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Topic: Strategy

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Examples Of Value Propositions - Good, Bad & Ugly

Posted by Chris Blackman on 125 Points
I am looking for examples of Value Propositions used by companies for their products or services, with a brief anecdotal (or researched!) explanation of whether they are successful, or not, with perceptions or opinions of the reasons for their success (or otherwise).

I would like to use these as case study material to show examples of Value Propositions that have worked, those that haven't, and to try to draw out some of the reasons why.

The ultimate aim is to assist businesses to develop their own Value Propositions that are lucid, executable, and hold up in the marketplace, so they have a good chance of success.

What other factors do you think may be important to support a strong Value Proposition?

  • Posted by Sharon on Moderator
    Check out this article on this site.

  • Posted on Member
    You can look at my VP, I don't know if it is G,B, or U, but that's why I'm here to learn how to do it better.

    So far my clients seem to agree with my value proposition as being lucid (easy to understand), executable (I deliver what it says), and offers a differentiation in the market that sets me apart from my local competitors.
  • Posted by DavidatHaley on Member
    What's worked (some of these may be more positioning messages than value propositions, but the concepts are related):

    Walmart - everyday low prices
    BMW - the ultimate driving machine
    7up - the uncola
    McDonald's - consistency
    Domino's pizza - fast delivery
    Google - fast, extensive searches
    Avis - we try harder

    What didn't:

    Nearly every dot com
    Most companies that try to occupy a middle position (not a quality or cost leader) never develop clear value propositions.

    What makes a value proposition work (in my opinion):
    1) Having a tangible difference in a characteristic of your product or that actually matters to your customers. For example, you could have a restaurant whose value proposition is unique food, and they only serve meals dyed blue. Do the restaurant have a clear value proposition? Sort of. Would you eat there? 'Nuff said.

    Most often a real value proposition comes from:
    a) Better process (Walmart)
    b) Better people (McKinsey & Company)
    c) Better raw materials (luxury food items)
    d) Scarcity (diamonds)

    Interestingly enough, most value propositions usually promise better value, better quality and/or better service, but you can't use any of these terms to define your value proposition.

    2) Being extremely focused in the market you serve. A value proposition is a double edged sword. IT shows what differentiates your services, but it also limits the market you serve. Many companies are unwilling or afraid to let go of part of the market, and therefore choose value messages that have little or no meaning. This is particularly true of small businesses in highly competitive industries.

    3) Having a tangible way to prove your value. For example, Walmart became the low price leader as a direct result of their information systems and invenyory management procedures.

    4) Having laser-beam like focus and consistency in living and promoting your value. Disney maybe the perfect example of a company that has lost its value proposition. They used to be the owners of family fun, but now they are a muddled mess.

    5) I also think it helps to keep the message simple.

    Hope you find these opinions helpful!


  • Posted by Blaine Wilkerson on Member
    Well there are so many that thinking about it makes my head spin. Here is my little list ...mostly related to food because I'm hungry:

    Good - Krispy Kreme- "Hot Donuts" (who would have thought?)

    Bad - Panera Bread - Gourmet Bagels (is there such a thing?)Although they are successful...I think it will die out with all the other "premier" bagel shops.

    Ugly - Carl's Jr. Hamburgers - "If it doesn't get all over the place, it doesn't belong in your face" ( pretty gross depiction for a fast food restaurant...especially considering that little thought that crosses our mind when we eat fast food: " I wonder if they did anything to this?")

    Here are some links that may help you as well:

    Good Luck!
  • Posted by Chris Blackman on Author
    Thanks everyone, some excellent answers here.

    Particularly valued the comments about strategy alignment and confusion with differentiation or positioning. I think this is the key - otherwise the VP becomes merely sloganism.

    Aligned strategy ensures the VP is deliverable at all levels of the organisation. Great input, thanks all.

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