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Home arrow Marketing arrow Value-ology: Aligning sales and marketing to shape and deliver profitable customer value propositions
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Aligning Themes and Products

Once you have identified what the key business issues are for your customers, you’re in a position to choose proposition themes that relate to these key issues. You should now be ready to array your products, services and solutions under these theme headings to ensure you have continuous value conversations with your customers.

Let’s start with an everyday business-to-customer (B2C) example that we should all be familiar with to explain the concept, before we dive into how we suggest applying this in a business-to-business (B2B) world. If you were setting up a restaurant you wouldn’t say ‘we sell food’, then list all the products you sell. Strange how we see this approach so often in B2B. The Cheesecake Factory, which is renowned in the USA for having a broad menu, has a ‘something for everyone’ theme. This is their overarching foundational value proposition.

Let’s say you’ve performed customer, market and competitor research and found an opportunity to provide healthy, nutritious and locally sourced organic food. You decide that ‘healthy’ and ‘nutritious’ are the main themes that will resonate with your customers. In the approach we’re advocating we suggest that before you get to the product menu card you array what it is you offer under these two themes. Of course you can highlight how individual ‘signature’ products support these proposition themes. For example, Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores in the USA has an overall proposition about making ‘Healthy homestyle cooking made from quality ingredients cooked from scratch’. It uses individual recipes to help support this claim, which is linked to the overall value themes. This means they’re always talking to the customer about their major themes. The products are described as ‘solutions’ that fit underneath these themes.

Exercise 5.1 Let’s assume you’re going to open this new healthy and nutritious dining experience. Think about how you could develop a set of ‘offers’ underneath these two themes of health and nutrition.

 
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