Do you have a clear and compelling Value Proposition?

Do you have a clear and compelling Value Proposition?


In previous blog articles we discussed the importance of having a clear strategy.  At the very core of this strategy lies one key element that is often overlooked – Your Value Proposition.  That is, what your solution does for your customer and why they should pay you for it.  Many of the struggles that businesses face today stem from not properly understanding what the customer needs and how their product or service fits within that.

Sounds simple, but so many entrepreneurs start with an idea of a product or service based on what they can offer, their expertise, their idea, etc.  We are here to say that, while important, it is not the starting point for your Value Proposition.  Instead of starting there, successful Value Propositions start with an analysis of your target client, then how your product needs to address their needs.

Most of us (while we may have difficulty admitting it) don’t offer products or services that people want to buy, in and of themselves. We don’t make iPhones or trendy gadgets or luxury goods that people want.   Instead, we offer something that produces a result that IS what our clients are looking for.  No one (that we know of) wakes up in the morning and says “I really want to buy some legal advice today” or “I really want to spend my money to upgrade my XYZ”.  Instead, what they really want is what our solutions DO FOR THEM.  Do you know what they need and how you address it?  Is this something they know?  Do you lead with that?


Strategizer™ has excellent tools to help with this process, upon which a working session can be structured to guide you through the process, which generally revolves around the following steps:

 STEP 1 – Client Persona
  • Who is the target client exactly? Age, demographic, etc.
  • What are their needs (conscious or unconscious)? What are their emotional, social and functional needs?  Remember, people buy for emotional reasons…
  • What “pains” are they living?
  • What “gains” are they trying to achieve?
  • What “tasks” do they need to accomplish to do their work?

Take the time to think through each of these carefully and challenge yourself to think outside of the “traditional responses” as you create this client persona.  This understanding will make space for the creativity you need in the next part of the process and may drastically change the product or service you were thinking of offering.

STEP 2 – Prioritize and Consolidate

Consider this carefully – is there a unique an innovative thing you could add to your offering that will address one of these that you hadn’t considered?  This is the foundation of your differentiation – take the time to dream a little… Decide which ones of these “pains”, “gains” and “tasks” you will address with your offering.

STEP 3 – Map your offering

Map out the specifics of the “what” and the “how” your offering will address each of the “pains, “gains” and “client tasks” you are tackling from step 2.  Be specific.  At the end of this process, you should have something in your solution for each of the items of your client persona you decide to address.  If you don’t, what is missing?  Is there something you could do; add something to address it? Could you go look for what is missing from partners?

STEP 4 – Validate

This is where you need to get brutally honest.  For this new map of client needs to your solution, how does your product or service fulfill on these needs in a unique way in the market?

  • What makes your solution compelling vs what is already out there?
  • Will they pay for what you offer?
  • How much effort or client education will be needed to demonstrate your value to them and are you ready to do it?


If you don’t have a clear and compelling Value Proposition (we would even say that if you are not excited at this point), go back to step 1!  Are there “pains”, “gains”, or “tasks” that you should consider adding to the list?  Are there more unique, cost-effective or innovative ways you can address them (Step 2)?

This new, clear and compelling Value Proposition is what everything else should be based upon.  We will discuss other elements of the business plan in other articles, but this is the starting point.  This is where you need to lead your marketing and sales effort from – what do you do for your client in a unique and compelling way.  Too often, companies lead with their products or service instead of the other way around – and it doesn’t work!

As a case in point to illustrate this process, I’ll share how we at Propulsio 360 went through this process ourselves for a new service offering we were considering – helping our clients with compliance to new privacy requirements imposed by federal Bill 25 (see separate blog article about the specifics of Bill 25 by our colleague Philippe-Antoine).  With this, we saw the potential fit for a new service offering for our clients since we have the legal and business expertise in-house.  There are government-imposed deadlines fast approaching by which companies in Canada will need to comply with some very complex requirements.

Here’s what we did:

STEP 1- we mapped out our target clients

STEP 2- we rationalized our list and decided which of the “pains”, gains” and “tasks” we believ we can address

STEP 3- we mapped out a service offering that addresses each of these

STEP 4- we validated the uniqueness, the pricing, and the “attractiveness” of this offer for our clients.

What do our clients really want?  How can we make their lives easier and allow them to focus on their core business?  We know they don’t want to buy an audit (who does?).  They don’t want to hire consultants or a law firm.  What do they want?  To not find themselves in trouble with government regulation and being imposed large fines regarding privacy.  And they don’t know what they need to do to comply.

The resulting newly packaged service offering – Bill 25 Compliance Road Map.  Of course we need to do an audit, spend some legal hours and consulting hours with the client, but that is not what they are buying. They are buying a solution to their problems.  This straightforward process forced us to think from our client’s perspective and position our service differently than we would have otherwise. If you want to see the results from this process, meet with a member of our team!

Bottom line – start first with what your client needs then tailor your offering.  Challenge yourself.  Make sure they are ready to pay for it.  Then develop your plan around that.  We have mentioned Strategizer™  which offers great tools to facilitate this process.  The second part of this – make sure you take uninterrupted time (even offsite) to truly do the brainstorming process justice.  Consider having a experienced third party help guide you and challenge your ideas.  An outside perspective can greatly help creativity!  Contact us and we would be thrilled to discuss how we can help you with this!

Scroll to Top