Have you clearly stated your company’s promise to the market? There can be many attributes for which you may wish to be known: Established, big, international, knowledge-based, leading in technology, one-stop shop, good at customer service, reliable, fast, a good citizen, trusted, open, and the like. But if you attempt to claim these all at once, your messages will lose impact and memorability. That’s where your value proposition plays its part, telling your market what value you can bring to them and how you are different from everyone else.
Of course, there are many B2B companies out there doing very nicely without a clear value proposition. In our view, their success has often been built upon good products and or services, and an effective sales force—two key growth drivers in the old world of business and still great assets in a world of heightened competition. We also believe that many of those companies would have achieved even more with a sharper promise of value to the market, strengthening their brands and positioning themselves for continued growth in a future where they are competing with not just one or two others making similar products, but with many rivals distributed around the globe.
Far too many value propositions promise the earth but fail to deliver—which means their claims are likely to reek of propaganda, of course. So perhaps the most important key to the success of your value proposition is the degree to which it is in line with the company’s executed strategy and experienced culture (as opposed to the stated strategy and culture). In other words, does the value proposition reflect who your company really is and how it really works?
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