Back in the “Mad Men” era of brand management, it was far simpler for brands to be distinctive and to be indispensable in customers’ eyes. For starters, there were fewer competitors, brands, and product or service offerings in most categories and industries. For that matter, there were even fewer categories and industries. To no one’s surprise, in a world with fewer alternatives, it was significantly easier for any brand to be distinctive from all others.
What is a customer value proposition exactly? There are lots of definitions, but our brand consultancy's managing partner, Mitch Duckler, defines value as “…the sum total of the offerings and experiences delivered to customers during their interactions with an organization, product, or brand. If well crafted, it can sharpen the way an organization works by focusing activity to serve customers profitably.”
When making decisions to purchase, customers choose the brand and company that gives them the value that others can't match. A brand that can show it is different from others, in a way that is relevant to customers, gains a significant competitive advantage. Unfortunately, we are frequently reminded of the lack of real differentiation in most mainstream organizations—and of the opportunities, they are thus squandering.