I call it the Propositions Mantra. Just as you repeat a mantra and it expresses a strong belief, the four elements in my propositions mantra are the basis of any new proposition that we launch.

We have all read in the marketing textbooks about ‘value propositions’ and ‘unique selling propositions’ before, yet you can rarely see in detail which of those four points sits behind the expression and how these are linked to commercial parameters. And I am always amused how the commercial angle is conveniently omitted!

My Commercial Propositions mantra: Relevant, Focused, Differentiated and Profitable.

4 Proposition Elements - Relevant, Focused, Differentiated and Profitable

In later posts, I will focus on each key ingredient of the commercial proposition in greater depth, but here I want to outline the four pillars.

Four questions whose answers build a winning proposition

  1. Relevant: What is the strong market (or segment) insight that makes us believe there is an opportunity to monetize?
  2. Focused: What product or service capability are we offering to address this market opportunity?
  3. Differentiated: What makes us believe that we can address this opportunity better than the competition? Why us? – Hint: ‘this is the ‘Unique’ in the ‘Unique Service Proposition’ expression.
  4. Profitable: Can our product or service address this opportunity profitably?

Skipping even one of those questions or having weak, unsatisfactory answers to any of the questions means that your business will be wasting good money on a mediocre proposition.

In my experience, all questions need to be treated equally and it is the job of the propositions manager to gather expertise from other teams in order to address those in a way that drives the idea forward.

If you have any questions, or you want to share stories, lessons learned around proposition development and commercial innovation please feel free to leave a comment.
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