One of the biggest, greatest lessons I’ve learned while doing a startup is one that isn’t shocking. In fact, before I say it I’m going to go ahead and say it’s going to sound stupid. You’re sometimes told this in consulting projects, read it in some books, but it’s just the very experience of doing a startup and smack-your-face-duh moment when you really appreciate this. So here goes… when you’re offering any product or service, you have to make a TANGIBLE value proposition. People and companies largely respond to one thing: net profit. This means there are two big levers – raise my revenue or lower my costs.
Yeah… sounds simple and stupid, right? But if you were me, you may think that there may be a grand idea you have that can save time or can “boost performance” or something like that. Rarely do people really understand in these terms. You’ll find those who can understand that building a stronger athlete with ancillary benefits like accountability and the like, but most people do NOT get these concepts. What do they really understand? Budget.
I can tout how in 60 days, I saw personally how I increased my strength by 4.86% (read the post here), or how a high school football team’s top 10 players saw 9.13% gains in the Barbell Bench Press and 5.13% gains in their Barbell Power Cleans, but sometimes, it doesn’t quite click yet.
Instead, listening to some coaches, especially college coaches, they immediately latch onto the opportunity to save money via summer workout programs. That is, today, colleges spend roughly $20 per book that is sent out to players over the summer with their summer workout plans. What ends up happening oftentimes is players lose their books, too, so the Strength & Conditioning program has to send out a new book. Not only that, but the book just sends out the workout with no feedback system.
So the value prop here for Body Boss, for example, is the ability for coaches to use Body Boss to share summer workout programs with one system at a cost lower than printing and shipping books at $20 per book. For college football teams, for example, if you produce books for 105 players (NCAA Div. 1 squad size limit), that’s a good $2,100. Further, Body Boss can be the way that players can get feedback, while also accessing a workout program without the fear of losing the “book”.
Thinking about consulting, this should be a no-brainer. How often or easy is it to build a business case or even sell a project if you’re just selling soft benefits?
So in the end, before you get all enamored about your idea and try to build marketing messages set on value props not based on values, don’t. If you’re touting saving time, perhaps it’d be easier for your customer to not think of the time aspect as much as the value of that time. What are the opportunity costs you’re experiencing by doing what you do now? If you used product XYZ, you’ll save time so you can DO that opportunity cost.
Anyways, so yeah, sometimes you can get enamored on what makes your product so great or why a project would be nice, but if you lose yourself in the wrong value, your message just falls on disinterested ears.
- SC Ninja out