When Value Propositions Clash

When visiting a client, years ago, I noticed a sign over his workshop door.


fast good cheap

You can have any 2 – but you can’t have all 3.


A very important lesson that has stayed with me and contains logic that applies to many combinations of value propositions.

Consider how the various types of value proposition might be combined.

Newness                                             Performance

         Customisation                                    Getting the Job Done

Design                                                       Price

    Cost reduction                                       Risk Reduction

              Accessibility                                    Convenience/Usability

Price is the one constant that customers understand and so often it becomes the default battlefield on which competitors are fought when the real value isn’t articulated. However, when you try to simultaneously deliver other value propositions like performance, design or status with a low price the customer immediately discounts the higher propositions, leaving you with high costs and low income. Not a recipe for success.

Price is not the only value proposition that can cause clashes:

  • Customisation can cause problems with Performance, Usability and Design.
  • Brand/Status can clash with Getting the Job Done.
  • Risk Reduction may not work with Newness.
  • And so on …

Give some thought to the elements of your Value Proposition – do they work together or clash like monsters fighting over the last piece of pizza?

Monster Clash

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