Posted by Kirsten Gibbs Last updated 20th September 2021 reading time
Your Promise of Value is unlikely to change much over time. That is the point of it after all – to encapsulate the thing your business is here to do for the people you serve. By the time you can get clear on that, you don’t want it to be changing every 5 minutes.
Your Promise of Value is a mirror for the psychographic of your ideal clients – the values and behaviours they share with you. It acts as your filter for identifying the right kind of people to work with.
But how you deliver on that Promise will vary however, not only over time, but also across different client needs.
That’s why the next step after defining your Promise is Packaging it.
Packaging is about helping people to recognise themselves, their situation and their need instantly – a litre of whisky in a golf-ball shaped bottle for drinking at home or with friends; 35ml in a golf-ball sized bottle for giving, or collecting as part of a set. A pet hotel near the airport for frequent travellers, a luxury cat hotel for cat lovers who travel.
Packaging lets people try safely – free samples, test-drives or trial periods mean prospects can test your delivery without committing themselves. They also help them to get started with you at low-risk.
Packaging helps you to evolve in step with the people you serve – new puppy-owners won’t want dog-walking, but they will appreciate puppy visits, or puppy-training sessions with other new dog-owners like themselves.
However you Package up your Promise, it’s not about you. It’s about your customer, and making it easy for them to buy from you. Or not.
So, to create useful, saleable packages you need to get concrete. You need to go from psychographics to demographics. You need to find easily identifiable populations that are likely to contain enough people with your psychographic profile to form a viable market.
But simply identifying any old demographic won’t do. Because most people don’t change just for the sake of it. There has to be something that’s motivating them. So you need to find demographics with a strong motivation to make the change you can help them with.
A good place to start is an industry or sector that’s under pressure from technology, regulation or disruption to transform themselves fairly rapidly. If you have a rapid and reliable way to train new road-vehicle drivers, then maybe now is the time to package it up for haulage firms or supermarket chains..
Or you can look for a sub-sector of an industry that is currently under-served. Whose needs are ignored because they are not sexy enough or big enough for the dominant players. They may be a small market, but they are a great place to hone your packages and perfect your delivery. They then become a springboard to bigger and better things.
We take it for granted now that Apple is the creative’s choice, but they started by serving unglamorous and overlooked in-house publishing departments. Only by dominating that small market were they able to transition to independent agencies and beyond, to become the hipster hallmark they are today.
Motivation is essential, but it means nothing without the ability to act on it. And as BJ Fogg, behaviour designer and author of ‘Tiny Habits‘ , points out, it’s far easier to enable a highly motivated person than it is to motivate the un-motivated – no matter how able they are.
So once you’ve identified your motivated demographics, you need to think about how you can enhance their ability to act on that motivation with you.
These kinds of question might help:
Where is each potential client in their journey?
How are they trying to solve their problem now?
When is it a good time for them, to discover me?
What can I offer that is the best thing for them, where they are right now?
How can I make it easy for them to start?
How can I make it easier/more rewarding for them to keep going than to give up?
How can I make it easier/more rewarding for them to finish than to tail off.
What could make it not work?
How can I make sure it works?
Or try these questions from Brian Chesky of AirBNB:
What does the usual 2- or 3-star service look like?
What does a 4-star service look like?
What does a 5-star service look like?
What would a 6-star service look like?
What about a 7-, 8- or 9-star service?
In summary, find the people who need you most right now, and Package your Promise for them. Empathise with them, get to know their pain, their frustrations, their dreams.
Aim to understand not only who they want to become, but also what will be the best way to help them get there, starting from where they are now.
How can you make your Package something that’s easy to choose, easy to keep going with, and better than anything else on offer?
That package may be a blog post or a video; or it may be a year-long project or a piece of software, or a continuous service. Whatever it is, large or small, if it is well put-together, it should say:
“I made this just for you, for where you are right now. To get you just where you want to go.”
If it does, it will be received with recognition and delight. It will almost sell itself.