Doctor Who and the Art of the Value Proposition

When the average BBC show lasts between six and ten years, it’s pretty impressive when one show can last for 50. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the classic British science fiction television show Doctor Who. A show that allows you to follow along on the adventures — some wacky, some somber — of a time-traveling alien known as the Doctor, his sentient space ship, and a series of lovable companions.

Fans of this seminal program are fanatically loyal. They buy the licensed products, anxiously await new episodes, partake in in-depth discussions about the philosophy and direction of the show, and are never afraid to recommend it to someone new. With 8 million worldwide viewers, it’s not the most popular show out there, but it sure is one of the most loved.

As a business, that’s the kind of loyalty you want for your brand. When you decide what the core values of your company are and write them down, you’re developing a value proposition. Part of becoming a successful and long-lasting brand like the Doctor Who franchise is creating a value proposition that can change and evolve over time and space.

Take these three tips into consideration when building your brand values:

Be relevant

You can’t make a show last 50 years if you aren’t aware of the changing times and trends around you. The Doctor’s adventures fit the time the viewer is in — the latest episode in the series played into this idea with a plot based on the idea of something “evil” in the WiFi. What are your customers interested in? Do research, talk to them via social networks, learn what they like, and discover how their needs have evolved with technology. Build your brand values around the values of both new and current customers to create a connection and make them care.

Be believable

When you’re writing a television show about a time-traveling alien and his adventures, it’s hard to keep your story straight. If the Doctor just went here and there without adhering to rules of space and time, viewers wouldn’t be as invested in the show. When you are building a story around your product or service, make sure it is one that the customer can believe.  Give them a world they can see themselves in and then show them how you can make that world better. Also, people can see through hype — they can sense if you’re making yourself out to be too good to be true, so don’t play yourself up too much or you won’t be able to deliver on your promises.

Be emotional

If you’ve watched a few episodes of Who, you can remember the moments that made you bite your lip to hold in the tears. Bad Wolf Bay, anyone? Making an emotional connection invests people in your product — just like in the show, there are moments so intense that you can’t shut it off. The writers of Who know how to connect you to the characters you’re watching in a big way. Figure out what makes people feel for your product, and then use that information to build greater value. Sell beyond features and benefits — give options to connect further, and deeper. People buy emotionally and justify rationally, so make sure you’re giving them answers to both their logical and emotional questions.

When it comes to your customers, take a note from the Eleventh Doctor: “Nobody important? Blimey, that’s amazing. You know, 900 years of time and space and I’ve never met anybody who wasn’t important before.”

Don’t forget — everyone is a potential client or contact, and everyone is important. Connect to them with your brand story by being relevant, believable and emotional — who knows what new companions you could find (just like the Doctor).

How has your company delved into building your value proposition? Share with us in a comment below!

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About Tartan Marketing

Tartan Marketing is a full-service B2B marketing agency that helps our clients energize their brands and grow their businesses.

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