Why should customers choose you?
Everyday we all make choices to buy and use services and products provided by others.
Whether it’s down to want, need or desire, we predominately buy to make our lives easier or better.
Being clear about what you provide and why may seem simple enough, but some businesses fail to become viable because they don’t address the specific benefits to their potential and prospective customers alongside their unique point of difference against the competition.
It all comes down to understanding and communicating your value proposition:
· What are the positive benefits you create that will be a gain for your customer – make them happy, their life easier etc?
· What are the pain relievers you provide to make your customer feel better and help them eradicate an issue that’s troubling them?
Using the Value Proposition Canvas, developed by Alex Osterwalder at Strategyzer can help clarify what you’re offering and why. Use the right-hand image to focus on your customer and list what makes them happy, what do they want to get done, and what pain they want relieving. Then complete the left-hand image to list what the business provides to elevate and help the issues raised on the right. This will ideally show a perfect ‘fit’ between you and your customer – or a ‘misfit’ if not the right product or service to address the customer’s needs and wants.
There are thousands of start-ups that fail to make it past the first year because they launched a product or service they thought the customer wanted, but on reflection what seemed a good idea just didn’t have the legs – or value proposition to make its mark.
It’s important to be able to communicate clearly what is your value proposition. If you can’t explain it succinctly to your friends and family, then it needs some work. If it’s not clear when people visit your website, your social sites or premises from the get-go, it needs some work.
Influencing purchasing decisions is a key role of your marketing strategy. Creating and communicating the ‘value’ your customers are willing to pay for is what will stop them from choosing the competition, the rip offs or imitators.
Continuously reviewing and refining your value is also key. Many businesses have fallen foul of resting on their laurels and not responding to market changes quickly enough – Blockbuster and Woolworths are just a couple of high-profile examples. Developing your value proposition at the start of your business and then leaving it forever more, even if it looks like it’s working is not an option if you want to remain viable. Of course, there are always variables and external factors that are out of your control to an extent which can impact purchasing decisions. I won’t mention the ‘b’ word but it is undoubtably having an impact on some industries and customers who are reluctant to spend with such an uncertain future ahead.
There will always be those who buy purely because of price and convenience. However, creating a point of difference, whether it’s through quality, service or performance and communicating those benefits and values to a targeted audience will help position the business in the best possible light to generate the positive returns and be the product or service of choice for your customers.