Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Your Irresistible Offer - "Your Value vs. Values Proposition" - Part 3 of 19

Hey there,

I hope your week's been good.

I ended up having a friend fly me to California on airmiles for week last week. No kidding.

I'm excited about the topic of this week's "Your Irresistible Offer:.

It's particularly relevant for you as a green or conscious business.

Consider this question . . .

“Why should I buy from you vs. the competition?”

For green, conscious and holistic businesses there are powerful reasons to take a long and hard look at this question.

It has to do with the difference between your Values Proposition and your Value Proposition. The letter ‘s’ can make a big difference.

Imagine you go to an autobody shop with your broken down car.

You pull in and are delighted to find out that this autobody shop is a “green” autobody shop. They recycle everything. They’re union owned. They are an active community member and give steep discounts to those working in local environmental groups. They power their shop with wind power, bio-diesel and solar.

They give you a free bus pass for the year and encourage you to drive less. They greet you with a smile and you feel excited to be doing business with them.

You come back later that afternoon to get your car.

But, halfway home, it breaks down in the middle of the highway making you late for a critical appointment. You feel frustrated, helpless and angry.

This repair shop was in profound alignment with your values but didn’t deliver the value you were looking for. They didn’t do the one, central thing you wanted them to do. And no matter what else they did for you - all the other green stuff - you don’t care because they didn’t do the most important thing.

They didn’t solve the problem that you came to them with. They lived their values but they didn’t provide the value you were looking for.

VALUES PROPOSITION: Your values proposition is your statement of what’s important to you in your life and your business outside of making money. It’s the fact that you are green, serve only fair trade coffee, do carbon offsetting on your shipping etc. You value proposition is “here’s what you get for your money.” Your values proposition speaks to their values. This makes them feel good about themselves for doing business with you. It makes them say not just, “wow. what a great product or service.” but “Wow, what a great business.” Your values proposition is basically a, “do it because it’s the right thing to do” message.

“Niman Ranch will sell you four hormone-free, anti-biotic free, humanely raised beef based hot dogs for $7. Possibly the finest hot dogs in the world. It's not clear that the average kid eating a wiener can taste the difference, which is my point, the way we feel about what we eat accounts for as much as the taste itself.” - Seth Godin

**An Example of a Powerful “Values Proposition” from Whole Foods:**

We purchase wind power credits to offset our use of carbon. You can too! Visit a store to find out how.

We support sustainable farming practices that nurture the soil for future generations.

We prevent millions of pounds of waste from going into landfill through our recycling and composting efforts.

We won the EPAs Green Power Partner of the Year award in 2006.

We've been on Fortune's "Best Companies to Work For List" for 10 years in a row-- Number 5 this year.

We support local communities and economies by sourcing unique, artisan
and local products as part of our mix.

We give back 5% of our gross profits through regular Community Support Days.

Our Whole Planet Foundation gives micro-loans in developing countries as a way to fight poverty.

Our Animal Compassion Foundation works to change the way animals are raised for food.

We install energy efficient appliances and use green building materials in our stores.

“An open book policy in which everyone knows what everyone else makes, from the boss to the teenaged delivery boy, is an excellent idea, especially when the business genuinely tries to pay people fairly. Whole Foods also operates with a wide-open financial system. Sensitive figures on store sales, team sales, profit margins, even salaries are available to employees in every location. The company shares so much information so widely that the SEC has designated all 6,500 employees "insiders" for stock-trading purposes.” - Marketing Without Advertising

“La Blue's Cleaners in Sebastopol, California, has been in business for more than 40 years. In addition to providing pick-ups and delivery services to homes and offices, they are known in the community for extending a hand to the temporarily unemployed. If you are out of work, they will custom dry-clean and press one suit or one dress and launder two shirts or blouses at no charge. This information is posted on a sign inside the store which says, "This is our gift to you so you will look your best at your next job interview." Customers really appreciate it, and you can be sure that when they are back among the employed, they bring their business to La Blue's.” - Marketing Without Advertising

VALUE PROPOSITION: Your value proposition speaks directly to their self interest - it speaks directly to the problem they’re facing. The questions to ask yourself are, “Why did they come to us? What is the problem that brought them? What is the self serving result they’re wanting out of working with me?” And then make sure you at least deliver on that. That’s the minimum you must deliver.

And you need both.

I remember talking to the owner of a store that sold most of the green products in town - he was lamenting at how “people don’t shop at our store as much as they say they want to. They always say how much they love what we do but they don’t shop here. How are we supposed to survive if people only give us lip-service?”

It was heartbreaking to hear because he’s a really good man - but he doesn’t market his store. He just appeals to people’s values - he makes them no offer outside of that. He didn’t understand that appealing to people’s values (so that they can feel good about themselves when they buy from you) is only one component of your irresistible offer.

You might know people like him - well intentioned folks with good hearts. But they’re struggling and refuse to market their business.

In this series we’ll explore how you can go about crafting offers that are irresistible and get you more than mere lip service from your clients.

* * *

“Why should I buy from you vs. the competition?”

But, of course, the simplest questions are often the most difficult to answer. After all there are many layers to that question. One name for the answer to that question is a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). One of the simplest and best known examples is Dominoes Pizza: “Hot, fresh pizza to your door in 30 minutes or it’s free.”

“When an idea can’t be articulated simply, crisply and accessibly there is usually something wrong with it. When I hear a great idea, it usually has an affect on my mind and body. Sometimes I feel it in my stomach, other times in my throat, still others on my skin - a kind of instant truth detector test.” - Michael Eisner

Next week sometime I will send you the fourth in the series focusing on the your "USP" - it's one of the most important things you can learn as a business. I tell you more about it next week.

Hope you're having a wonderful summer.


Tad Hargrave
Radical Business
"helping conscious folk make more money"

P.S. REMINDER: Are you interested in getting $400 worth of my marketing coaching time for whatever you want to pay me? If so, check out - www.tadhargrave.com/consulting

This offer is only available until the end of August.

1 comment:

Elijah said...

Bravo Tad! Inspiring stuff and a real reminder that being "good" isn't enough. If we rely on our moral and ethical goodness to get by we aren't going to get very far. We need to be spectacular at what we do.