Why a Customer Value Proposition is vital to your positioning
What is a Customer Value Proposition and why should your brand be defining one.
Customer perceived value is ‘the prospective customers evaluation of all the benefits and costs of an offering compared with those of competitors’ (CIM, 2017). Customers need to understand not only what functionally your service or product provides for them, but what value and benefits ownership creates for them.
Total customer delivered value is the difference between the value the customer thinks they are getting and what it costs them in terms of time, money, energy and emotional investment. To create customer value, your brand has to ensure that its delivered value outweighs the consumer costs. But how do you do that?
Basically, value is all about perceptions. Your brand has to create a strong value perception to its target audience, and this must flow through all of its communications consistently. Your value proposition is the basis of all your marketing communications plans for that specific market segment.
A value proposition is a ‘short succinct statement of the bundle of benefits that your product or service will deliver to its target audience’. (CIM, 2017) It is about what the customer values, not what the organisation values. You have to ask, ‘Why would I want to buy this product?’ Don’t forget to be as specific as possible, and really hone in on what your customer values.
See how the big brands use their customer value propositions to cement their positioning…
M&M’s: ‘The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”
Enterprise: “Pick Enterprise. We’ll Pick You Up.”
Dominos Pizza: “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less, or it’s free.”
Why is a strong customer value proposition important?
The Unique Selling Proposition was first formally identified back in 1940 by Rosser Reeves of the Ted Bates Agency. A USP is ‘something that is head and shoulders above any potential competitor in terms of the benefits it offers to consumers’. So the first iPhone would be considered as having a rock solid USP.
However, since the 1940’s a lot has happened. Many technological advances and the advent of the internet mean it is easier than ever to offer exactly what your competitors are offering, and reach even more people at a lower cost. As such, it is actually very rare to find any products or services that are truly unique. Examples include the first Apple iPhone.
This is where a strong customer value proposition comes in. Brands can effectively create a USP where there may not actually be one, through clever marketing communications. The value your product or service delivers actually becomes an intrinsic part of the product itself, creating a USP that differentiates and positions your offering effectively.
When identifying your value proposition ask your brand:
- As a customer, what do I want or need?
- What problems do I need the product to solve?
- What do I expect from this product/service?
- What benefits do I get from it?
- Why should I choose this over competing offer?
The first financially quantified analysis of how brand building activities can drive growth in brand value was created by The Partners and Lambie-Nairn, Millward Brown and BrandZ and took 10 years of valuation data combined with consumer opinions of the brands to create a unique report on the value of propositions.
It reported that those brands that deliver a unique and compelling core proposition, a distinctive brand identity, and great advertising have recorded 168% brand-value growth on average over the past 10 years.
It also showed that brands that have a strong proposition and identity, but are not considered by consumers to produce great advertising, still perform well in brand-value growth terms. The average brand-value growth over ten years was 76%.
It is proven then, that a well thought out and researched customer value proposition can be just as valuable to a brand as an established identity and personality.
Moreover, advertising spend doesn’t necessarily translate unless your messaging and proposition speak directly to your brands target audience, in terms they understand and value. Aim your communications at delivering customer value and you won’t fail to deliver a successful campaign.
If you need help discovering what your brands customer value proposition is, or you need help planning your next communications campaign, make sure you pop Renee at Blimey Creative a call on 0115 981 6276 or email email@example.com.