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  • Writer's pictureC.E.K. & Partners

What's the Biggest Mistake Brands Make With Their Value Propositions?



A brand’s reason for being is different from its value proposition, which defines the WHAT – the value a brand, product or offering brings to customers – the promise of what is offered.


Building a brand takes considerable thought about the Who, What and Why.


These do not exist in isolation, but make up your brand’s DNA. In our post, Purpose: Does Your Brand Need a Soul? we explored some of the high-level questions you must answer to define your brand’s purpose, or WHY.


It’s Not About You, It’s About Them – Your Customers

The biggest mistake B2B brands make in articulating a value proposition statement is making it all about them – the company!


The biggest mistake B2B brands make in articulating a value proposition statement is making it all about them – the company!

Just like a B2C one, a B2B brand must meaningfully connect with its internal and external audiences. Did you enjoy the last luncheon you went to where your companion proceeded to only talk about themselves – the entire time? Your audience probably doesn’t want to hear about how great your brand is either. Instead, tell your customers about what value you offer them.

A B2B brand's value proposition should be succinct; it should be memorable and easily communicated. And, don’t forget – externally oriented with an emotional and rational component.

Thinking about taking a shortcut and simply stating your brand’s value proposition based on what leadership and your team brainstorms? We caution those who taking an approach based on opinions and not data from market research.


Our thoughts may best be stated by W. Edwards Deming, who said, “Without data you’re just another person with an opinion.”


Do you really want to make decisions that will enable your brand to make a meaningful connection with your customer – based on opinions and not a custom study designed by a market research firm?

To read more about the power of data check out this article, Capturing Insights: Without Data You're Just Another Person With An Opinion.

Taking a Strategic Approach Includes a Discovery Phase with Market Research

Engaging a market research firm to help your team capture data and insights from the lens of your category, the brand and its customers – allows for articulating a compelling, unique value proposition. And one that is defendable.

What are the critical elements in the market research and discovery process?


  • Competitive landscape. What are your competitor's value propositions? Your statement should be unique since it must communicate why a particular solution will add more value or solve a problem better than a competitor’s offering.

  • Customers. What value do customers perceive your brand offers? What makes it better than the competition? Remember, as you try to understand this, a customer will be more forthcoming when speaking to a third-party market research firm than with a company representative.

  • Employees. Employees – outside of the leadership team – often hold knowledge about the company and its products and services and can share real truths about the company’s strengths and weaknesses, and for those in sales or customer support, a valuable external perspective that can be compared with the customer discussions to determine the brand’s reality.

A well-articulated value proposition holds the power to make a remarkable impact on your people and your top line revenue. What are you waiting for?

We're a woman-owned small business specialized in market research and strategic communications. We serve a range of organizations across retail, sustainability, energy, healthcare, technology, financial services and government agencies. We custom design research studies to capture data and insights that helps our clients make more informed decisions.


Through designing and fielding custom market research, we collect the data and insights critical for articulating a value proposition that generates demand and accelerates business growth.


Do you need to articulate your brand or product value proposition?


We're here to help!


Contact us to learn more about our proven approach, process and workshops.


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