1. Your Authentic Value-Add
Your practice offers something unique: industry tenure or a fresh perspective, data insights
or high-touch relationship management, a culture of ideas or execution — or a customized
combination. Identify the value you are currently delivering. Assess whether it’s aligned
with your business strategy — and if it’s not, consider corrections to your offer or aspiration
accordingly. Determine how to make it truly distinct.
2. The Benefits Delivered by the Competition
The competition is doing this same exercise, seeking an ownable identity within the market.
Get smart about who your top three competitors are and how they are positioning themselves.
Understand your points of parity and difference.
3. The Needs and Values of Your Target Audience
Your target audience is more than just clients and prospects; it includes future employees,
acquirers, centers of influence (e.g., those with adjacent client lists, like chambers of commerce,
attorneys, wealth managers and CPAs) and industry watchers, including the press. You may
find yourself emphasizing different elements of your value proposition for different audiences,
but at the start, be sure to think inclusively when you consider who will receive and respond
to your message.
After thinking through the three dimensions of the value proposition framework, consider the strategic crux where your practice can be positioned as:
- Authentic to your capabilities and culture
- Differentiated from the competition
- Meaningful to your stakeholders
Having found the sweet spot, begin crafting the message. A value proposition is like an elevator
pitch: It’s concise, credible, compelling and translatable across target audiences. While you
may have uncovered 10 key attributes, refine your message down to your top three points, and
don’t be afraid to repeat them. Repetition will help you assert your positioning — and convince
your audience to believe it.
While you are creating your value proposition, test it with employees, industry peers and clients.
This can be a causal, conversational exercise. The goal is to determine if the statement resonates
with recipients and feels true to your practice. Once you have a statement that you feel confident
about, use it as both a source and a reference for your communications, from website copy to
event participation. These sorts of messaging constructs are known to marketers as messaging
houses; while they can take many forms, we’re offering one example here: