I spotted a clever and meaningful advertisement in Business Week yesterday. It is a fine example of a value proposition that catches your eye and makes a powerful statement. I could not find the ad on the company's web site but I did find two other examples of how that industrial company appeals to the wallets of the IT professionals of corporations:
- Data Surges Cost Big Bucks - Avoid them (using our solution) This is an industrial system that aims to keep a corporation's data center up and running in spite of impacts by large power surges.
- Data Centers Are Too Complex - So let us run them for you as a service This appeals to the reality of the world's increasingly messy and rapidly changing world of information technology, suggesting the customer focus on what it does best while the service company takes on the messy IT data center operations.
Startups need value propositions. They progress as your product and service offerings expand. Surf the web site of the company featured above (ADC.com) and you can see how the expansion has taken place as well as how each new product and service offering are made based on value propositions. I know next to nothing about ADC but I know value propositions when I see them. You can learn by reading a few of those.
The managing part is tricky. You often start by saving money and then when copy-cats offer the same thing (e.g. cut the cost in half), you have to move on, offering additional or alternative value (e.g.start to also save me time that is valuable). That is why value propositions are made relative to the competition, are the heart of positioning a new product, and are organic, changing so you are able to out-maneuver competitors as they attack.
BOTTOM LINE: Study and learn to make great value propositions. They are tricky to do because they can be so creative. Use hard numbers, ones that are believable and that can be reproduced independently. Plan on how you will manage advancing your initial proposition. Get good and then get great at managing value propositions and you'll be far ahead of your competitors. You'll be capable of winning when the fight is most fierce. Mastering managing value propositions will become a powerful element of your unfair advantage.