Why Does Our Value Proposition Get Lost in Translation?

I saw this Superbowl commercial and thought it was a great analogy for a common challenge most leaders encounter, myself included.


The video illustrates a problem many of us face:

Our value offerings can be too technical, wordy, or complicated. Sometimes we need outside help bragging on ourselves and our companies — that’s the role of a “translator.”

Really, it’s not bragging in a bad way - just clearly stating capabilities and successes.  Basically, we’re just playing to the game of supply and demand. There are a group of buyers seeking what we offer, so we want to demonstrate what we offer so we can supply it.

Sharing case studies or unique solutions is a way of connecting to what your ideal customers value with the valuable products or services you offer.

Let’s face it, it’s hard to brag about yourself. And for business owners, executives, and directors of organizations, sometimes it’s too personal to brag about your organization. That may be because you’re too close to your company to understand your product from an outside perspective.

It’s not uncommon for business owners to actually feel like their company or service is the best, and their company offers more value than your competition. If you do something with excellence and you find out that it’s hard for you to brag about it, you may need a translator. You need someone to do the communicating, clarifying, and matchmaking with ideal customers.

Here are some top indicators you could use a translator:

  1. You take too long to describe what you do, leaving customers still confused and unclear about your value proposition.

  2. You feel a little uncomfortable explaining all of your value offerings so you dial it back and reduce the gravity and value of what you offer.

  3. For some reason, you haven’t been able to make a relaxed, confident introduction in 30 seconds or less.

If you do have a marketing department, or work with a branding agency, be sure they are doing these four things to help you translate your value to the marketplace:

  1. Ask your customers, your best customers and some of the customers you lost about what makes your company and your offerings unique.

  2. Spend some time thinking about customer feedback in the past and any sales presentations that has won over new customers. Think like your customers would think… consider the pros and cons about your products and or services.

  3. Be sure that your marketing communication isn’t aimed at pleasing the CEO, the director or the executive team, rather; the perceptions, needs and the expectations of the customer. Basically, write to a customer’s wish list.

  4. Repeat this process often, with consistency.

One way to think of it: you’re the undercover boss. Instead of secretly learning about the dynamics inside your organization, choose to turn your focus market-facing and get close to your customers and competition. This is a perfect and insightful initiative for your marketing dollars.

Don’t let your unique services, products, and overall value miss your key customers, donors, or followers because it’s lost in translation.

Schedule a meeting with your branding or marketing resource and include your new business/sales and/or donor development teams to think like your customer.  If you do, your new translation should make it easy for customers to understand you and make their decision-making process easier.

Jason Manarchuck