Value Proposition, Positioning And Messaging


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Understanding how to define your value proposition or improve it will strength your positioning and messaging. This approach has resulted in great success for me.

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Value Proposition, Positioning And Messaging

  1. 1. Marketing Terminology Value Proposition : Is the promise that differentiates us in the market place. Positioning : Is the high-level promise we convey to customers Messaging : Is how we creatively advertise our positioning
  2. 2. Roles of a Value Proposition Organization & Engineering Marketing & Sales Deliverables/ Outputs Customer Representation Inbound Role – Alignment & Development Outbound Role – Marketing & Sales <ul><li>Segments </li></ul><ul><li>Outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Vision </li></ul><ul><li>Themes </li></ul><ul><li>Features </li></ul>Value Proposition <ul><li>Positioning </li></ul><ul><li>Messaging </li></ul><ul><li>Business model </li></ul><ul><li>Personas </li></ul><ul><li>Scenarios </li></ul><ul><li>Tasks </li></ul>
  3. 3. Elements of a Value Proposition: Balance Pillars w/Support Effort Risk Price Target Audience What’s in it for me? Why is yours better? Why should I believe you? Is this for me? What could go wrong? What does it cost? Promise Differentiation What do I need to do to make it useful?
  4. 4. Gmail’s Value Proposition Gmail is a free, search-based webmail service that includes 1,000 megabytes (1 gigabyte) of storage. The backbone of Gmail is a powerful Google search engine that quickly recalls any message an account owner has ever sent or received. That means there's no need to file messages in order to find them again. When Gmail displays an email, it automatically shows all the replies to that email as well, so users can view a message in the context of a conversation. There are no pop-ups or untargeted banner ads in Gmail, which places relevant text ads and links to related web pages adjacent to email messages.
  5. 5. Dissecting the Gmail Value Proposition <ul><li>Promise </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Power and elegance of Google search, now applied to email </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Audience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People who already use Google </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Power users who get lots of e-mail and need powerful search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People who like convenience of web-based mail but hate its limitations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Differentiation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google search engine technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Replies in context of conversation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtually unlimited storage </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pillars </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 GB storage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google brand equity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Price, Risk, and Effort </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Free, supported by advertisers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But ads will be relevant to context, and unobtrusive </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <Product> Value Proposition for <Market Segment> <Product name> is a <definition> that provides <benefit>, <for whom and that does what>, <resulting in what outcome> Primary: < Business Decision Makers & Technical Decision Makers>, Secondary: <Partners> Promise: Target Audience : Repeat this for the top 3-5 pillars that are your strongest solution points that the address the issues that the customer cares about when considering if your solution will address their need. Pillars Differentiation Supporting Points validating differentiation Customer Effort & Risk Required Competitive/Alternative solution How is <your product name> different? <Most important Customer need 1 > 1 State how your product versus is better for the customer in terms of addressing this need than competitor 1. Identify proof points or supporting statements to substantiate your differentiation claims in the eyes of the customer. State what the customer is required to do to acquire, implement, or integrate your product for their usage in their environment and what the risks are. Be realistic and include any differentiated advantages. 2 State how your product is better for the customer in terms of addressing this need than competitor 2. 3 State how your product is better for the customer in terms of addressing this need than competitor 3.
  7. 7. Levers to strengthen value proposition Pillars w/Support Effort Risk Price Target Audience Provide more compelling benefits Add or strengthen points of differentiation Provide Independent (trusted) data/proof points Find more receptive sales prospects Eliminate or reduce perceived risks to buy, deploy, or use Reduce pricing or change pricing model Promise Differentiation Reduce perceived effort to buy, deploy, or use
  8. 8. From Value Proposition to Positioning <ul><li>Positioning is derived from the value proposition. It is the way you choose to communicate the differentiated promise to customers. </li></ul><ul><li>Positioning focuses on outbound marketing & sales (what we say to customers) as opposed to inbound direction (what we need to communicate for engineering) </li></ul><ul><li>Positioning guides development of messaging themes for marketing communications. </li></ul>
