Jose Palomino

One Ring

Image Credit: Idreamlikecrazy on Flickr

Throughout the years of working with clients to develop their value proposition or enhance their branding and messaging, I often get an interesting request. Namely, to create a value proposition for their company.

They hope to establish a single value proposition for their entire company– a “meta” value proposition that will encompass and communicate the essence of everything they do. The fact is, for any company with more than one major product offering or service line, that is never going to work. Let me give you an example.

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Tivo Branded

Image Credit: Katie Brady on Flickr

You don’t have to look far to find a company that has developed their value propositions, branding and messaging strategy from an inside-out perspective. Take, for example, Tivo. Why didn’t they take over the world? Why weren’t they Apple TV?

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target market customer profile

Image Credit: Omarukai on Flickr

Who is Your Target Market?

You have an idea for a new product or a business. You know how you’re going to produce it, how you’re going to price it, how you’ll fulfill your orders… now you just have to figure out who you’re going to sell it to. What is your target market? Of course, you’ve thought about this question before. You probably have some 1000 ft. view idea of who will be buying your offering – small manufacturing businesses, tech-savvy entrepreneurs, mid-size consumer retailers, etc. But you keep hearing again and again that this isn’t enough. Who exactly is your customer, the blogging gurus ask? Have you created a customer persona? What about a buyer profile? Do you know them inside and out? What are their hopes and dreams? What’s on their Netflix queues?

The overall message is that if you don’t have an intimate knowledge of your customer akin to that of your childhood best friend before you even go to market, your sapling new business venture is doomed to crushing failure. Now, it’s absolutely true that you need to have a thorough understanding  of your target market before you start selling–but let’s skip the friendship bracelets, and ask just a few practical questions to build up a sensible customer profile. Read More »


morning sunrise over NYC how to innovate

Image Credit: Gabriel Argudo Jr on Flickr

Everyone is looking for the magic bullet that will teach them how to innovate. Have you ever heard about a new product or service or blog or article idea and thought, man, I wish I had thought of that? Or looked at your competitor’s offerings and wished that yours could stand out more? How about seeing the new trend of the week that’s gone viral, and wishing that you had been the one to catch lightning in a bottle? If you have ever thought that maybe, just maybe, what you’re bringing to the market isn’t different enough, this post is for you. Read More »


In Business, Nice Guys CAN Finish First

March 19, 2015


​I was sitting outside the reception area for Marketing Sherpa’s Email Summit on the first day, looking forward to ​delivering a keynote​ ​talk ​on the ​Five Critical Questions Every Value​ ​Prop Must ​A​nswer.

I was thinking about and appreciating how the folks at MarketingSherpa had treated me – and everyone around – in a truly first class way.

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What an Ugly Fish Can Teach You About Risk Alignment

March 5, 2015


You already know that to successfully negotiate a purchase, you need to overcome the series of doubts that come pre-packaged in your customer’s head, before they ever even hear of you. In this series, we’ve been examining exactly what those doubts are, and how companies have successfully (and unsuccessfully) navigated them through their advertising, marketing messages and value proposition statements. This week, we’re going to look at the concept of risk, as demonstrated by one ugly little fish.

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Do Your Customers Know Why They Should Buy From You? Do YOU Know?

February 24, 2015

strip mall competitive alignment

Why should your customers buy it from you? Do they know? And even more importantly – do you even know?

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How Did Beats Unseat Bose? It Wasn’t the Technical Specs

February 9, 2015

When you read “technical specs”, you’re picturing the bullet points on a plastic clip tag at Best Buy, right? You might not think your product or service offering has any technical specs. But from a value proposition point of view, we’re really just talking about the most basic W’s of what you’re selling. What is it? What does it do? How will buying it help me solve my problem?

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