Value Proposition 101 – Key strategies to power your brand

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Business team meetingMore than ever, companies are challenged to find better ways to attract, win, and retain customers. That’s why it’s so important to have a clear, compelling story about what makes your products or services the best choice. And bring that story to life everyday.

That’s your value proposition.  It’s not about features and capabilities — it’s about what’s in it for your customers.

Your marketing team may have a good sense of this, but what about the rest of your organization?

To deliver notable experiences that increase sales and drive retention, it’s critical that all your internal teams understand your value proposition, why it matters, and how they can bring it to life in their work. Whether your focus is B2B or B2C, defining and socializing your value prop gives employees a customer-centric focus for their communications, decisions, and actions.

How do you get there? First you need to understand what it takes to be successful, and you need real commitment across the organization, from the top down. Here’s a quick primer to help you get started.

Value Proposition 101

What it is
(and what it’s not)

Your customer value proposition is a clear, simple statement or concept that defines the core benefit you offer to customers, focused on what they want most. To highlight what differentiates your brand from the rest of the pack, it should answer two key customer questions: Why choose CompanyX? and more importantly,What’s in it for me? It’s not a slogan or marketing copy — it drives your approach to doing business.

What it means for the business

Having a clearly defined value proposition provides a platform for achieving key business objectives, such as building stronger relationships, increasing acquisition, improving service, even reducing support costs. Without question, you’ll realize more success if you use this initiative to nurture a customer-centric company culture. It helps everyone from senior leadership to frontline and back office employees understand how they play an important role in your customer experience.

What’s involved

In a nutshell: you need leadership buy-in, strong project management to oversee many moving parts, customer research to make sure you’re on the right track. You also need effective communications to explain, promote, and train employees about your value prop, as well as an action plan for sustaining momentum over time.

How to get started

A successful trip starts with a clear idea of where you want to go, and a good roadmap. Many organizations choose to collaborate with outside experts who can help you manage customer research, provide a proven methodology for rolling out the new value prop, and bring a fresh perspective to internal and customer communications.

Key deliverables

As communications are the heart and soul of this initiative, your strategic roadmap helps you stay on track for what you need and when. Some essential communications include:

  • Value Prop Messaging Framework, including the core benefit statement and a few pillar ideas, supported by key messages and proof points, all based on customer research.
  • Messaging Tools that explain your value prop, how it aligns with what customers want, and key messages (with examples!) to help ensure leaders and teams communicate consistently.
  • Promotions to socialize the value prop across your organization, such as a roadshow deck for leader alignment, manager huddle guides and team emails, and maybe even a fun contest or giveaway related to the value prop theme.

How to build buy-in

This can be the most challenging part, but if you do it right, it can be the most rewarding. Everyone, at every level, needs to see how your value prop is relevant to their work, so they can look for ways to make it ownable every day. To build buy-in for your initiative, plan for the following:

  • Recruit leadership champions committed to helping employees understand what your value proposition means for the business, and how they play a role.
  • Refresh marketing and customer communications to reflect the new value prop messaging. “Before and after” examples are especially helpful for teams to readily see the customer-focused differences in messaging and tone.
  • Promote training and tools to support employees in learning the core ideas of your value prop, and how to bring it to life in their work. Collaborative workshops are a powerful way to practice the concepts as an approach to serving customers, and integrating key messages into written and verbal communications.

Powering your value proposition powers your brand

Having a clearly defined, data-driven value proposition can fuel your business on many levels. It gives leadership a platform to motivate teams for greater performance metrics. It equips sales and marketing with the right customer-focused mindset and messages to build stronger connections that drive acquisition and retention. And it gives servicing and production teams a model for how to approach customer care and problem solving.

And oh yeah, there’s your customers, who will reward exceptional experiences with ongoing business and word of mouth referrals. In other words, if you get it right — putting power behind your value prop is the ultimate win-win situation for your business and your customers.

 


Image source: Shutterstock

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