Dave Harries:Grant, the second part of tone of voice, I think, is value proposition. What is the value proposition and why is that so important?
Grant Leboff:It’s absolutely vital that a company and the people in, working within that company have an absolutely clinical understanding of the value proposition they deliver to the customer. The problem is this. You often say to a salesperson or anyone in an organization, “What value do you give customers?” If you allow them five minutes, they can explain it totally. If you say, “But I need it in a sentence or less,” they can’t do it. When you’re in social channels, when you’re on a website, when you’re putting things together, if you want the essence of what you do to come through, you have to have that clinical understanding. I think it was Oscar Wilde that said, “I didn’t have time to write you a short letter so I’ll write you a long one.”
That’s the problem. It’s like, you haven’t distilled it down and have this clinical understanding. It’s about information architecture. It’s always interesting, isn’t it, if you flick through a tabloid newspaper, you only have to read the headlines to understand what’s going on. You don’t know all the nuances and everything else but you get the essence of the story. That’s what you need with the value proposition. You just need to have the essence of what you do within that. Of course, you can go more granular in different bits of content and when you’re face-to-face and everything else. If you can’t put that key value across straight away, you won’t even grab the customer in the first place.
Dave Harries:Do you think there’s been traditionally a danger that the value that the customer perceives can sometimes be different to the value that the company thinks it’s delivering?
Grant Leboff:Yeah, a hundred percent, and that actually comes out of the way that companies used to message. What would happen is typically this is how companies put their messaging together. I’m obviously generalizing but typically this is how it is. They sit in a room somewhere and they go, “Who are we? What are we good at? What does that mean for the customer? Let’s go and tell them.” The problem is it always start with source. If your initial starting point is, “Who are we and what are we good at,” however you nuance the messaging through, it’s always about you ultimately. Now, that, you got away with that in a world where customers were very reactive to your direct mails and your phone calls.
In a world where customers are proactive, they’re going online. They’re looking at what’s in their head on their terms because they’re being proactive. If your messaging is about you, you’re going to have a mismatch, exactly as you explained, between you and the customer. Today, if you want to get to your value proposition, the way you actually do it is you start off with the customer. What are their challenges, what are their issues that they would have that might lead them to someone like me, a provider like me? Therefore, if your starting point is them and not you, and it always comes back to source, it all becomes about them. If you can make your media about them, not about you, so the website’s about them and their issues, your Facebook page and those, it’s much more engaging, it’s much more likely to resonate and, therefore, actually achieve what you want it to achieve.
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