Updated: Wed, 01/23/2013 - 01:11

Benefits of a strong value proposition

Photo provided Ernst W. Bruderer is the chair of the Savannah/Hilton Head Area chapter of Vistage International
Photo provided Ernst W. Bruderer is the chair of the Savannah/Hilton Head Area chapter of Vistage International
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A strong value proposition helps employees make the right work choices and focus on productive activities while simultaneously helping customers make the right purchasing choices.

According to economist Mary Kay Plantes, author of Beyond Price: Differentiate Your Company in Ways that Really Matter, a strong value proposition differentiates your offer from your competitors’ offers and provides your company with the following benefits:

• Loyal customers who are willing to pay a premium.

• Collaborative departments that share an understanding of where and how the company wins business.

• Better and faster decision-making by employees, managers and executives.

• Quick resolution to work-based conflict.

• Better-leveraged, highly effective resources because the company is focused.

A value proposition that resonates with employees and customers brings clarity to the business internally. Employees understand the goals and strategies and know what needs to be done. In this way, it drives and focuses the work, innovation and integration of your current and future products or services.

It helps a company to run itself, and it helps keep the employees focused exclusively on tasks that add value or drive revenue.

When creating your value proposition, you want to follow some guiding principles. A well created value proposition can be easily articulated in a short sentence, contains a unifying idea that will resonate with key audience, expresses the unique offering you bring to your customer, expresses the wants of your customers and potential customers, is sustainable and attainable short-term and long-term and differentiates your offer from your competitors’ offers.

Creating your value proposition requires knowing which customers you want to sell to, what they value and how your company is or can be unique to them. A solid value proposition also creates a strong emotional connection for employees and customers.

An example of a strong and sustainable value proposition is the online shoe retailer Zappos.com. The company uses the tagline “Powered by service,” but their value proposition is really about customer joy and extraordinary treatment. The company clearly states and repeats five elements of its “service” promise on its home page and on every page of its website.

Businesses can learn three things from the Zappos value proposition and how it executes it. First, tout your value proposition in areas where you customer will see it. Second, your value proposition should eliminate your customer’s fears, uncertainties and doubts. And finally, when you offer a value proposition and deliver on your promise, people start talking about your brand, which leads to greater sales and incoming talent.

By creating a rock-solid value proposition customers understand and employees embrace, you also enhance your corporate culture. The benefits of having a clear and simple strategy are profound, powerful and profitable.

Ernst W. Bruderer is the chair of the Savannah/Hilton Head Area chapter of Vistage International, the world’s leading chief executive organization. He can be reached at ernst.bruderer@vistage.com or 843-342-7430.

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