Short lesson in value proposition

I find that many folks don’t quite understand what I mean when I talk about value proposition. Value proposition is the complex web of reasons that you may choose one product over another or may not choose any product at all.

I don’t care for potato chips. I would eat no more potato chips if potato chip companies gave them to me for free. For me potato chips have no value proposition.

I thought of another example to illustrate value proposition with something I use often: iPod/iPhone ear buds. I have three sets.

The first set came with the iPhone. They sound nice and I use them when I listen to podcasts while working around the house where there isn’t a lot of background noise.

The second set I bought because I quickly discovered that the standard ear buds fall out of my ears when I exercise. This set has hooks that go over my ears to hold the ear buds in place.

The third set I bought because I quickly discovered that my other two sets were not good for situations with lots of background noise, like flying in an airplane or mowing the lawn. This set insulates the background noise with cushy buds that I stuff into my ears.

All do well for their specific niche, but not so well for other niches. I purchased two additional sets of ear buds. The makers of the exercise ear buds could not have persuaded me to buy my third set from them if all they did was lower the price of their exercise ear buds.  I already have a set of exercise ear buds, I don’t need another.

The best way for that manufacturer to persuade me to buy their brand is to make what I want for my third set — a set of noise insulating ear buds.

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