How to com­mu­ni­cate value
Jeff & Lindsay Sage / 4 February 2019

Illustration by Rajat Parmar

You’ve heard the line.

Build it and they will come. 

Good quality products speak for themselves. Push the facts. That’s the way business works.

And it couldn’t be further from the truth. 

So many organizations develop products and services that are better than the competition. Yet they fail to gain traction in the marketplace. 

These marketplace failures are often positioning failures. 

And are almost always avoidable. 

Positioning is a process, not a tagline.

Positioning takes time, care, research and resources. 

It’s about determining which aspects of your offering are most important to the audience. Only then, should you pivot to communicating that value. 

A short framework to help get you started

  1. Develop a value proposition. Be objective. Assess the benefits of buying, owning and consuming your wares. Always from the customers perspective.
  2. Choose one. The one most relevant to your audience. (This should be challenging or you're doing it wrong.)
  3. Get critical. Does it actually create value for the target? Does it truly differentiate? 
  4. Complete the selection of your one key benefit and deliver it to the market. (ProTip: Without knowing who your target is, it’s impossible to position well). 

When you communicate (especially via advertising), you should focus on one key benefit. 

Instead of overwhelming customers with everything that makes you great, keep it simple. Position your brand on the strongest attribute you have. Create something your customers can understand and remember. When people don’t appreciate what you’ve built, and how it will impact their lives, giving them more information is rarely the right move. 

And great positioning isn't only for business. It can make or break government programs, public health initiatives and activist movements.

Respect your customers for who they are. Then make every decision with an eye toward creating value for them. 

Your results will be powerful and enduring.


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