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Creating a Differentiated Value Proposition & Brand Promise

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Creating a Differentiated Value Proposition & Brand Promise

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Creating a Differentiated Value Proposition and Brand Promise explores the power of differentiation and how organizations can build a value proposition and brand promise that offers a true competitive advantage in the marketplace. The presentation offers a variety of insights into the process of establishing a relevant and unique value proposition that will enable businesses to capture greater share of the consumers mind and wallet.

Creating a Differentiated Value Proposition and Brand Promise explores the power of differentiation and how organizations can build a value proposition and brand promise that offers a true competitive advantage in the marketplace. The presentation offers a variety of insights into the process of establishing a relevant and unique value proposition that will enable businesses to capture greater share of the consumers mind and wallet.


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Creating a Differentiated Value Proposition & Brand Promise

  1. 1. Creating a Differentiated Brand Promise and Value Proposition Stephen Tharrett and Mark Williamson 1
  2. 2. Where the organization fulfills the customers’ expectations and perceptions 100% of the time.
  3. 3. Powerful Brand Promises! “To provide well-designed quality products at an affordable price.” “Joy of building. Pride of creation.”
  4. 4. Can your Brand Promise and Value Proposition be Breached? “In business I look for economic castles protected by unbreachable moats.” Warren Buffet
  5. 5. Don’t dive into the sea of sameness, instead…
  6. 6. …get your brand promise stand out!
  7. 7. Remember, different isn’t always better!
  8. 8. A Promise is the heart of your brand’s strategy!
  9. 9. A Brand Promise is about Authenticity and Trust!
  10. 10. A Brand Promise Defines your Integrity! “Every innovation or new service Amazon introduces stays true to its promise. It’s actions always align with its promise!”
  11. 11. A Brand Promise is Always Relevant!
  12. 12. A Brand Promise must Fulfill the Consumer’s most Relevant and Valued Needs!
  13. 13. A Brand Promise must create Emotional Connections!
  14. 14. A Brand Promise requires Maniacal Devotion!
  15. 15. A Brand Promise is Built on a Value Proposition that is Unique and Compelling! Experience and Results Facility Product Service Emotional Context Price Time 16 Price and Access
  16. 16. Price Driven Brands!
  17. 17. Convenience Driven Brands!
  18. 18. Facility Driven Brands!
  19. 19. Program Driven Brands!
  20. 20. Customer Service Driven Brands!
  21. 21. Emotionally Driven Brands! Could This Be the Best Company in the World? By Michael Hess MoneyWatch September 13, 2011 To paraphrase the classic line from Spinal Tap, if great companies go to 10, Wegmans goes to 11. Major research firms and the media routinely name Wegmans the best supermarket in the country, and it has a cult-like following. Wegmans has become a genuine tourist destination in the communities it serves. To many people, shopping there is as much entertainment as it is errand. Customers are fiercely loyal and will tell you they feel like Wegmans is "their" store. Wegmans has, in short, made itself beloved and irresistible, and has deservedly reaped the rewards of its magic.
  22. 22. Emotionally Driven Brands!
  23. 23. Creating a Compelling and Relevant Value Proposition •Focus Groups •Member Surveys •In-depth Interviews •Competitive clue scanning Explore What’s Important to your Audience Craft the Value Proposition •Define the purpose and promise •Define attitude and voice •Define the brand platform • Educate and train everyone on delivering the value proposition • Measure your performance against the Value Proposition Execute on the Value Proposition Listen, Respond and Evolve • Leverage listening tools (e.g., clue scanning focus groups and surveys) • Have a service recovery system • Constantly evolve
  24. 24. The Final Piece of the Brand Puzzle
  25. 25. Brand Purpose It is the reason your brand exists!
  26. 26. Brand Attitude It is your brand’s personality
  27. 27. Brand Voice How your brand communicates its attitude and purpose!
  28. 28. Parting Words of Wisdom
  29. 29. Insight…We begin by seeking to understand, followed by analyzing the data, resulting in a story only the numbers can tell. Inspiration…with the numbers in hand, we generate those “magic facts” that tell you the real story about your business and its impact on your bottom line. Impact…with inspiration driven by insight, we assist you with developing and executing strategies that drive greater loyalty and profitability. Stephen Tharrett, Co-founder and Principal | | 972.746.7605 • 20 years leading athletic, golf and tennis as VP and SVP of Operations at ClubCorp • 2+ years as CEO of the Russian Fitness Group • 10+ years as a consultant in the fitness and private club industry • Author of 8 business books on the club industry • Former president of IHRSA Mark Williamson, Co-founder and Principal | | 214.232.2389 • 17 years heading up employee and member insights as VP of Research at ClubCorp International • 5 years as Senior Director of the Guest Experience at Brinker International (e.g., Chili’s, Maggiano’s, On the Border, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Corner Bakery) • 2+ years as Executive Director of Consumer Insights at Applebee’s • 2 years as Director of Research at

