Clarity begins at home – your value proposition

I was just reading Seth Godin’s blog on how much of what we write and create these days is about being machine readable – and it got me thinking about how that impacts a brand’s value proposition.  Most businesses that start up are actually very clear on what they do and why they’re doing it, and since they’ve often spotted a gap in the market, they also know how they’re different.

Sticking to that value proposition, and articulating it simply, are both less easy.

If you think about it, clarity can be scary.  If you make clear who you are and what you offer, you then have to live up to it.  And some people might be able to see you’re not what they need and go elsewhere.

Is that why many brands don’t have a clear value proposition?  Or is it simply because over time a business offers more and more, so becomes increasingly complex, and is influenced by an increasing number of ‘important’ stakeholders who each want to tell the brand story their way?

For the marketer in the middle of that, it’s somewhere between the proverbial rock and hard place and not much fun.  “Make sure your value proposition pleases everyone, mentions absolutely everything we do, and whilst you’re at it try and make it machine readable”.

A good value proposition is exactly the opposite of that.  It’s about making it clear why you’re the best choice for people.  In simple, plain English that sales teams can speak in a human conversation or someone can read on a website and get the point – quickly.

Why not focus your value proposition today, and make it easy for the right people to choose you for what you do really well?  Clarity begins with you.