Your Story: Communicating Value First

We are in the process of building out our new Manifast website. This is not the Manifast tool which is already quite mature and powerful, but our marketing website. 

There are so many ways you could do it.

This is our approach.

Story
Communicate the Value First

Seth Godin talks often about telling a story; best story wins. Chet Holmes talks about focusing on a core story with market driven data in "The Ultimate Sales Machine". Bob Burg and John David Mann talk about creating value in "The Go-Giver".

Value is the sum of the benefits, features and the intangibles. Often value is not directly related to the things you think of in the actual product or service.

Zappos sells shoes online. So do a ton of other stores. Zappos does the experience better than everyone else. They focus on customer service with real people answering the phone. And they are trained to listen and solve problems, not just sell shoes. This wow experience commands loyalty and huge word of mouth. A great story.

Your story better be about something bigger than money and the product. It should resonate and be authentic with your target market. There is no "right" story.

Are you focused on you and your products, or the customer. Education based marketing (core story) positions you as the expert. You aren't selling your products but instead addressing the know, like and trust equation first. But you have to be seen as adding value whether or not the prospect buys. Buying comes later.

The insurance industry is ultimately selling peace of mind not: "insurance", or benefits (horrible things have to happen to get them), or features (the details of the policy).

Then Benefits

I like to separate value from benefits in the planning part of the exercise. This allows people to focus beyond the obvious and see the entire picture. The real reason people buy.

In business to business the benefits are the ways in which your product or service can be used. What problems can you solve. These form part of the value.

Then Features

Feature are not unimportant. The problem with features is they don't drive emotion. The sale is usually made on emotion and then justified by facts.

You want prospect to make the decision to buy early and then use the features to confirm the decision.

By focusing on the story and value first, you also take pricing to a later part of the process. You don't want people deciding on your products based on facts and prices or low pricing will come into play.

Summary

You don't want to separate the content on your website by these headings. You also don't want your copy to be mechanical.

But you do want to organize it in such a way that the story and value come first in the reader's mind; then filled in with benefits, features and finally costs.

If you have a great product and service, you need to make it easy for the right people to buy what you have.

Of course, it is not actually easy to do this well. 

Take a first stab at and then iterate over time. It doesn't have to be perfect out of the gate. It can evolve.

If this is not your talent, get some professional help.

Is your website communicating your value and story? Is it bringing you customers?

By | 2017-04-03T11:36:09+00:00 August 9th, 2012|Categories: Business Strategy, Doug's Blog, Marketing, Sales|

About the Author:

Doug Wagner is an entrepreneur, President and Co-founder of Sunwapta Solutions. Sunwapta's mission is to help businesses transform from surviving to thriving, sustainable growth. From strategy to implementation, this means marketing, sales, managing your brand and delivering consistent value. Get more clients and keep them.