Notas del editor

  • Introduce Mark and myself and welcome the audience to this mornings presentation entitled “Creating a Differentiated Brand Promise and Value Proposition.

    Have each of us give a short 10 to 15 second overview of our backgrounds.
  • Read slide and highlight:

    A brand is not a logo, nor is it a product or offering and it is not a message that marketers create, it is what the consumer receives based on what they expect.

    A brand is a promise between the business and the audience, a promise of what you will deliver and what they as consumers can expect to receive.

    Like any promise, the power of a brand promise is built by the trust the audience has in the company and its ability to deliver each and every time on what it says it will deliver.
  • A brand promise requires a relentless commitment to deliver on the customers expectations and perceptions 100% of the time. To do this you must measure your performance against the expectations of the consumer.

    A brand promise has no point at which it ends, instead it requires a never ending commitment to deliver and build trust with the customers.
  • On this slide we have two global firms who have established loyal and trusting followings, sometimes to the point of fanatical followings based on their brand promise and their ability to deliver on it.

    Take a moment to read each of the promises and fill in a personally relevant story for a few of them.

    Lego’s promise is the joy of building and pride of creation. They want to inspire tomorrow’s builders. They measure their performance through loyalty metrics such s likelihood to continue purchasing, consumer complaint rate and product recall. Share story of Travis and Myka.

    Ikea is about well designed quality furniture at an affordable price. They say they want to deliver on this in spades. Part of what they do is create images with rooms that help people envision how they can create their won space with IKEA.
  • Great brands, those that are able to generate loyal fans and do so for the long haul all have a promise that is so powerful that competitors often find it difficult, if not impossible to breach the competitive advantage that the brand has created. It is like they say, you can copy it, but you can’t duplicate it.

    Read Warren Buffet quote, then go on to explain:

    Great organizations establish a brand promise that stands alone and by the nature of its message, as well as the manner in which it is fulfilled, results in a competitive advantage that is difficult for competitors to challenge and overcome.

    You want a brand promise that can withstand the constant onslaught of competitors. It can be copied, but never duplicated.

  • Show the video clip from Weeds, after it plays emphasize:

    Great brand promises are not a copy of someone else’s, even if the competitors brand looks great and feels great, that does not mean you should do the same.

    Brand’s that try to one up an existing brand promise by copying it, then adding a little spice, typically end up looking eerily similar to the customer, making it difficult for them to distinguish you other than by price the price you charge.
  • Read the headline then emphasize

    Image of Zebras. In mature markets brands begin to look the same,. While each Zebra is slightly different, maybe a strip in a different spot, shorter legs or longer legs, when they are in the herd you can’t tell them apart. They want to be invisible to their predators, none the less as they run around they desire to be seen as different, but aren’t.

    Image of Giraffe with Zebras. The Giraffe is not a Zebra. It has relevancy and it fulfills a natural order, yet when its mingled with the Zebras it stands out; you can identify it. Your brand promise not only has to stand out from the rest, but it has to communicate what you stand for, what you believe in and what your customers can and should expect from you every time they engage with your brand.

    Your brand promise not only has to be different, but just as importantly, it should be the calm in the middle of chaos.
  • Read the headline and reinforce:

    being unique does not mean that your brand promise has relevance to the customer; all it means is you are different.

    Reinforce that every great brand must begin with a compelling value proposition that is highly relevant to the customer. Once you find relevancy then you need to differentiate. Relevancy means not just filling a need, but filling a need that is extremely important; that matters to the customer, not you!
  • Bring forward the point that a brand promise is the foundation of your business strategy and is a reflection of the value proposition you bring to market and the manner by which it gives you a competitive advantage.

    Discuss briefly how Apple and IKEA have created value propositions that give it a competitive strategic advantage:

    IKEA focuses its strategy around a brand promise that speaks to a value proposition built on offering well-designed, quality products at an affordable price. They focus on the “democratization of Scandinavian Design”. They want to bring what was considered by most unattainable to the masses, and therefore make it fully accessible. This is the heart of their strategy. The strategy revolves around the promise.

