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By New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

How to attract consumers in a new export market
A good value proposition will significantly boost your chances of success in a new export market.
Being able to clearly articulate why your customers want your product or service is a powerful selling tool. To do this, you need to develop a value proposition.

Your value proposition will help you get to grips with who you are selling to and what problem they want to solve. You can then match up their needs to what your product or service can do.

What is a value proposition?
A value proposition is a single statement that answers the following questions:
• What is the product or service on offer?
• Who is its target customer?
• In what circumstances would they use it?
• How will it benefit them?

Buyers are interested in what they can get out of your product or service. They have a problem that needs a solution, whether they realise it or not. You must reveal the problem – the job to be done – and convince them your product/service is the answer. As Harvard marketing professor Ted Levitt says: “Nobody wants a quarter inch drill bit, but they might want a quarter inch hole.”

Value propositions should be tailored to suit different markets – and different segments within each market – because each has unique needs and aspirations.

Articulating your customer’s needs
To develop your value proposition, you need to articulate why your customers need what your product or service can deliver.

Make a customer profile for each segment of your market.
You should have identified market segments already. Apartment-dwellers aged 30 to 40, for instance, or high-income, environmentally conscious women. The next step is to create a customer profile for each segment. This will include age, gender, education level, shopping habits, job, and interests. Field research is important when making customer profiles. You want them to reflect your target customers as realistically as possible.

Identify the job to be done by your product or service.
Make a list of the tasks your customer/end user is trying to perform and the problems they need to solve. These could be functional, social and/or emotional. Getting something from A to B is a functional job. Changing how a person is perceived by their colleagues is a social job. Stopping someone’s anxiety over being late is an emotional job.

Identify the customer pains to be overcome.
What negative experiences is your customer looking to avoid in the process of getting the job done? These might include logistical hurdles, financial costs, physical discomfort, irritation or risks.
This is an extract of the chapter. You can buy a print copy of the handbook here or a digital copy here

Cathy Parker

Experience of Governance and management corporate and private companies. Sectors include media, automotive, leasing and engineering. Experience in Business building via acquisition and organic growth and directing a business in a VUCA environment. Strong interest and knowledge in IT, digital industries, media, sales, technology and management. Regular writer in business and automotive area.