All companies understand the value of a well-thought-out brand value proposition and the roles and functions it serves. A lot of focused, thoughtful effort goes into creating a value proposition. An effective one will succinctly capture the most valuable and meaningful brand promise and, consequently, how best to develop the most motivating brand strategy – from positioning to targeting to messaging – that satisfies the needs of the customer base.
However, in many respects, the value proposition is a time-stamped piece of work. It is created based on the beliefs, attitudes, and “facts” of the day. As time marches on, though, “perceived wisdom” can become “old wisdom.” Some of those beliefs, attitudes, and “facts” will undoubtedly change.
Over time, these changes can have a significant impact on the brand’s value proposition, in terms of either the “fit” with customer needs and/or its relevance in a competitive context. Hence the value (if not the need) to occasionally revisit the value proposition to assess if it is based on current and valid reasoning and still capable of conveying the “right” value message to the “right” customers.
Revisiting a value proposition does not mean conducting a start-from-scratch or throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater reconstruction project. Rather, it should be a thoughtful, proactive review that is used as a means of assessing the factors, reasons, and assumptions that it was originally based upon.
Healthy debate can be used to challenge the brand’s current, or perceived state:
- Is it still valid?
- Is it fresh?
- Is it up-to-date?
- Is it complete?
- How do we feel about it?
The answers to these questions will let you know if the content of the value proposition can benefit from being enhanced, modified, or kept untouched. These present-day perspectives can also be applied to improve the expression of the brand’s value proposition, notably by updating the ways that are used to define or present the value proposition’s intended meaning.
A deliberate, thoughtful, disciplined review of the value proposition will build confidence that any changes that are made will be the right ones. Plus, the inspiration that results from a fresh consideration of the brand promise, what the customer values, and what the brandscape looks like will invigorate the organization and create a new, exciting sense of purpose. A renewed sense of alignment between the brand and the team will also be forged.
The key criteria for evaluating the timely scope and effectiveness of a brand’s value proposition are:
- Does it have the potential to increase or improve the brand’s value perception in the market?
- Can the brand deliver on the value proposition in a believable and compelling way?
- Can it help differentiate the brand from the competition?
After the value-proposition evaluation is complete, it is perfectly reasonable to think that you might discover that no changes are necessary. In this case, one potential outcome could be, “Our brand’s value proposition is solid, and therefore there is not a compelling reason to change it or update it.” That is perfectly acceptable. Another potential outcome could be, “Our value proposition is stronger and even better than before.”
But what won’t vary, no matter the outcome, is this: You will be armed with the confidence and added knowledge that naturally accrues from engaging in the assessment effort, an experience that can also be beneficial the next time the brand’s value proposition is revisited.
The smart companies are the ones that are able to proactively realize when the moment for reassessment has been reached, and know that they need to do something about it – whether it’s a tweak here or there or a complete overhaul. The companies that can identify when the optimum time to revisit the brand value proposition has arrived, and how to best reconfigure it, are the ones that stand the best chance of being around for many, many years.