    Apple’s value proposition is built around both a rational and an emotional strategy. Rationally they seek to create products that are intuitive to the user, make it easier to communicate with your circle of friends and allow you to experience the future sooner and easier than if you used someone else’s product. Emotionally they focus on socially engaging people and thereby increasing their users cultural capital and social standing. They help you achieve your aspirations from a social perspective. Apple allows you to create your own identity using their product!

  • All great brands need to be authentic, not contrived, and in doing so they must be fanatical about building trust with their customers and the masses at large. Authenticity is when consumers perceive your product to be real, original, not copied.

    The organizations on this slide are rated as the most trusted brands in the world…consumers see them as authentic, not fake, and furthermore, they have built trust over the years as a result of consistently fulfilling their promise.

    Clarify that trust takes time to build, but is easy to destroy. Tell story of recent Target incident with 110 million customers and breach of credit information and how this has made many customers question their trust in Target. Target has seen their brand’s image score drop 45 points and revenues drop 3% over prior year as a result of the breach. According to consumer research, when a brand breaks its promise just one, 20% of consumers will disengage!

    There is a quote about women that goes as follows…”they may forgive you, but they never forget”, the moral being…every time you fail to deliver on the promise, every time you break the promise, customers remember. Building back trust will take time, and during that time period it will be more fragile.
  • Your brand promise reflects the integrity of your business…integrity being doing what you say you will do.

    The integrity of a brand is the accumulation of customer experiences and how well the brand delivers its promise at each and every touch point.

    Amazon is not only one of the most trusted brands in the world, it has built that trust by doing what it says. Amazon says it will be convenient (one click away), affordable and will have what you what. They want to be the world’s most customer centric firm and place where people can come to find and discover anything they may want to buy online! When it delivers on this promise it demonstrates integrity which over time builds trust.
  • A brand promise must be relevant to the customer, meaning it has to fulfill the needs of today’s customer, but also the customer of the future?

    A brand promise is the foundation for delivering on customer needs, but it must continually evolve to remain relevant to the customer, today and tomorrow.

    Lego understands that its audience wants to create and just as importantly understands that its customers want to “show off” their creation. Their promise of “joy of building. Pride of creation” come to life with every Lego experience (share story about my son and Legos). Lego understands that what drove joy and pride 30 years ago is not the same today. They understand that for their promise to remain relevant it must evolve. The images on this page show the evolution of the Lego offering over the last 30 plus years., each product grounded in the promise but evolved to be relevant.

    IKEA has also evolved. It know offers home delivery and even kitchen design, but it remains true to its promise of quality, affordability and great design.
  • A brand promise should be a mirror image of what your customer expects and what they experience. What they perceive is what they receive…in spades!

    Two brands that deliver on the expectations and perceptions of tis customers are shown on this page:

    Build a Bear workshop promises personalization, caring, fun, connection and memorable. When kids, and even adults visit a build a bear workshop they can select how their bear will look, they receive a birth certificate for the bear, the names of their bears are registered, they get to built with others and become part of a larger community of bear builders. Bear builders take part in parties and events that bring them together with other bear builders. They walk away with great memories.

    Crossfit promises to forge elite fitness. It talks about fitness as sport. It promises a Spartan training environment of old. Consumers expect an elite and challenging fitness experience, they expect a Spartan environment, they expect the support of fellow Crossfit users. It supports a vibe of inclusion and pride. Everything they do is centered on fulfilling this promise and its done not through the staff, but through the community of Crossfit enthusiasts. They think of themselves as family, not customers. The are authentic and they are relevant for their clan.
  • 1. Ultimately, a brand promise must understand how its value proposition can impact the emotions…to the point that emotions become the great differentiator of the value proposition. Let’s take a look at a few of these on the slide:

    Crossfit is has build its promise around making people better, but from an emotional context it has leveraged grass roots sharing and community. They build their experience around preaching “believe in yourself”, about sharing with other Crossfitters, about creating an environment were you can approach everyone. They have fostered their own language and their own community. It is a very aspirational brand.

    At Victoria Secret they want women to look better and feel better. They understand if they can make women feel better about themselves through the sense of sexiness that it would create an emotional connection. They focus on reaching deep into the aspirations of women. It is a very aspirational brand.
  • In this slide Apple tells you just how devoted and fanatical they are about delivering on their promise! Is your club this fanatical about who it is and what it stands for?

