Should Your Logistics Value Proposition Be Accurate or Memorable?

Jim Bierfeldt

Jim Bierfeldt is the founder and chief strategist at Logistics Marketing Advisors, a marketing firm that helps logistics businesses define and communicate their value, and then translate that value into revenue.

One popular and important marketing exercise is defining a logistics value proposition – your company's “promise” to the market. You want it to be BOTH accurate and memorable, certainly.  But too many companies focus on the accurate part. They look in the mirror and describe what they see. The result is a stultifying barrage ofsameness designed to avoid, not attract, attention.

logistics value propositions should be tight and differentiating“Integrated supply chain services designed to help companies streamline logistics operations and continuously improve service levels and efficiency blah, blah, blah…”

If getting the attention of a busy logistics executive is akin to a “Where’s Elmo?” challenge, then guess what? You lose with a generic approach like this.

That’s because busy decision makers don’t have time to find Elmo in noisy, crowded logistics space. You need to make it easy by giving them a simple and obvious reason to remember you.

“But We’re Not Different Than Anyone Else.”

Many logistics executives insist that what they do is not any different than their competitors, but that they just do it better.

In marketing, it’s easier to convince people you’re different, than better. 

The fact is that any company can say they are better.  So what happens when EVERYONE says they are better?  Easy. The prospect ignores all these claims.

That’s why your logistics value proposition should focus MORE on being different and memorable, as opposed to accurate but forgettable.

This positioning dilemma is more urgent for the small and mid-sized player trying to get noticed, as opposed to the established player who already owns a spot in the prospect’s brain.  Taking an outside-in marketing approach can help you think through and solve this dilemma. (Or you might hire a logistics marketing consultant…I heard there are people like that out there.)

Using the B.I.D.S. Method to Evaluate Your Logistics Value Proposition

One way to evaluate your current logistics value proposition or positioning statement is to use the B.I.D.S acronym. The first thing you need to do is get the hell out of your own head and into the head of your prospect.  In fact, the best way to evaluate value propositions is to get direct feedback from your target audience.  In the absence of that, you at least need to think like a prospect when evaluating whether your logistics value proposition meets the following criteria:

  • Believable – can you actually pay off the promise?
  • Important – does the value suggested touch on an urgent prospect pain point?
  • Differentiating – does it distinguish you in some way and separate you from the pack?
  • Simple – is the promise easy to understand and memorable?

More on this in my eBook Play Your Position.

In the B.I.D.S. assessment approach, all elements are important and must be present.  But “Differentiating” and “Simple” are particularly important in an increasingly crowded and competitive space.

Free eBook:

Play Your PositionPlay Your Position: Marketing Lessons 3PLs Can Learn from Youth Soccer

Logistics companies often make the same mistake as the six-year-old soccer player. They want to be part of every play. But in an increasingly competitive market, a “we’ll do anything for anybody” message won’t cut it.

Download the eBook


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