A quick search for good examples of B2B value propositions leads to the conclusion that the tech industry has forgotten what good looks like. We seem to be confusing taglines and ads with value propositions. Even Google’s definition: ‘an innovation, service, or feature intended to make a company or product attractive to customers’, misses the point. Words like innovation, service and feature bias the definition to the supply side. And attractiveness is different to value.
A value proposition is the basic idea we have in mind when we create collateral, not the content itself. The value proposition must be clear about:
For ____________ (target customer)
Who ____________ (statement of the need or opportunity)
Our (product/service name) is ____________ (product category)
That (statement of capability) ____________
Unlike ____________ (the most likely alternative)
Our product (name) ____________ (statement of value)
Here is the framework applied to Force.com back in the day when cloud computing was the latest thing:
For IT managers and professional developers who need to build and run business applications and web sites without eating up valuable IT resources our Force.com is a cloud platform that enables customers, partners and developers to quickly build powerful business applications to run every part of the enterprise in the cloud unlike traditional software platforms our product doesn’t need networks, servers, storage, a complicated software stack or the people, space and power to run them and as a result applications can be built five times faster at half the cost.
Clear, succinct and still relevant today.
Andrew Keevil assists technology companies with strategy and marketing, specialising in new proposition development.