Every problem requires a solution. If you are reading this, you have ideally already picked apart the problem your business is trying to solve and are now ready to have a real look at your solution, which is more than likely where you really want to be.
It is really easy when you are trying to get excited about your solution to get so focused on your solution itself that you forget about people and everything else. With this in mind, it is a really good idea to try and limit your solution down to thinking about the problem and then adding in the solution itself.
What are the features and benefits that you provide?
A good way to think about this, which has been tried and tested, is to think about the benefits of your product or service. It’s important to think about what a person feels like before they get your solution and what they feel like after your solution has been introduced. The components within that are the benefits that you’ve managed to create.
So, what might the benefits of your particular solution be? In other words, what are you trying to do?
- Does your solution make somebody feel happier?
- Is it quicker?
- Is it cheaper?
- Is it more readily available?
All of these things, if you have a deep understanding of them, can help you to market them. For example, if something is supposed to be far quicker, then it probably needs to be far more available to that person as soon as they need it. These types of components are really important in thinking about how you deliver your solution.
With this in mind, the first step here is to therefore start breaking things down into Features and Benefits and have a really good understanding of what each of them are. The benefits are how your solution actually benefits someone; what’s the good thing about it or the virtue in having it? The features on the other hand are what allow a benefit to happen.
Let’s look at an example…
The best way to wrap your head around this is to take a look at an infamous example, such as Amazon. Amazon started off selling books and still sells books, along with everything else nowadays, but it’s never sold a different type of book to any other book sellers out there. It prides itself on selling a wider range however and it also makes them available to you instantly. Amazon is now a huge logistics company and the way that they are operating nowadays is to take that logistics capability and start buying up other companies to make more things available, faster.
What started off as an online book store has now become a huge logistics operation because they really understood the solution that they were trying to provide. It wasn’t the case that they were just trying to provide books that were different, as the books were identical. What they were trying to do was provide them faster, with better delivery across the board and less fuss.
Understanding your solution is really important when it comes to the features and benefits that you provide. The main feature might be quick delivery and the benefit might be that you get to give that birthday present that you forgot to buy, in good time, even though you only remembered the day before.
There are lots of different ways in which you can try and unpack your solution using Features and Benefits, always keeping an eye on what your solution is really trying to do, rather than what you think it is trying to do or how it seems outside of that.
So, if your solution offers immediacy and is all online, you need to be very good at understanding what an immediate customer needs looks like. You need to have a look at how you can deliver something immediately and you need to have a think about where those customers sit online.
Questions to ask yourself:
Why not take a moment now to consider your solution before attempting to further develop your proposition. Answer the following questions:
- Does it make things easier to access? Cheaper? More effective?
- What is the main value to the customer?
- What are the benefits of your solution?
- What are the features of your solution?
Matching your solution to how it’s delivered is a really important part of trying to build a successful proposition. The next stage will see you thinking about the people that you are delivering the solution for. Where are they? How can you find them? How can you give them a great experience by understanding them better?
It’s time to think about ‘The People’.