Communicating Value – Best Practices

Michael Gallagher, .

Woman and a speak bubbleIn our last post, we talked about some common obstacles businesses face when communicating the value to clients. They all boil down to being confident in what you have to offer as much as your ability to convey that, with equal confidence, to clients and customers.  Today, we’ll talk about how to overcome some of these stumbling blocks.

It has been said that Apple’s real value proposition is not in the actual products or technology they produce, but in their ability to blend that technology seamlessly into everyday life.  The true value is not actually in the product or service; it’s in Apple’s uncanny ability to convince people that they cannot do without it, that there is value in having an Apple product that goes beyond the actual device or gadget.

But you’d really have to be Apple to pull this off: the rest of the business world needs clarity, credibility, and differentiation.  Apple is clear; they detail what their new big product will do.  They have the credibility and history that allows us to have optimism and faith in their ability to bring this product to market successfully, and they are able to differentiate themselves from the competition in any number of ways.  So what do you do if you’re not Apple – yet?

Be clear.  How will you make customers understand the product or service you are offering?  You have to appeal to customers and clients; how will the product be meaningful to them?  In communicating your value,
be specific.  Vague promises don’t even work for politicians, and they will not work on increasingly sophisticated clients.  Offer statistics, facts, figures, numbers, prices, case studies, visualizations…anything that will substantiate your assertion that your product is worth their time and money.

Be different.  Apple is Apple…what are you?  How are you different from any other company that offers the same product?  Do you have a better product? Do you have faster, more reliable service?  Do you have lower prices?  Do you use eco-friendly materials and manufacturing processes? Is there a social cache attached to your products?  Are you known for real value?  Whatever sets your business apart needs to be clearly articulated to clients in your value proposition.

Progressive Insurance does this by pointing out features they offer their customers that others do not, such as the “name your own price” feature or the Snapshot discount.  They not only communicate that they are the best, they imply that the competition will provide a subpar experience.

Be credible.  Without credibility, your value proposition is destined to fall flat.  You can prove or demonstrate your company’s value through real-life demonstrations, tests, samples, case studies, and testimonials.  A free sample, a test drive, a case study conducted by an independent lab or authority…these may be the key to establishing your credibility, expertise, and authority in the field.  Don’t wax poetic; provide real answers and proof.

Communicating value may seem like the easiest thing to do but when it comes to an effective value proposition, it can be more challenging to fully articulate why clients ought to choose you over the competition.  Remember clarity, differentiation, and credibility.

Implementing some of the ideas mentioned here can be challenging. If you would like to discuss them in the context of your own specific business please contact us. We’d be glad to help.

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Michael Gallagher

Mike Gallagher, President of Michael Gallagher Advisory, has spent the past 20 years helping small business owners and managers develop and implement strategic business plans, achieve sustainable, targeted growth and solve the problems that keep them up at night.