Developing a new value proposition? Don’t fall into the trap of gathering only internal input. Sure, your executives and sales pros can provide legit insights about your brand and the value it delivers in the marketplace. But focusing only on a shortcut “selfie” value prop could lead to – as the kids say – an epic fail. You need to turn outward to get a bigger perspective – including gathering feedback from customers and doing a thorough competitive review. Why? Three reasons.
1. You can validate your assumptions
Perched in their ivory towers, sometimes executives can be removed from the day-to-day dynamics of the ever-changing marketplace. And some sales representatives may only tell executives what they think they want to hear. You need a reality check. Talking directly to customers via phone interviews or email surveys, for example, allows you to validate your current brand perceptions – or reshape your value prop to better align with their real-world needs.
2. You need the whole story
A solid, inspired value proposition occupies a unique position – where internal, customer and marketplace factors overlap. When insights from all three groups are analyzed and triangulated, you’re able to craft a messaging platform that truly resonates in your industry, delivers real value and withstands the rigors of the marketplace for the long haul. It’s a value prop that’s “sticky,” with tangible benefits that are defined and demanded by your client base.
3. You don’t know what you don’t know
Oftentimes, customer interviews reveal precious insights that can either make you take a step back, or provide new foundational messaging for your brand.
For example, one of our clients was sure that her customer service team was full of rock stars – but a few customer reactions convinced her otherwise. Another client wanted to position his brand as the customer’s “partner” when it came to the nitty-gritty restaurant service his company provided, but our research indicated that he was overreaching; the customer just “wanted the thing done” and didn’t want to think about it. Sometimes customer interviews will even unearth hidden gems that allow you to pounce on an unforeseen opportunity or thwart an emerging threat. You’ll never know unless you ask.
Don’t try this at home
Oh, yeah, one more tip: To execute a meaningful value proposition, you should engage a third-party expert. By going outside your organization, you’ll gain a different, broader perspective on your business, brand and market. Just as important, it’ll allow your customers to talk anonymously about your offering and your team, and impart the stone-cold insights and criticisms they may not want to tell you to your face. That’s the kind of feedback you want.
Contact Tartan to discover how our three-part discovery process can help you build a value proposition that resonates and dominates.