At the heart of all free-enterprise business is the concept of exchange. An exchange simply means a producer or seller delivers something of value to a consumer or buyer in exchange for something of value in return.
But…and this is so important to understand, because it goes directly to the worthiness of the value proposition you are offering:
An exchange only takes place when the producer or seller provides something people want more than something they already have – their money, their labor, their own products and services, and so on.
That’s the core concept of marketing, one that an MBA would call the “value proposition”. The prospective buyer asks, in effect, “What ‘bundle of benefits’ are you going to give me, Mr. Seller, in return for what I give you?”
The most important decision you will ever make as a marketer is what the value proposition of your company will be. That value proposition must be built on core competencies, the things your company is capable of doing clearly better than what’s average in the business category.
Running a business is ultimately about translating the total customer proposition into an operating organization dedicated to delivering to customers what the total proposition promises. Failing that, you have no customers. Having no customers means having no revenue. Having no revenue means being out of business.
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