Ultimately, the value proposition of your business should answer this question for the prospect: “Why choose us”? Why should the customer choose your business over your competitor’s business? To create a strong value proposition, you need to clearly start with problem identification.
In my Web Planning Series of posts about the importance of a value proposition in your web strategy, I shared with you in Part 1: understanding what value is; in Part 2 – I defined what a value proposition is and its purpose; in part 3, I outlined the components of a value proposition.
One of the components of a value proposition is Problem Identification. The Problem Identification is critical because it provides a focus on what type of business problem you’re trying to solve. It is the “pain” that the consumer is experiencing. Consumers like it when a business can solve a problem for them and do it well– this is what keeps brand affinity.
If your business is a start-up, it usually starts with: “I got an idea!” That idea comes to mind because you have encountered a nuisance in your day-to-day activities. Think about the Elliptical Machine…what problem does it solve? It’s more than just cardio. My hunch is that it sounded something like this: “Ouch! My knees hurt when I run on a treadmill; I need something with less impact on my knees”.
How about Gatorade? Is the problem they are solving for consumers… “I am thirsty”? Actually no. The problem Gatorade is solving is: “I just finished an intense cardio workout and I need something to quench my thirst AND replenish my energy”.
If your business is established, then rethink the problem your product/service is solving; particularly if you are not getting a strong return on your marketing strategy. It’s more than identifying the benefits – if you can clearly state the problem you can assess if your marketing message is addressing the problem or is it just listing features.
Once you’ve identified the problem, you can begin to identify the Target Market to test if your product/service is viable. It’s important to recognize that the target market (which I will discuss in another post) is bound together by the problem you are suggesting the consumer is experiencing.