The reason why one should be able to articulate a clear proposition is to provide a clear, unambiguous description of your business that becomes a yardstick (litmus test) against which you can measure your day to day operations.
You can make practical decisions about:
• Your visual merchandising
• Your stock range
• Your marketing communication
• Your price points
• Sales and service strategies
[Hint: All of the above is your retail mix :-)]
When you are able consistently target the right customer group with your differentiated offer you are achieving the fundamental challenge of marketing: finding out what the customer wants and helping them get it.
If you can’t describe your proposition in one simple sentence, every decision you take in running the business becomes a lottery.
So, exactly how do you go about doing it?
In order to answer the over-arching question (what business am I in?) you need to effectively answer three other questions.
The sum of these three answers will constitute your response to the question.
The questions are simply:
1. What is my proposition?
2. Who am I offering it to?
3. How is it different?
Can you guess who the following retailer is?
Affordable fast food for people who couldn’t be bothered (time poor) in a family-friendly environment.
- What: Affordable fast food
- Who: For people who couldn’t be bothered (time poor)
- How: In a family-friendly environment.
I hope you guessed right…
Of course the first one is McDonalds. If you now consider the image below, you will see how the proposition is the foundation of how they execute the retail proposition; it determines what they sell and how they sell their offer. Compare for instance how their proposition differs from a restaurant? From KFC?
McDonalds has answered the t
hree questions (whatever their methodology and their framework) and they have created something that is extremely hard to replicate. A well-executed retail proposition that is a virtuous circle: the better they execute, the more compelling the proposition.
The only way McDonalds will lose it, is if they fail to respond to the subtle changes in taste and habits. But as long as there are time-poor consumers and a market for affordable fast food in a family-friendly environment – they will continue to prosper.