Complexity is dead, long live simplicity

Remember the last time you were presented to a value proposition. Changes are that you cannot remember the wording or the value, it was supposed to create for you and your company. This is more often the rule than the exception, because we tend to overcomplicate our messaging to the market, our customers and business partners. The questions are why and how to prevent this.

Why complicating

A reason to why we tend to overcomplicate a value proposition is because we cannot see the value from our client's perspective. The saying goes that one cannot see the forest because of the trees. The trees being the details of the product or service, we are offering e.g. the implementation process or steps, the plethora of parameters to be configured etc. The forest being the value, we generate to the client.

Another reason is that we lack confidence in our product or service, and attempts to hide this by presenting a complex value proposition.

A third reason, which is more serious, is that a complex value proposition can be a symptom that the company does not understand its own product or service. But that is not the focus of this article.

How to prevent

To write a value proposition is not a simple task, left for the few or developed in the process of making a client presentation. A well defined, simple to understand value proposition requires input from more than one department in the company. It requires input from a member of the full value chain as each have their view of what value is being generated to the client. And often a well written value proposition contains elements from multiple steps in the value chain. Perhaps even a change in focus of what is being delivered.

The value proposition of a company in our portfolio, Appcago Denmark ApS, changed its value proposition from a focus on IT, IT system and IT project to become a Industrial After sales service with no mention of IT.