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Creating Compelling Value Propositions Can Be Fun

by Barbara Bix  |  
July 14, 2009
  |  5,758 views

A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of watching 50 IEEE CNET consultants help one of their own develop a compelling value proposition. It was really fun. Here's what happened.

I had just presented "Creating a compelling value proposition: Turning your solutions from a 'so what' to a 'must have.'" Then, I announced that we needed a client who wanted to improve his or her value proposition.

This would be his or her opportunity to benefit from the others' advice. The rest of the group would get a chance to use what they had just learned; and I would have the opportunity to see others try to apply the methodology that I had developed to help my clients ensure their marketing messages hit the mark.

Finding clients can be hard

No one volunteered to be the client. Instead, a wise guy in the back of the room said, "That's our perennial problem, we need clients." And in so doing he raised his hand as a qualified prospect.


I invited him to join me at the front of the room to tell us about his business and take a first pass at articulating his value proposition. The others were charged with helping him develop a value proposition that would meet six criteria: It needed to...

  1. Speak to a pressing concern
  2. Focus on a single benefit
  3. Be specific rather than general
  4. Be clear and concise
  5. Create a sense of urgency
  6. Mitigate the buyer's risk

Good value propositions address a pressing problem

Then, the consultation began. The client told us that he developed fully documented software for embedded systems. The group then had a series of discussions and posed questions.


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Barbara Bix is managing principal of BB Marketing Plus, where she helps companies enhance their brands by capturing and enhancing the customer experience.

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