The Analytical CEO: Integrating what your company stands for,
In my last blog, I looked at the different marketing options a business had to develop new business. Both to replace any decline in existing business and as a basis for growth.
It’s now a good time to pause, and think about the way a business projects itself in its market place.
The diagram opposite is adapted from Richard Normann’s Service Management to suit any sort of business, not just service ones. (Normann’s book, available from Kindle Store, is ancient but still very worthwhile.)
You can see Values is at the centre of everything. By values I don’t mean the self-focused sort about ‘being the best in our field’ or ‘acting with integrity’. These are important, but less so that those that define how you’re going to provide your customers with a deeply satisfying experience in using your products and services.
A couple of weeks ago, I was talking with a manufacturer of innovative welding products who said they’d realised they needed to provide the same sort of pleasure of use for their customers as users get from Apple products. Indeed, they recognised their competitiveness shouldn’t be based on price but on user satisfaction.
So there’s a powerful link between Values and Customers. If this isn’t working, your customers aren’t going to value you as a partner in the success of their companies, you’re simply an also-ran provider.
Which brings us to Value Proposition. This is the innovative way that you solve a pressing customer problem or need. To be attractive to customers it has to help them make their business models work more successfully (B2B) or their lives richer (B2C). So it has to fit with customer needs and the company values. Providing a good user experience is important; providing a good user experience about something that’s really important is a winner.
And so to Operations. The company’s Sales & Marketing and Production & Delivery has to be run in a way that sustains and draws on the values that satisfy customers. You can depend on it that these will suit the way you’ll want to run your business, too.
And now to Brand. Brand is an effective public expression of value proposition and values. It should capture it is that customers will prize; and what you’ll feel proud of. Getting brand right allow you to get your marketing communications right and your internal communications, too.
Try the diagram on your own companies and see how well the different elements align.