 5 very fundamental questions:

  1. What are the dimensions of value that customers care about?
  2. For each dimension of value, what proportion of customers focus on it as their primary or dominate decision criterion?
  3. Which competitors provide the best value in each of these value dimensions?
  4. How do we measure up against her competition on each dimension that I?
  5. Why do we fall short of the value leaders in each dimension of value?

The authors go on to say; Value stems from the product – from unique features that deliver superior results – and from the kinds of service benefits provided . They are measured against customers expectations, so products and services really offer benefits only if they substantially exceed competitors offerings. Competitive parity, after all, creates a base level for customer expectations.”

These 5 questions are just a starting point. Your value proposition must continue to increase at a more rapid rate that your competitors. However, you cannot sustain your customer value proposition without being part of your customers business. Everyone in your company must walk in the shoes of your customer. Experience what they experience. If you do that, your head might just rise above the clouds that your organization has been in and start living the value experience. Remember, Customer Value is the best leading indicator of Future Market share!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Dager
Business901 is a firm specializing in bringing the continuous improvement process to the sales and marketing arena. He has authored the books the Lean Marketing House, Marketing with A3 and Marketing with PDCA. The Business901 Blog and Podcast includes many leading edge thinkers and has been featured numerous times for its contributions to the Bloomberg's Business Week Exchange.


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