Step into your customers' shoes for a moment.
How often are you pummeled with promises of faster, easier, better, or similar claim of a quantum leap into the Promised Land of superior results and at a lower cost?
"But it's true. My product really is faster, easier, and better. Why shouldn't I broadcast the news?"
You should. But in the right way, and at the right time. Like many things in life, timing is everything. You'll want to make those claims and you'll want customers to know that your product or service can deliver, but first...
Enter the Value Proposition
For potential customers to understand the value of your company and it's products or services, consider the impact of a statement that succinctly and powerfully tells the world the "Why, What, and How" of your company and how its products or services will solve their problems. This statement, the Value Proposition, positions your company and its offerings in a way that can make customers want to engage with your company to learn more.
A good Value Proposition establishes you as someone who sees things through the eyes of your customer and puts you in a better position to "win"—not someone who focuses on their own offerings.
What a Value Proposition is and isn't
It is not a features/benefits summary. A good Value Proposition is an overview that uniquely positions your company, informs potential customers about the gains to be had by working with you, and distinguishes you from competitors. It's a key selling tool that should be incorporated into every communication that comes from your company—Web sites, tablet materials, sales documents, PowerPoint decks, e-mail blasts (and cold-call e-mails to introduce your company to a potential prospect), voice mail messages, trade show collateral, and sales-call materials.
Don't be shy with your Value Proposition; it should be consistently and persistently communicated.
Value Propositions—too often missing
Value Propositions tend to be missing in advertising; many marketing efforts focus on the product and not the key target for any marketing effort—the customer. Market growth opportunities can come from communicating with scientists who aren't looking for your company or technology. When scientists visit a website, trade show booth, or read an e-mail or document from your company, they're not just poking around to learn what's available. They have a real need and want to know how they will benefit from working with your company. To draw in your customer (and shut out all your competitors clamoring for your customers' attention), you have to quickly and powerfully answer 3 questions:
Too often, life science suppliers focus entirely on the technology:
The key question that customers ask and that life science suppliers too frequently leave unanswered is "What's in it for me?" If that piece is missing, customers may well move on to the next booth, Web site, or e-mail. You've lost potential customers before even having the opportunity to engage them. According to an article at Forbes online1 customers are almost 60% of the way through their buying decisions before engaging the company. In the tech-savvy life sciences field, the percentage is likely higher. You must engage customers to get them to want to engage with you.
The technology isn't what your company is selling or what the customer is searching for. You're selling the ability to solve scientists' problems in a unique manner that brings them tangible benefit.
The focus is on them—the customers.
This is exactly what a good Value Proposition explains.
How to build a Value Proposition
The components of a successful Value Proposition are:
Communicating your Value Proposition effectively is vital.
To create an effective Value Proposition:
It's not about your technology, it's about your customers
Successfully positioning your company requires framing the benefits, advantages, and differentiators from the customer viewpoint and with their needs in mind.
A good Value Proposition will quickly broadcast how your product or service meets those needs unlike any competitor.