  9. 9. From Value Proposition to Positioning <ul><li>Positioning: A formal definition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A high-level promise statement that defines how we want target customers to think and feel about our offering relative to competing alternatives, and the key customer perceptions we want to create or change. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Product positioning aimed at customer <ul><li>The position is the place you want your offering to occupy in the hearts and minds of customers relative to alternatives they may consider. </li></ul><ul><li>The position is defined in terms of key customer perceptions you want to change or influence. </li></ul><ul><li>Positioning emphasizes the competitive frame of reference and the key differentiators from a customer perspective. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Customer viewpoints: From Mind to Heart Functional benefits What the product does Economic benefits What it means in time and money Emotional benefits How it makes you feel THINK (MIND) FEEL (HEART) <ul><li>Capability (Quality/Performance) </li></ul><ul><li>Reliability </li></ul><ul><li>Flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>Maintainability </li></ul><ul><li>Usability </li></ul><ul><li>Upgradeability </li></ul><ul><li>Interoperability </li></ul><ul><li>Disposability </li></ul><ul><li>TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) </li></ul><ul><li>EVC Economic Value to Customer) </li></ul><ul><li>ROI (Return on Investment) </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced time </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced cost </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced errors </li></ul><ul><li>Increased productivity </li></ul><ul><li>Style </li></ul><ul><li>Self-actualization </li></ul><ul><li>Self-expression </li></ul><ul><li>Control </li></ul><ul><li>Freedom </li></ul><ul><li>Independence </li></ul><ul><li>Affiliation </li></ul>Customer
  12. 12. Positioning as “taking hills”: Volvo Reliability Safety Performance Luxury Style 1. Attributes: Baseline of positioning attributes is all of the attributes by which the audience views the market landscape in which all competitors hold a position. 2. Identify ‘hilltops’ that can be credibly owned by your brand. In the case of Volvo, the brand naturally owns safety, but needed to add another dimension, luxury, to compete against imports such as BMW and Lexus Affordable Reliability 1. Safety Performance 2. Luxury Style Affordable Functional Benefit: Protects My Family Attributes Safety Luxury Features Safety - Inflatable Side Curtains - Whiplash Protection Seats - Deformation Zones Luxury - Bi-Xenon Headlights - 8- way adjustable lumbar seats - Audio-Max stereo system Emotional Benefit: Peace of Mind 3. The positioning builds an emotional benefit around the combination of ‘hilltop’ attributes that yield a functional benefit. Features scroll up to the functional benefit
  13. 13. Example Positioning Short Message One sentence that you can easily say…not a long run on sentence. Extended Message Paragraph that explains what your product is in more detail. Describe differentiated benefits to customer and the resulting value to the customer. Target Audience Primary: Car Purchaser Secondary: Other drivers of the car Detailed Positioning Statement For <auto buyers and drivers> Who <want a car that provides safety and comfort to that protects the family without sacrificing the latest comfort features.> <Volvo offers safety and luxury> That <is affordable in a reliable vehicle> Unlike <higher priced luxury auto manufacturers, Volvo surrounds the driver and its passengers with safety and luxury.> Top Customer Needs <ul><li>Pillar 1 <Piece of mind & protects my family> </li></ul><ul><li>Specific unmet needs (pain points): </li></ul><ul><li>Want latest security features available on the market. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t want to have to sacrifice security to also get luxury features as well </li></ul><ul><li>Car needs to fit primary driver and secondary driver’s desires. </li></ul>Pillars Piece of mind & protects my family Pillar 2 Pillar 3 Differentiated Benefit Volvo has superior safety features such as inflatable Side Curtains, Whiplash Protection Seats, and Deformation Zones
  14. 14. From Positioning to Messaging <ul><li>Messaging is way you articulate the positioning verbatim in the advertising campaigns you create for specific segments and audiences. </li></ul><ul><li>Key points </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Messaging is creative, positioning is strategic. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Messaging is campaign-specific, positioning is enduring. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Messaging is localized, positioning is global. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. How to get started? Research! Pillars w/Support Effort Risk Price Target Audience Promise Differentiation <ul><li>1a. Market Opportunity / Segmentation: </li></ul><ul><li>Is there a well--defined and relevant target audience? </li></ul><ul><li>1b. Habits & Practices Research: </li></ul><ul><li>What are unmet/unarticulated needs? </li></ul><ul><li>How important is a solution? </li></ul><ul><li>How are needs met today? </li></ul><ul><li>How good is existing solution? </li></ul><ul><li>Concept Value Research: </li></ul><ul><li>Are the benefits inherently compelling? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we stack up against alternatives? </li></ul><ul><li>What will customers pay for the benefits? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the barriers and bridges? </li></ul><ul><li>Positioning & Messaging Research: </li></ul><ul><li>What is the best way to articulate the benefit? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the compelling differentiators? </li></ul><ul><li>What claims and proof points will be most effective? </li></ul>
  16. 16. Want more assistance? <ul><li>Product Management & Marketing Leader </li></ul><ul><li>Innovative, analytical, and results-driven Product Management leader with 20 years of experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Able to create and drive winning product strategies, communicate complex ideas effectively to diverse audiences, and manage virtual teams. </li></ul><ul><li>Efficient at multi-tasking within rapidly changing markets that require agility to adjust direction and priorities while delivering exceptional quantifiable results. </li></ul><ul><li>Contact me for advise if you are a Greater Seattle area startup or looking to hire an Experienced Product Manager or advisor . </li></ul>