In our last post, How to Identify Your Brand’s Value Proposition, we talked about an exercise called the BxP Value Proposition Map.
When you create a value proposition well-rounded by effort to carve out your Brand, Experience, and Product, the payback lies “between the lines.” The assets your efforts beget are Attention, Assurance, and Advocates.
It’s these assets that create true value for your product, and why it’s so important to pay attention to all three of the main values as you build out. Even a startup in scramble mode should actively work toward creating value for users in all of these areas from the beginning.
At the confluence of brand and experience is attention. The digital product landscape is both massive and fragmented. There are hundreds of millions of apps and services, so earning the attention of users is immensely challenging. It takes a strong, compelling, relevant, authentic, relatable image.
Existing brands with a high level of credibility among consumers already have the advantage of being viewed as trustworthy. You don’t have that advantage, so you must build it with a carefully calibrated effort to carve out a brand personality in tandem with incredible customer experience. If you do a spectacular job of this, you can gain attention from potential users without massive ad spend or endorsements.
At the intersection of brand and product is assurance. Once you have their attention, you must assure them that you’re the right product for their needs. This quality is important both for attaining new customers and keeping the ones you already have.
If 80 percent of your product’s usage will likely come from 20 percent (or less) of your users, it’s imperative to continually reassure your existing customers that they made the right choice by going with you. This reassurance comes from your excellent product and, perhaps more importantly, from your seemingly benevolent brand.
And, of course, as you’re building your customer base, you will also need new customers — lots of new customers. Assurance is a differentiator when there are many compelling options with similar features, specs, and functionality. Your product must be the safer, better bet.
Without unlimited marketing dollars, the only true way to organically grow a product is to have a set of advocates that tell their friends, family, and contacts about your product. Where experience and product intersect, a residual “side effect” is product advocates. This includes your power users but is not limited to them.
The value of one-to-one testimonials of product advocates is hard to measure, but it can truly be the gasoline that fuels rapid and continued growth. And the best way to cultivate product advocates is with a product that gives an excellent experience.
Here’s the catch about this BxP exercise: it’s just an exercise. The real work obviously comes from your product, brand, and company build-out. But this exercise can help you elucidate where you’re trying to get to and why it’s so important that you pay deep attention to all three values: brand, experience, and product (in that order).
Take a look at one of the very earliest Apple logos, design in 1977 by designer Rob Janoff:
To this day, Janoff’s simple, iconic design remains. It’s been modernized, but not much:
It’s almost like the original Apple logo changed its ’70s-style sweater and put on something sleek from H&M.
In the very beginning, the folks at Apple knew they were creating something different, and they put forth a brand that embodied their “think different” ethos. Apple didn’t create the first personal computer, the first MP3 player, the first tablet, or the first smartphone. Yet the company is legendary for its ability to disrupt the way we buy, use, and think about gadgets. Recently, that little apple icon had its best quarter in company history: over $80 billion in sales for Q4 2017.
If you’d like to take a stab at the BxP exercise, go back to our last post to download a worksheet and instructions.
Want to keep going? Read our book Got Ideas? How to Turn Your Ideas into Products People Want to Use, which takes novice product-makers through the journey of creating great, user-friendly digital products from the thin air of their imaginations. Available in hardcover, paperback, ebook, and audiobook, it’s a hands-on, practical manual for aspiring entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.