A hot topic going around BizSmart clients recently has been about 'laddering' ones products/services so that there are clear opportunities for current and potential customers. 
Developing a value proposition for each of your key products or services so that they can address different target audiences and different needs is important to retain focus and clarity with your offerings – keep the number of different offerings to a minimum. 
A good value proposition will synthesise the compelling reasons why someone should buy from you. Done well, it will form the basis of all communications and is also an essential briefing document for use with external agencies. 
You should be able to put together a reasonable value proposition from what you know about your customers and your offerings – but it makes sense to test it with a few customers if you can. Sometimes you will find that what you thought was really strong is not actually that important to a customer, and vice versa. So ask one of your best customers if they will help you. 
A value proposition consists of seven key elements and we will take each of these in turn: 
1. The target audience – Who is it for? 
2. Their needs – What are their needs that we are trying to address? 
3. The features – What is the service or product and what does it ‘contain’? 
4. The benefits – Against the needs, what are the benefits we are offering? 
5. The primary alternatives – What/who else could they use instead of you? 
6. Differentiators – What makes you different from the alternatives? 
7. Credibility – What proof can you offer that gives people confidence in your 
When developing your service 'ladder' we should always be thinking about who our product or service is for. The more specific you can be here the better. We are looking to define a ‘cohesive’ group or segment that we can market to. You can describe a target market in many terms and the more detailed the better – as long as the descriptions are relevant so that you can use them to help you identify them so you can market your offer. There are several ways to think about defining your target audience, sometimes referred to as a segment. Some will be more appropriate for your business than others, so consider them all and then focus on the ones that are most relevant and enable you to build a strong description (avatar) of your ideal customers. You may have several different avatars depending on whether they have different needs that you can fulfil. 
Once you have a really strong idea of your core products or services that are your primary focus, all you need to do is build a really strong ‘story’ for each of them. This will form the basis of our marketing and sales activities! 
For more on 'Laddering Your Products/Services' check out the recent episode of SmartQuestions here
For more on developing your value proposition check out Kevin Brent's Entrepreneurial ScaleUp System
Share this post:

Leave a comment: 

Our site uses cookies. For more information, see our cookie policy. Accept cookies and close
Reject cookies Manage settings