I Believe Them Because: A Difference In Value Proposition Frameworks

Both heroes understand the emotional benefit of being able to fly.

Earlier this week, ProductCamp Boston held a Value Proposition workshop featuring Neil Baron of Baron Strategic Partners.

Neil’s lecture provided many insights into customer perception, product experience, and customer analysis. And he shook up my go-to value proposition framework.

Emotional Benefits

I’m most familiar with the kind of value proposition framework put forward by Harry Yang:

  • For [user persona],
  • [product brand name], a product of [frame of reference],
  • provides [solution] for [user problem] by [distinct advantage].

However Neil’s presentation focused on a different kind of value proposition, relying more on the emotional benefits of using your particular product.

His approach was more like this:

  • If I [use/purchase X]…
  • Instead of [doing whatever I have been doing]…
  • [the following good things will happen]
  • I believe them because [endorsements, testimonials]

The Power Of Belief

I found the difference pretty striking.

And not just in a semantic way.

Consider these two different examples, following the two different frameworks…

Example 1

  • For parents of autistic children who wander,
  • SafetyNet, a product of LoJack,
  • provides a personal tracking system that works directly with the police to find and rescue missing people.

Gets the point across. Sounds like a good product.

Now look at this same product through Neil’s framework…

Example 2

  • If I purchase SafetyNet…
  • Instead of investing in locks and sleeping with one eye open to monitor my autistic child…
  • I’ll be able to get a good night’s sleep or enjoy a night on the town while knowing my child is safe.
  • I believe in SafetyNet because our sheriff endorsed the product, my child’s school recommended the product, and a local boy was saved because of this product.

Which value prop do you think will feel more compelling to the target customer?

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3 thoughts on “I Believe Them Because: A Difference In Value Proposition Frameworks

  1. Chris,

    Nice to meet you at the PCamp event – and thanks for coming! Great post – and great insights. What stands out for me is that The eye user problems exist on many different levels and we marketers need to address those challenges at each of those levels. So a business person might have business challenges (need to streamline a process) as well as personal goals (get promoted, be seen as an innovator). The key is to look for both.

    Thanks again for your insight!

  2. Hi Steve –

    Great meeting you, too — thanks for having us. Definitely a multifaceted topic. Each customer type will need a different value prop — and even then, there will be different aspects to each customer type that need to be addressed. Fun stuff 🙂

    Can’t wait for the next PCamp!

    – Chris

  3. Chris,

    Fascinating post. I am pleased that my talk resonated with you. As Steve points out, it is important to look for both the business and emotional needs of the prospect. It is also important to identify all of the customers who are impacted by a product (especially in the B2B world). Most organizations default to the usual suspects and miss an opportunity to connect with others who may be part of the buying process.

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