Pricing & Membership Models: Part Two – Value Propositions

In part one of this series, we explored the Who, What, Where, and How of our membership and pricing models. Now it’s time to think about the value propositions that will speak to best to users.

This approach can be broken into three sections: Discover, Test, and Pivot. (Though I’m talking about the following exercises in context of determining how to best sell membership models, they can also be used at the start of a project to determine if your concept or idea will be valuable or desirable to your users.)

1. Discover

Begin by completing a Value Proposition Map.This is an excellent exercise that will help you determine what features and services will be most desired by your users. The map is broken up into 6 important sections. The first three sections will help you set the foundation for your value propositions.

Foundational Elements

  • User Jobs – What goals and tasks are your users trying to accomplish? The answers to this question should hopefully align well with the features you’ve been building.
  • User Gains – What benefits might your users expect, desire, or be surprised by? Take a long hard look at your product. Identify its best features and assets, and develop language that will be showcase those features.
  • User Pains – What are your users biggest pain points? Time, money, and considerable effort could all be factors that contribute to user’s pain points. Define them and then examine how your product’s features ease these pains.

Value Proposition Elements

  • Products & Services – Rank your products/services/features in order of importance to your customer. Determine by deciding which are most and least important to them.
  • Pain Relievers – How do the features of your product relieve pain for your users? In other words, how does your product make your users’ life more awesome?
  • Gain Creators – What can your users gain by using your product? This might be my favorite portion of the exercise. Think about what the outcomes might be of using your product. Do users have more time to play with their dog, watch more Netflix, or get more done at work?

2. Test, Iterate, and Test Again

Once you’ve developed various strategies to pair with your membership plans, it’s time to test. Testing can be done in a variety of ways with a variety of tools. The good news is that you don’t need a huge budget in order to conduct a few quality experiments.

  • Conduct design surveys on Verify.
  • Gain quantitative or qualitative information about value statements or feature bundles using survey tools like Survey Monkey.
  • Create paper prototypes.

3. Annnnnd… Pivot!

You discovered, you tested, you iterated, and you are not finished… yet. After all that hard work, you might be ready to pop the bubbly, but hold your digital horses. Have you discovered any difficult truths? Was the value proposition or feature that you thought would speak volumes to your users a flop?

Hopefully all the iterating and testing allowed you to learn some valuable lessons, mainly how to construct a stronger value proposition. Carefully analyze user tests results and feedback. If you identify a newer, stronger value proposition, pivot towards it. And if, after all your handwork, you find that your value proposition isn’t offering any new features or gains for your users, reevaluate and consider starting start the Value Proposition Map exercise over again.

The good news: It’s better to pivot or start over than launch a product that no one really wants.

This is part 2 of a 3-part series providing insights for product owners, UX designers, and business strategists on how to frame models, explore value propositions and build responsive layouts for membership and pricing of digital products.

In the final part of this series we’ll look at a variety of ways to present your membership plans and value propositions. This is where the fun really begins, so stick around!