Get to CORE
There are two examples that I find strong when it comes to presenting Value Propositions. Geoff Moore describes how you can explain any value proposition with a single sentence. You fill out the blanks for the specific product or service that you are working on.
For [target customer] who [needs or wants X], our [product/service] is [category of industry] that [benefits]
Steve Blank has even dummied that down to the much simpler sentence:
We help [X] to [Y] by [Z]
Peter Sandeen wants to cut out even more and says you only have to answer two questions. Answering these two questions makes you skip all the marketing trash.
(1) what makes you valuable and (2) how can you prove it?
The beauty of using these simple sentences is that you can use them everywhere. They are easy to remember. You can put them on a slide. You can keep repeating them until everyone is sick and tired of them. But…that is exactly what a value proposition should be. Everyone should have the value proposition embossed in their brains. Value propositions should focus all the efforts of a product group on serving that single purpose.
So, why are you proposing something else? Isn’t that yet another model?
Well, to be honest, I have trouble remembering all of these models. Since there are so many I tend to confuse things or mix things up. That’s why I have created an acronym for myself that I find easy to remember and that helps me to address the most important aspects of a value proposition.
I only have to remember that the value proposition is the CORE of any product (team). Whereby CORE refers to the following items
Who is the target audience for this product? If you want you could even quantify this with market intelligence data. Always try to think in behaviors that categorize this group, not in demographics. (Example: ‘Customers that want to find a taxi ride from their current location’ would be the target customer for Uber)
Offer or Opportunity
What does your company offer to these customers? Or what business opportunity do you see for these customers. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a product. It could also be a service. Or it could be a better way to organize a company. (Example: ‘We provide a mobile application that matches drivers to rides and provide accurate information on your scheduled ride’ would be the offer of Uber).
Reason to believe us and buy from us
How do you convince that customer to purchase from you (and not from a competitor)? Be specific. This is where you describe how you will tackle the opportunity you see. (Example: ‘Everyone can be qualified as a driver for Uber. Searching for a ride can be done in several seconds as we know the user’s location. Payment for the ride to the driver is guaranteed by us’ could be reasons to buy from Uber).
Finally, state where you outperform others. This can be at any moment in the value chain. (Example: ‘We have the largest pool of drivers, are the easiest and fastest to search for a ride, provide you with the most accurate feedback on when you can expect your ride, and are the simplest to pay’ could be reasons why Uber excels compared to other taxi firms)
So there you have it. You’ll be able to build great value propositions if you just remember that it is the CORE of any product. I hope this acronym serves you as well as it has served me.
I’m happy to hear your thoughts about this article, value propositions or product management. Do no hesitate to leave a comment.