Preaching what we practise

At Boxclever, we are currently in the midst of a journey to evolve our brand proposition. We are in the early stages and, given that we spend our time consulting our clients on their propositions, I wanted to write this blog to share our experience so far and some tips for those of you working on your own proposition.

Propositions are a fascinating challenge

Evolving our clients’ propositions is what we do and we love it. Brand, product and service propositions, what is promised and experienced, and how – it is all great stuff, because these are tough and rewarding challenges to solve.

It is hard to gain the empathy for the customer required to build an effective proposition, that is commercially successful and sustainable. It is important to understand the value equation from both perspectives: what does the business give and get, and – critically – what does the customer feel they are giving and getting.

Nailing a brand proposition is especially tough, because it requires nuanced decisions that get to the heart of who you really are as a brand, organisation and group of people. However, whilst tough, it is also a fun, exciting and rewarding challenge.

Boxclever is on a journey

Boxclever is now over 11 years old. We have grown thanks to having a team of great people doing great work, which continues to this day. We are now reviewing and refining our proposition, to ensure we have captured exactly what makes us great, stretch ourselves and consistently deliver quality to our clients as the business grows.

This is crucially important for us to get right. Partly because our proposition is the foundation that informs everything that we do – from how we work with our clients and each other, to how we position ourselves and even how we recruit. And partly because it is important to build empathy for what our clients experience and to demonstrate that we preach what we practise.

Whilst we are in the early stages of evolving our proposition, I wanted to share a few tips, based on our experience so far…..

1. Define your proposition challenge

It is easy to jump straight into how to make your proposition better, but it is critical to first ensure you have properly defined your proposition challenge.

What exactly is it that you want to evolve? The business mission, brand purpose, brand proposition and its sub-components (eg benefits vs RTBs) all play different roles and impact different people and behaviours.

Why do you want to evolve it? It is important to be clear on the opportunity and/or challenge that is being faced today, that needs to be resolved as a result of this evolution. What does this need to impact? A great proposition is not a completed framework, it is something that changes what an organisation does and how. It is important to take the time to map out and work backwards from what behaviours this needs to change. And, once the proposition is created, make sure to map out the implications of it and plan accordingly for the rest of the business.

2. Be rigorous, iterative and collaborative

Doing this right is hard. It requires careful analysis, a consultative approach, creative thinking and multiple re-writes. Don’t expect to nail it in one go and – especially business leaders – don’t expect to get it right on your own.

The best results will come if you work collaborative with a great team, take the time to be rigorous in your thinking and iteratively build your proposition.

3. Be empathetic and gain perspective

Your proposition should impact more than you may initially think. Naturally, it should impact your brand and how you position and communicate it. However, to ensure a good fit between the customer promise and experience it also needs to impact what you deliver (product) and how it is delivered (customer experience). And, to ensure a good fit between the internal and external environment, it should also impact how your team works together, your culture and even how you recruit.

To achieve this, it is important to be empathetic of all stakeholders impacted by the proposition and engage all of them early in the process. Speak to the founders and leaders about the original vision for the company and brand. Speak to your customers, colleagues and employees and put yourself in their shoes. Think about who you aspire to be as well as who you are – where you want to be in 10 years’ time and what brands you aspire to be like.

These three tips by no means cover everything that is important when developing or refining your proposition, but they can help to get off on the right foot and lead to a great outcome. Certainly, we are finding it fascinating working through all of this ourselves.

Thank you for reading this blog and we would love to hear your reflections and your own experiences. In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled as our own proposition evolves.

Keep safe and best wishes for 2022.