Any sized business can make a big promise happen by delivering the value proposition, specific to that business, when its committed to and supported by the right gatekeepers – from an answerphone holding the fort, to a line of line managers sitting in waiting.
With stiff competition for products (and services) big promises consequently bring big asks from customers. More than ever before, consumers have control over what they’re willing to spend. Additionally, loss aversion has them buying accordingly which means that providing a value proposition needs to be about more than price.
Giant corporations are big on value proposition rhetoric: L’Oreal changed ‘Because I’m worth it’ to ‘you’re worth it’, and currently its ‘we’re worth it’; their team of marketers (probably sat at Lego-laden tables dotted with bowls of jelly beans) worked until inspiration struck, they recognised the brand’s value was as important to the customer as valuing their customers. Providing they’ve followed through with appropriate gatekeepers – they’ve cracked it.
On more familiar territory: Lloyds Banking Group’s ‘You First’ changed to ‘For the Journey’. Presumably etiquette illustrated the customer being placed first, although with no clear objectives, identifying ‘first’, ‘for’ and ‘the journey’ made it hazy so, serving the people and businesses of Britain they’ve re-branded and re-focused their value proposition to ‘For the Moments that Matter’ – (a big claim considering their recent IT system failure).
As I understand it, ‘marketers’ general advice about value propositions is to stay away from money propositions (biggest savings, cut prices etc.), however, although RBS make no mention of money with their customer value proposition: ‘Here for You’, imagining it next to the Restructuring and Recovery Division doors this is a value proposition with sufficient menacing tone it doesn’t need a gatekeeper, just re-name the department: Mission Impossible? And with Barclays’ ‘Fluent in Finance – It’s our Business to Know Your Business’ – Scary… in a KGB way? Santander: ‘Bank for Your Ideas’ – hazy or just vague? Maybe re-thinking the money thing and firming up some ideas isn’t such a bad idea?
A value proposition is usually only put to the test when something goes wrong and when it goes wrong, if the gatekeepers’ aren’t managed…. who’s really bothered?
Re-arranging doesn’t change the formula – eleven plus two: when you rearrange the numbers is twelve plus one.
Next time: Part Two – The Gamekeepers of Your Business : When things went wrong…..