If you saw my recent article where we looked at HR companies that had failed to differentiate themselves from the competition, you might be wondering how to create a value proposition for your own HR-related consultancy or HR tech company.
In order to help you create the right unique value proposition for your Human Resources business, I’ve asked branding and value proposition expert, Jill Pringle, for her advice.
Jill is a former Marketing Director in commercial businesses, who now consults on how to reposition, consolidate or refresh a brand.
This is part of a four-step strategy to get more customers and clients in the Human Resources industry.
Business Value Expert (Jill Pringle) On How To Create A Value Proposition For Your Human Resources Company
During a very interesting discussion on how to create a value proposition, I asked Jill the following questions:
- Are value propositions just a marketing vanity exercise? What do they really do?
- What if your HR business or product doesn’t serve one narrow, neatly-defined target audience? Is it still possible to come up with a good value proposition that reaches across industries and roles?
- Different people in the business within the HR business will have a different opinion on what is the ideal value proposition – how do you determine which is the right one?
- What does the actual process of building your value proposition involve? Is all qualitative and internally-focussed?
- Are there any guiding questions an HR business should think about when identifying their value proposition?
- How should an HR business link their value proposition to the details of what they do (their product/service features & benefits)?
- How do you know if you’ve come up with the right value proposition?
- What are some practical examples of an HR business putting its value proposition into action?
Let’s get into it but, first, don’t forget to join my mailing list for more business marketing insights . . .
Q1. Are value propositions just a marketing vanity exercise? What do they really do?
A value proposition articulates clearly why someone should choose your business, product or service. It’s about simplifying and clarifying what you do and talking about the benefits to the people you serve.
Marketing leads this exercise because it’s part of ‘positioning’ you vs. the other options someone may find to solve their problem.
Q2. What if your HR business or product doesn’t serve one narrow, neatly-defined target audience? Is it still possible to come up with a good value proposition that reaches across industries and roles?
A value proposition is about getting to the core of who you serve and what you do for them.
For most businesses, at a fundamental level, this proposition is the same for different customer segments or industries, and your particular strengths or the innovative ways you do things tend to apply across all audiences.
Most businesses I’ve worked with – from orchestras to orchids and business databases to banks’ credit scores – serve multiple sectors and need a value proposition precisely to make sure they all join up.
Q3. Different people in the business within the HR business will have a different opinion on what is the ideal value proposition – how do you determine which is the right one?
I’m a big believer that you should ask a range of customers why they chose you and how they get value from you.
A range of internal views is also good, and understanding where they’re different to what customers think can be really helpful.
Matching the two together is where the magic happens – as it can stimulate a debate that helps clarify where most value can be delivered to your customers, and therefore which internal views to focus your proposition around.
(Ben’s Note: Check out this brief video and paper on Jill’s site for more on this topic)
Q4. What does the actual process of building your value proposition involve? Is all qualitative and internally-focussed?
Since you’re trying to get to the ‘why’ then there’s usually more qualitative than quantitative research behind a value proposition. But like all good marketing strategy, you need to look at the data too – what sells best, where does most profit come from, what causes less or more customer interactions or complaints.
It definitely shouldn’t be internally focused – as I said above – asking customers is a critical part of the process for me.
(Ben’s Note: Check out this post for some quantitative assessment ideas you can use).
Q5. Are there any guiding questions an HR business should think about when identifying their value proposition?
At a very broad level, I’d start with why do you exist beyond making money?
Who are you trying to help, what are you trying to help them do, and why is that valuable (ie why would they pay you for it!).
Then ask yourself how is the way you solve their problem different or better than their other options.
Q6. How should an HR business link their value proposition to the details of what they do (their product/service features & benefits)?
That’s a great question because it’s really important.
A value proposition lives when all employees know how what they do, their part of the product or service, links to the overall proposition.
I would normally collect all the key features and group them – ideally linked to common benefits.
Q7. How do you know if you’ve come up with the right value proposition?
The first and most important test is that employees from across the organisation, and their different silos, can all recognise and relate to it.
Brands should reflect what people outside the organisation value but they are built and live inside a company first.
Q8. What are some practical examples of an HR business putting its value proposition into action?
I like what Perkbox are doing. If you look at their website it’s clear that they’re in the business of employee engagement (or employee happiness at they phrase it) but also it’s clear if you work with them it will make employees happy which in turn will mean they do great things.
I’ve never worked with them or used them as an employee – so I don’t personally know if their product lives up to the promise – but I think it’s a nice positioning.
Conclusion – How To Create A Value Proposition That Works For Your HR Business
Excellent insights from Jill there.
If you’ve read my article, How To Become Super Attractive To Your Target Market, you’ll know how strongly I feel about getting your brand positioning right.
If you’d like some advice from Jill on how to position your company for greater success, you can reach her here: Jill Pringle on LinkedIn
For more tips and ideas, visit the blog to grow your HR business faster.