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The value proposition is one of the keys to the success of your product.

This simple phrase or short treatise must convey the value of your product to the prospective customer in an engaging manner that creates enough interest in them to warrant further conversation.

The value proposition is simple in concept, but I find that creating the proper compelling words for the value proposition to be more difficult than devising the product itself.

This method for creating a value proposition will get you started on the right path to developing a full marketing plan for the project.

The Value Proposition

A value proposition can be defined as a specific promise of the benefits offered to the target customers at a specified price. These benefits can be both unique and ubiquitous.

That sounds very clinical but it is a good, concise, and descriptive definition. Yet, product managers, marketing managers, and copywriters will spend days or weeks on the words in a short paragraph or even a single sentence that can make or break the success of the product.

Fortunately, creating the value proposition is not nearly as daunting as most make it. The difficulty is that the development of the product concept usually occurs long before the value proposition is even thought about.

The solution to ineffective value propositions and mediocre products is to create real value in the product based on the value proposition that is created before the product definition phase and not at the end of the project as just another marketing effort.

The Checklist

One method I’ve found useful is to use a checklist of questions that get to the heart of the matter. This checklist is a series of straightforward questions about your product, customers, and competition.

The goal of these questions is to generate thought and discussion about the status of your product, how it fits into the market, and how you want the products to fit into the market. To maximize the effectiveness of these questions, they should be used during the product definition process.

  1. Who are the target customers?
  2. What makes them distinctive?
  3. Why should anyone buy from your company?
  4. What is the basic product or service you are offering?
  5. Which are the most important benefits and sources of value to the customer? 
  6. How much can you charge?
  7. How much will you charge?
  8. How will you deliver your product’s value?
  9. How does your offering compare to the competitive offerings?
  10. What are some of your barriers to entry into this market?

The goal of each of these questions is to force active thinking and lively discussion about topics frequently just given lip service or ignored completely. This lack of attention to these important details is a main contributor to the mediocre performance of many products launched each year.

These questions should drive in-depth discussions about multiple facets of the business, not just about your product line. I recommend you focus the discussions only on the aspects that apply to your product because that is what you have some control over.

Take notes of all of the issues raised during your conversations and share them with the appropriate the departments as suggestions for improvement.

Product Development & Marketing Expert
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