    In the club business, Red’s, located in Lafayette, LA has been in business for 50 years. Over those 50 year’s Red, the owner has been fanatic about being relevant to his audience. He devoted to bring his members the very best, even if it is not what he personally believes. He understands that his customer’s voice is what is important and he is disciplined about always reinventing what Red’s is while remaining true to his promise.
  • Every brand promise is built around a value proposition that speaks to the relationship between the customers experience, the outcomes of that experience, the customers ability to access that experience and the price they pay to experience it. In the club world we see these elements expressed in the value equation where:

    The experience and results are reflected in the numerator and are the facility quality/offering, product quality/offering, the service experience and the emotional quality of the overall experience.

    The price and access are reflected in the denominator.

    The overall value proposition is the result of the how customers weight the experience and results against the price point and the ease of access.

    On the following pages we will take a look at each of these elements of the value equation.
  • Some brands use price as the primary driver of their value proposition, and in combination with the other variables this gives them a competitive advantage.

    The companies shown on this slide have all chosen to leverage price as the key driver differentiator of their value proposition:

    Walmart uses low prices all the time. It calls itself the low price leader.
    Crunch and Planet fitness leverage a monthly price of $10 or less. Planet Fitness was the first in the U.S. to play the $10 price card, a price play that has evolved over the last five years.

    3. The pricing game may be the easiest to play, but only a few can create a long term
    sustainable advantage using it. When price is the unique differentiator, its easier
    for people to copy and harder for you to separate the other elements of your
    value proposition pressure created by a low price. For example:

    K Mart tried the price game and ended up being left out to Walmart and Target.
    In the club industry, will the market support all the HVLP models out there, or like retail will only one or two survive or thrive.
    Even if price is your differentiator, you have to insure the other elements of your value proposition are strong.
  • Some brands leverage access as a focal point of their value proposition, and in combination with the other variables this gives them a competitive advantage.

    Some brands use access or convenience as the primary driver of their value proposition, and in combination with the other variables this gives them a competitive advantage.

    The brands on this page have all chosen to use access/convenience as a key differentiator in the value proposition:

    Zappos makes it easy to select what you want then order it. What it does that no one else does is make it easy to try your selection out and if its not exactly what you want, return it with no hassle, even as late as one year later. No hassle, easy, convenient. When combined with incredible service they actually have two points of differentiation which leads to emotional engagement.
    Fed initially they started with overnight delivery but have expanded to anywhere overnight with a guarantee. You can even trace its progress.
    Anytime leveraged the 24 hours 7 days a week concept better than anyone else, leveraging the strength of local entrepreneurs to bring the promise alive.

    Access , especially in today’s marketplace has the ability to differentiate the value proposition, but it requires at least one more element to make it stick (e.g., price, service, etc.).

  • Some brands leverage the quality of their facilities and/or surroundings as one of the drivers of their value proposition, and in combination with the other variables this gives them a competitive advantage.

    The brands on this page have chosen to use facility quality as either the sole unique differentiator or as the primary differentiator along with other elements.

    Lifetime Fitness has expansive facilities with nearly every facility amenity. available. How many facilities have 100,000 S.F. plus.
    David Barton offers very unique and contemporary facilities.
    Equinox offers high end finishes and premium spaces.

    At first, people see this as a differentiator than can impact value and the price they pay, but with time, it will lose its power as a singular differentiator.

    At David Barton there only unique differentiator is its facility, and over time it has less impact on creating a compelling and unique value proposition.
    At Lifetime, the first time member can be overwhelmed by the choices and the quality of those choices from a facility perspective
  • Some brands leverage the quality of their product offering, or in the club business leverage their programming as the primary driver of their value proposition, and in combination with the other variables this gives them a unique competitive advantage.

    Here are some brands that see programming, product innovation or other) as the unique differentiator of their value proposition.

    Build a Bear uses the flexibility of its system and ability to customize as a point of differentiation. The systems are designed to provide fun, personalization, demonstrate caring and to connect people. Ultimately it creates emotional connection.
    Soul Cycle uses its colors, its aroma, its studios, it workout regime as a point of differentiation in the value proposition. The program with a focus on striving, aspiration, intensity and community that helps to set it apart.
    Crossfit originally differentiated itself and still does around the WOD and the highly competitive and Spartan style of high intensity training as well as the supportive coaching environment between Crossfitters.

