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4 ways a value proposition can drive success for membership organisations

Articulating a clear and compelling membership value proposition may be one of the most important things you do to drive success for your organisation. It’s something that the most successful brands get consistently right, attracting customers by demonstrating a deep understanding of their goals, needs and desires.

Value proposition design can help to:
• align people internally
• focus on value rather than features and benefits
• guide marketing campaigns, and
• inform strategic planning.

It’s a process that needs senior-level buy-in and investment. Fortunately, there’s a strong business case for doing so. Here are four ways that a value proposition can drive success for your membership organisation:

1. Challenge internal assumptions about what members want

For many organisations, internal ideas about what members want simply do not align with what members actually want. In addition, employees in different roles, areas and levels often have divergent assumptions about members and, as a result, find themselves working at cross purposes.

Bringing stakeholders together to work on the member value proposition gives everyone an opportunity to suspend internal ideas, assumptions and ‘sacred cows’ and step into members’ shoes to think deeply about what they are trying to achieve, the issues they face, and the outcomes they desire.

Engaging in “outside in” thinking in this way can help to cut through mistaken assumptions and challenge initiatives that do not truly align with member goals, needs and desires. Getting everyone on the same page through creating and signing up to a value proposition statement is a powerful starting point for building shared language and understanding about how the organisation really delivers value for members.

2. Shift from focusing on features and benefits to value

It’s all too easy to bamboozle members with long lists of the features and benefits they receive from membership. We do it when we focus on our product and service, and fail to initiate activities and offers that take full account of members’ needs and challenges.

A feature is no more than an attribute or element of your service. When we tell a member about features, we leave them to work out what it means to them. Focusing on benefits gets us a bit closer to the member, telling them how a feature can make life better for them.

But when we focus on value, we enter the member’s world and start with their goals, needs and desires. We can then tie the value we’re creating back to features and benefits.

Selling value is way more powerful than trying to sell features or benefits.

Apple (unsurprisingly) put it well when they say: “Every iPhone we’ve made – and we mean every single one – was built on the same belief. That a phone should be more than a collection of features. That, above all, a phone should be absolutely simple, beautiful, and magical to use.”

3. Infuse your marketing with a powerful statement of the value of membership

The most successful brands all have a clear statement of their value proposition. They make it easy for customers to choose their product or service by making a succinct statement of how it will be uniquely valuable to them by helping them achieve their goals and fulfil their desires.

Developing a clear value proposition for your membership offering will help to guide all of your communication and marketing efforts, ensuring they consistently reinforce the message about how it delivers value to members. For instance, the organisation’s mission statement, tag line and positioning statement should all be informed by the value proposition.

Telling a consistent and impactful story about the value of membership will help make it easier for prospective members to make the decision to join, and existing members to renew.

4. Inform strategic planning and improve or refresh existing offerings

Once you’ve developed and agreed a value proposition it can help to inform strategic planning processes and meetings, ensuring that the “voice of the member” is present in every meeting from the boardroom through to operations.

It can also help avoid wasted time and risk of failure as new initiatives or tactics to refresh or update the member offering can be tested against the value proposition to understand how well they ‘fit’ with the outcomes that members actually want.

Research by Design’s value proposition workshop can help member organisations
• Understand what value proposition design is and why it matters
• Step into members’ shoes to focus on their goals, issues and desires
• Build alignment among internal stakeholders around the value proposition
• Review the current value proposition and identify opportunities to enhance
• Develop a clear statement of the organisation’s value proposition.

Find out how Research by Design can help you develop your value proposition.

This entry was posted on October 18, 2017


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