The Value of Value Propositions

Most companies are familiar with the standard Mission Statement: It’s a public document that outlines the company’s goals and priorities, and it serves as a uniform position statement to demonstrate the value of the organization and its offerings. Most companies make their mission statements easily available and use them for public relations purposes. Some post them on their websites and in office buildings, keeping those key goals and core competencies visible at all times.

While mission statements are valuable tools both for PR purposes and maintaining clarity of purpose internally, there’s another document many companies find equally beneficial. Enter the Value Proposition. A value proposition is similar to a mission statement in many respects, but this document, designed to clearly delineate the company’s position and unify its message, is often meant for internal consumption only. Value propositions present employees with a useful outline that is meant to help them tailor their actions, communications, and choices as company representatives so that they exemplify the corporate image in their daily activities.

A short, defining statement focusing on the most vital aspects of a company, the value proposition addresses all of the big “wh- questions,”:
•    Who are we as a company?
•    What are our core competencies?
•    Where do we stand in the larger marketplace and where do we provide services?
•    Why are we the right option for our customers?

The best value propositions are brief and concise: As short as one sentence and no longer than one paragraph, these simple declarations leave no room for “fluff.” They are not sweeping corporate lists of company attributes or consumer rights. They are direct pronouncements: This is who we are as a company, and this is what we believe in.

TribalVision’s value proposition is on the longer side, and one reason for this is because, at TribalVision, we chose to do away with the old-school mission statement and opted for a public-use value proposition and a separate statement of company principles instead. Employing a public value proposition, instead of a private one in conjunction with a public mission statement, is just one more way that today’s forward-thinking firms can establish themselves as embracing the level of transparency today’s consumers demand. Having no variation between what you say internally and what you say in PR materials, by using the same value proposition in each, demonstrates to your clientele and the public that what’s said in the boardroom and what’s said at a press conference are one in the same.

For modern companies looking to market themselves as open, transparent, and accountable to their clients and stakeholders, a public value proposition is yet another tool in the marketing arsenal. Additionally, the brevity of a value proposition, as opposed to a longer, more traditional mission statement, appeals to the way contemporary consumers function. People simply do not read page-long mission statements, whether they’re filled with clichéd promises or earnest avowals. But a sentence, a paragraph, one that’s repeated through a variety of marketing avenues – that is something today’s consumers will notice. And that’s really the point of marketing: getting noticed in a positive way.

What types of mission statements, value propositions, company principles, or mantras does your company use? Are they frame-it-on-the-wall-and-forget-it affirmations, or do they contribute to your marketing success and hence to your success as a company? When was the last time you read, considered, or updated them? If you don’t remember, maybe it’s time for something new.

TribalVision’s Value Proposition
As an outsource marketing department for hire, TribalVision’s mission is to help small to midsize organizations market smarter in today’s crowded arenas. By combining intelligent strategy with tactical execution — in a flexible, cost-effective and results-driven manner – we deliver bottom-line performance. The investment of each client’s marketing budget is as efficient as possible, enabling each invested dollar to work harder and go farther. Our ability to generate tangible results is our only barometer for success.