Creating an Online Value Proposition (OVP) provides the opportunity for your brand to define a differential advantage over your competitor’s products, services and indeed their brand positioning within a digital market place. It also offers an opportunity to build on something that’s unique and remarkable within your sector and at the same time help create a foundation for a uniqueproposition in servicing your audience and prospects.
The question you should be looking to answer is: What’s so unique about what you’re selling? In other words, why does your company or brand matter?
Differentiating a brand has traditionally been seen as a tactic to distance a brand from the competition, rather brands should look to create new, untapped market spaces where the competition becomes irrelevant such as looking to create an OVP.
For digital brands, there are a number of advantages in defining an OVP and has been considered by many digital organisations as a key requirement to how it competes. The need to create an OVP has been further enhanced within digital due to the arrival of a new form of marketing: utilitarianism marketing, defined as “providing your customer base with a true value and utility, to create something your customers would want to use every day and that there is a reason to return to you as a brand every day and more importantly stands out in a media saturated world by building an emotional connection with the customer”.
The death of Brand Loyalty
Brands need to be more and more remarkable and the only way to do that is to stand out in the market place by building things that are worth noticing into your service and that if you’re not offering something that is not remarkable, it will be invisible. Digital has put the power into the consumers hands and with it the erosion in brand loyalty.
It is becoming increasingly important that brands continue to provide something unique, something worth talking about through social media and something that ignites a buzz with its existing customer group and new prospects. The barriers to entry in building, re-defining or re-inventing a traditional market place have been lowered or in some cases completely eradicated – just ask the book publishing or music industry
Strategy Canvass – Identifying your OVP
To help create and identify a OVP, it helps to map out key points of differentiation in your product or service offering compared to competitors. To assist in visualising these points of differentiation, a strategy canvass is used which is a tool to help map two key purposes:
1) Horizontal axis: Maps out the range of competing factors the industry competes on and invests in.
2) Vertical axis: This captures the level that buyers (consumers) receive across the competing factors. High score means the company invests more into the factor and so on.
As an example, below is a how a strategy canvass for Starbucks could look when mapping out how the position themselves with the competition. By visualising the current state of play, it provides you with opportunities and points of differentiation for your brand in market. For Starbucks, where it has strived to differentiate is around: Customer service, brand and variety – three key factors it has decided to invest strongly in and seems to have paid off in terms of its global brand affiliation and revenues.
Source – Adapted from: http://www.blueoceanstrategy.com/concepts/
To begin to create your OVP – have a think about listing the key competing factors within your market sector and begin to plot whether each factor is invested in. Does it begin to provide you with some key insights into creating an OVP for your business and where you could compete?