What is the value proposition of your product or service? When I say ‘value proposition’, I don’t mean the tagline or slogan such as ‘Just Do It’ for Nike’.
The way to think about your Value Proposition is to answer the following question: ‘What unique and compelling, advantage or benefit does my product or service offer customers that will induce them to part with their money for my offer over all of the other choices they have – including purchasing a competitors product or ‘doing nothing’ by keeping their money in their pocket?’
In today’s market, the promise of quality, service or value simply is not compelling or unique enough. We call it the ‘butchers claim’. Which butcher doesn’t say they have top quality produce, friendly service and offer great value?
These attributes are the minimum expectations from your customers. Digging down to truly understand your unique value proposition is confronting and it takes time. If you don’t have one or don’t make the time to discover your unique value proposition, the only choice your customers are left with is buying from whoever offers them the lowest price.
What is your value proposition?
Who Are You Competing Against – Really?
Top Ten Reasons why you should Love Your Competition
Seth Godin says: “Competing with yourself is more difficult, requires more bravery and leads to more insight.”
When someone says ‘Ah, so you are a competitor?’ - what are they really saying? Your greatest competitor is probably not another player in your market – in fact they are not nearly as much of a threat as you think and surprisingly provide you with more benefits than you could imagine.
So who, or what is the real competition?
- Yourself – bettering the person you were yesterday
- Time – not beating the clock, but being more efficient
- Procrastination – the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now
- Distraction – resisting temptation, trivia and timewasting
- Knowledge – do you know so much that you can’t take on a new idea?
Our real competition is our human failings, including our fear of competition.
So here are my Top Ten Reasons why you should Love Your Competition:
- Competitors grow the entire category
- Competitors can service clients you can’t, shouldn’t or won’t
- Competitors are often your best source of qualified referrals
- Competitors will welcome your qualified referrals
- Competitors can be your best collaborators as they understand the industry and add the valuable dimension of a different perspective
- Competitors keep you on your toes and encourage you to do your best and continually improve your offering, service and performance
- Competitors are investing in and developing your industry with research, new ideas, designs, tools, methodologies and processes
- Poor competitors aren’t competitors at all. They will either make you smug (because we are all so good, right?) or drag you down with excuses for poor performance
- Effective competitors create whole new opportunities for the market and create masses of downstream wealth and activity
- Competitors keep you honest
The competition is you. Your time starts now.
In the days leading up to and following 31 December 2014, my social media feed was flooded with declarations of what 2015 will and will not be and what people will and will not accept in the new year.
Reality check: Your year will be what it will be…
Set your goals and work your tail off, knowing that you’ll win some and lose some. You’ll win some easy ones and you’ll slog your guts out for others with not even a hint of progress.
Don’t. Give. Up!
Your success is not determined by how boldly and loudly you stake your claim at the beginning of the year, but by how hard and consistently you work at it all year long – even when it’s ‘not working’.
Don’t get discouraged when it feels like it’s all falling apart. It’s not really falling apart; it’s just reducing the sum to smaller parts to make it easier to work with…
By all means map your success, write your goals and share them with the world – I do every year – but high-five the stuff-ups, the failures and the frustrations as an essential part of the game…
Happy New Year!