There's an old adage in the newspaper business:
An entrepreneur that I know will soon be launching a innovative loyalty program through retail outlets. The program involves a commonly used consumer product, and a simple way to earn credits toward the purchase of other consumer goods, just by using the product.
He’s designed a kiosk that will be placed in retail outlets; the kiosk will display the product, and sell the real value proposition.
The value proposition is not so much the product itself, but the way the use of the product earns credits toward future purchases from that retailer – an ingenious loyalty concept that should be a no-brainer for a lot of customers.
But here’s the issue:
The kiosk displayed the core product very well, along with many of its features. But the real value is not the product, nor the featurs of the product; the value is in the credits earned by using the product – credits that are applied toward an entirely different category of consumer goods that everyone buys on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, the messaging about those credits was positioned in a panel on the edge of the kiosk, far from the product display, in a place where the prospect may not see it, and therefore, not make the crutial connection between using the product, and getting free stuff by doing so.
Here’s the point:
Find out what makes you different; what’s your competitive advantage that the customers will value most. And make that your main message. Hit your prospects right between the eyes with what makes you different, and how that will make their lives better.
Sure, all those other features are important, and necessary to be competitive, but they’re not the big story.
Present the big story up front and center stage. Don’t bury the lead. If you have something to say that the customer should hear, say it in a way that they're sure to hear and remember. And if you're relying a field sales organization to deliver that message, make sure they can deliver that message as clearly and memorabley as it should be delivered, so the marketplace knows your main story.