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Defining a value proposition with meaningful differentiation

After earning an MBA, after spending 30 years reading about business strategy, after dozens of seminars and webinars and coaching sessions, business educators find it hard to stump me. 

In my struggle to market Steady CRM, my value proposition is an approximation, nothing that's providing any traction yet. Potential customers nod, but they do not buy. Harvard B-School teacher Frank Cespedes has great advice for honing our value propositions (see below). 

His "invisible differentiation" may not be the only problem I have, but it's the only problem I can address immediately... I'm confident that better customer relationship management reduces marketing expenses... I just don't have all my stories lined up, YET.  Tq130528sf

Harvard Business Review: Any Value Proposition Hinges on the Answer to One Question, 2014-Jan-13 by Frank V. Cespedes

[If you plan to sell it for a premium, make sure] ...your product or service provides better performance on attributes that are important to target customers and for which they are willing to pay a premium. This approach must continually avoid the following pitfalls:

  • Meaningless or false differentiation: the points of superiority are unimportant to customers or based on a false presumption of superiority.
  • Uneconomic or invisible differentiation: customers are unwilling to pay for additional performance or are unaware of the difference.
  • Unsustainable differentiation: the product or service features are imitated over time.

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