    Products are often a very effective and powerful differentiator, but over time, competitors will find a way to copy the offering, that is when other ingredients have to come into play if you are to remain relevant and unique. In the club industry think how a unique value proposition is copied quickly:

    Barre studios started with Exhale then Pure Barre, Bar Method, Bare B Fit, and Physique 57
    Crossfit and now Iron Tribe and other knock-offs.
  • 1. Some brands leverage customer service to differentiate their value proposition, and in combination with the other variables this gives them a unique competitive advantage.

    2. The companies in this photo all have built their value proposition around customer service with the understanding that it can create incredible emotional bonding.

    Southwest stands out for its focus on service, friendly staff and having fun. As the mission says its all about having a commitment to the highest quality service.
    At Disney they focus on doing it well every day, about providing service that goes beyond the expectations of tis customers.
    At the Houstonian they are committed to delivery great service, service that generates the private club experience.

    3. Customer service is a fabulous differentiator, but only when it focuses on establishing relationships with the customers, as this ultimately creates the emotional glue that is the best of all differentiators.
  • Ultimately, those brands who want to establish a base of raving fans understand that its all about the emotional context. Wegmans, which is shown on this page relies on the quality of the product and/or the quality of the service experience, the biggest differentiator and the “super glue” that allows their brand to be so powerful is the emotional relationship they have with their customers.

    Wegmans creates powerful emotional connections through systems that engage the customer with the staff and with other customer so that everyone feels cared for and part of a larger community.

    Share the story about Wegmans love letters

    Other brands that are emotionally driven include Apple, IKEA, Build a Bear, Crossfit, Soul Cycle, etc.
  • As you can see in this video from Soul Cycle, they are trying to appeal to individual aspirations, to a deep seeded emotional button. It is less about the bike or facility or even the program, but about the emotional context of what you can be!

    Soult Cycle is about stories that connect people to people, about building a community were members have relationships with other members. All you need to do is read the stories page on their web site and you will see how strong their community is.
  • The process of creating a compelling value proposition is not a destination, but a journey. The steps in the process have as much application to a club that is being ideated to one that has been around for some time and wonders why its lost its edge. These steps could often flow back and forth.

    Review the steps in the process and provide examples of each step.
  • Whether its build around the price of your offering or the emotional context of the experience, your brand promise requires some additional elements. In the slides that follow we will address the last remaining pieces in the puzzle.
  • When you build your brand promise it must begin with a purpose…how you want your brand to be seen by your customers and prospects. It is this purpose that lies beneath the value proposition and determines how you will build that value proposition. Without purpose its difficult to, if not impossible to establish a differentiated value proposition.

    Show the Nike logo and ask if anyone knows that their purpose is.

    Show the Inspiration Nike purpose image. At Nike, their purpose it is to bring
    inspiration and innovation to every athlete, to make each athlete feel like they are

    4. At Lego their purpose is to inspire tomorrow’s builders.
  • A brand’s attitude is its inner soul, its value…in essence who it is and how it wants to be seen.

    On this page we images from a couple of Equinox ads from the past and present. When you view the images you immediately understand their attitude, something that is reinforced when you visit one of their clubs. What do you think that attitude is?
    Defiant and Edgy
    Sexy and crossing over the boundaries
  • A brand’s voice is how it expresses its attitude and purpose, how it communicates the underlying value proposition in words, images and interactions. A brand’s voice must clearly message the purpose and intent of a brand, but also its attitude. That voice must be the same in all media, otherwise the message and promise are diminished.

    As you walk through these images of several brands does it have a unique voice and does it express an attitude:

    Apple talks to its attitude of thinking different of being different, of approaching the world differently. Apple’s voice is also cool, sometimes defiant and rebellious, but in all instances it followed a different road than its competitors.

    Share example of how we created a thesaurus for one client so the language and voice is consistent across platforms.

  • A promise is just that, people expect to get what they are promised, no excuses allowed. As you walk away today, we hope you will take with you the following:

    Understand what is important to the customer…identify their needs and what drives value from their perspective.

    Craft your value proposition around the customers needs and what you can do uniquely and better than anyone else.

    Identify your purpose then connect it with your value proposition to craft your brand promise.

    Determine the attitude and voice of your brand, then make sure everything you do and say expresses your attitude, is delivered with your voice and brings your promise to life.

    Evolve the brand promise over time based on your understanding of what the customers say drives value.