Melynn Sight details how to evaluate your organization’s value proposition message for members.
If you’ve invested in discovering your association’s VP (value proposition), and it’s been around for two or more years, you may feel like it’s time to put new life into it – to verify that your message is still relevant and that your organization delivers on the value you promote.
Member needs and your organization’s strengths can change over time. Here’s how to determine if your value proposition needs a refresh, and ideas on how to do it.
- TEST the Strength of Your Current Value Proposition
Review your value message internally:
During your strategic planning cycle, formally ask board members what they believe members think are the strengths of the association. In an unsolicited process, are your strengths among the ones you publish in your value proposition?
- If they do (mostly) align to your value proposition – congratulations! Make sure your strategic plan includes strategically building on those proof points.
- If they don’t line up, a purposeful conversation is in order so that you can either adjust your value message, or take the steps to make sure you deliver what you promise.
Test your message externally with member research (via a survey or focus groups):
Have trends shifted? Have your member’s biggest worries or needs changed? How satisfied are members with the services that you say you do well – that your VP is based on?
Example 1: Technology was a main value point in an association’s value proposition. Their annual member survey uncovered high demand for tech but low usage and members rated the association low on how they deliver in that area.
Instead of technology as a key value point, the association re-crafted their value proposition to focus on a different theme for their message that highlights information and tools that members need, services that are super relevant, and that the association does very well. Technology is still an area that the association wants to build. But as they grow in proficiency and focus, it’s not a selling point.
Example 2: Board member feedback revealed that the theme was still just what they wanted to convey but the value points required updating.
- DECIDE What You Need to Change
Update the message:
One state association’s value proposition needed to better differentiate what they deliver versus local associations. The focus shifted from delivering knowledge (common to all associations) to providing a wider perspective on business and the industry that the member can’t get anywhere else.
A before and after example of what the state provides:
Update the graphics:
Change your visuals if you significantly change your message, or freshen your graphics to get attention to the new proposition.
- If You Think You Need it, Get Some Outside Help
If you need outside help, connect with an industry professional like nSight Marketing. They can help you research and revise your value message, draft a new message or update your graphics.
Melynn Sight is the President of nSight Marketing. After spending 25 years in corporate, for-profit marketing and communications, Melynn works exclusively with association executives and executives on refining their communications with members. nSight Marketing is the first and best place to discover and then communicate your unique message of value. One that is relevant to your most important audiences.