Partnerships: How to craft a joint value proposition
John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield. Some partnerships have changed the world. And at bbp, we know partnerships mean big business for some of our clients. We also know how tricky formulating a joint value proposition can be.
A bit of scene setting
Striking the right balance is critical. A commonly-made mistake is to merge two separate brand stories – we do X while our partner does Y. The problem with doing that? Customers can spot this mishmash a mile off, and it doesn’t let them know how you’re working together to deliver something even better.
Driving sales relies on you telling a compelling partner story. This will also form a useful tool for aligning sales teams across yours and your partner’s businesses. It will enable sellers to understand the collective value you’re bringing to the market and clearly communicate that to prospective customers.
For your joint value proposition to cut the mustard, you need to focus on the power of your unified solution. It must explain that by teaming up, you and your partner are able to meet customers’ needs quicker, smarter or more affordably than your competitors. It’s not about which of you provides what elements, it’s about what your shared offering can do for your customers. Remember, all they want is a solution that works.
Where to begin?
We can hear you thinking: Well, thanks for all the great advice so far, but how do I actually put this into practice? We suggest using these questions as a helpful jumping off point.
What is the main customer benefit of your joint solution?
What is each of us bringing to this joint solution that’s unique?
How is it different from competitor solutions tackling the same issue?
Why would a customer buy it?
Is there anything that could get in the way of your partnership thriving?
Once you’ve answered these, take a closer look at each organisations’ messaging and pinpoint common themes, crossovers and key differentiators.
How to come top of the value props
Put your customer centre stage Rather than focus on what you can both do, work hard to understand the challenges your customers face and their needs. Use these insights to pen a story all about meeting these and leave any nitty-gritty solution details until the end.
Teamwork makes the dream work Working side-by-side on your joint value proposition is non-negotiable. Kick off with a collaborative workshop to throw around ideas, interview subject matter experts from both businesses and put a joint approval process in place.
Get the board on board Be sure to involve senior stakeholders from both businesses from the get-go. You’ll need to get their buy-in by finding a middle ground that captures the best of both companies’ offerings to create an equal story.
Take your time Rome wasn’t built in a day, and chances are your joint value proposition won’t be either. It’s critical to invest proper time in development and avoid the temptation to take any shortcuts.
Value proposition first, strategy second Develop your value proposition before attempting to build out your joint go-to-market strategy. This message will spark cohesive campaign ideas that guarantee nothing gets lost in translation when you start creating promotional assets.
Wait, one last thing
Admittedly we may be a smidge one-sided with this final pearl of wisdom, but involving an independent third party in your joint value proposition journey can be really helpful. This offers an unbiased view and can help ensure your story is properly answers that all-important ‘so what?’ question.
So, if you’d like a hand sense checking your joint value proposition or want help creating one from scratch, get in touch with us today.