The Two-Word Value Proposition

Here I go again blogging on something in the area of Product Marketing … I should leave that up to April Dunford the Product Marketing expert; but I can’t help myself.

Can you create a two-word phrase that describes your value proposition? Something like ‘Change Ready’ or ‘Threat Resistant’. You should be able to attach them to the end of the phrase ‘Are you …?’ or ‘Is your whatever …’. You then can use phrases that contain these two words when you talk to a prospect or add it to the front page of your web site. Or maybe even trademark it.

The first word needs to describe the problem that you solve or the desired outcome and the second word needs to describe your solution to the problem. The problem, of course, has to be expressed from your target market’s perspective … i.e. it can not be what you do (no one cares about that).

My company – Ateala Management – helps tech companies with their product management issues. Outside of the realm of product management nobody gets this. The usual response is “huh?”. My target companies are those that are just beyond the start-up phase looking to scale their business to the next level. The problem they have is staying focused on meeting their business objectives with all the distractions being thrown at them. What I do is implement systems and processes and educate their staff to focus on making decisions that help in meeting their business objectives. I now ask if  they have an objective-focused business. So my value proposition can be condensed to “objective focused”. Is your business objective focused?

Try it with your product. Can you share your two-word value proposition?

5 thoughts on “The Two-Word Value Proposition

  1. April

    Hey thanks for the mention – and trust me I don’t have ownership of product marketing on the internet so blog away!
    I like taking companies through the exercise of really distilling down what it is they do and what the value of that is. I think it helps to strip away as much as you can to make the message as clear as possible.
    My only concern about getting it down to only 2 words is that it might get so stripped down that you need to back the two words up with further explanation or that the real differentiators can’t shine though. I don’t believe that’s impossible though.
    Nice post!

  2. Bill Graham

    I agree with the idea – distill your message into the bare minimum. In my case working in embedded systems its difficult to get the description down to two words. For example the problem maybe “embedded system complexity”, using complexity only is too generic since we don’t solve this problem in a general sense.

    One thing I find really useful is to get your product message platform centred around 3-4 words. My product is , , .

  3. Mark barden

    Nice post. And this kind of discipline is rare and hard. Not sure there’s any magic in 2 words – at least outside of product mktg, in the brand space 3 is good: authentic athletic performance, positively outrageous service, create colorful commerce …

  4. Mark Levison

    Peter – why two words? I agree with the idea that it should be short but two words? For example your value proposition “objective focused” and could be ours (The Agile Consortium). Yet we’re not solving the same problem in quite the same way.

    If you said that your value proposition should be one sentence starting with “Are you….” and without conjunctions, then I would agree. Ours might be “Are you happy with your the quality of your software development” (Its my first try).

    Mark Levison
    The Agile Consortium

  5. Maureen McCann

    Value propositions are great in career development as well. How often have you been to a cocktail party or networking event and someone says “I’m the Chief Poohba of ABC company” …and you think to yourself “huh?” what does that mean?

    Your personal value proposition is as important as your product’s

    Mine can be summed up in three words.

    “Moving careers forward”

    Maureen McCann
    Chief Poohba
    ProMotion Career Solutions

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