Michael D. Moberly March 1, 2010
A ‘value proposition’ should, in as few words as possible, accompany every (new, existing) business initiative. It’s essential that a value proposition include, at minimum:
1. a clear – understandable statement of the tangible – quantifiable results and benefits that will be delivered (can be expected), i.e., the added value a client will experience and can use.
2. believable and logical (evidence-based) link(s) – path(s) between the product and/or service being pitched and how either will favorably impact a business, i.e., provide specific benefits and returns that meet a need.
Value propositions that are service (versus product) oriented though, may present particular challenges relative to how they’re framed, written, and presented. In my view, this is especially important when the (value proposition) service being pitched is describing benefits – returns that will accrue to company’s that identify, utilize, and exploit their intangible assets more effectively.
In these instances, it’s especially important ‘to do the necessary homework’ which begins by not assuming the management/leadership team audience will be on the same page with respect to their orientation to intangible assets. I have found on numerous occasions that management/leadership team familiarity with intangible assets tends to be focused on the intangible assets they believe are relevant to their particular company, industry sector, and/or professional domain.
For example banker and investor orientations’ to intangible assets may logically be focused on lending and monetization issues, whereas the orientation of the management/leadership team of a knowledge (know how) intensive firm may be more focused on employees and intellectual capital matters, i.e., retention, etc.
A value proposition that is overly broad and includes an exhaustive range of intangible assets may not be particularly well received because the (management/leadership team) audience is primarily interested in determing what specific intangible assets affect their company/organization, and perceive anything beyond that as constituting unncecessary ‘clutter’.
The challenge then, is to frame, write, and present a value proposition that respectfully allows management/leadership team audiences to recognize broader applications and more inclusive ranges of intangible assets (internally, externally) that (a.) have relevance to their company, and (b.) which their company can benefit and obtain returns.
Given the preferred brevity though, in terms of length and time to present a value proposition to an audience, the speed which that audience understands and recognizes the relevance, benefits, and returns (of intangible assets) are key!