A value proposition is a short statement of “why customers should buy your product.” A good value proposition can help your organization to focus on “how we win” and avoid wasting time on features and projects that don’t matter to the customer.
If your business relies on customers sharing personal data (Web 2.0), then, in addition to a great product, you need to telegraph reliability and integrity every time you touch a user. You could benefit by developing an explicit “trust proposition,” a concise statement of why customers should trust your business.
Despite my concerns, Wesabe has done an outstanding job of this. They know that impregnable security is the minimum requirement for anyone to put personal financial data into a social network. They know that security depends on internal culture and practices as much as on technology. So the whole user experience – at least on the acquisition side – is designed to make the emotional argument for their culture.
Wesabe hammers home the “community” angle – other users are people just like you. They won’t advertise because it conflicts with the Wesabe aspiration of thriftiness. Lest anyone’s experience or data be compromised due to employees’ poor incentives, users can directly contact the CEO. Commitments to maintain privacy are public and unequivocal. Data can be freely exported or deleted.
In aggregate, all these cues convince me, intellectually and emotionally, that Wesabe knows it lives and dies with users’ trust. It isn’t about to release a slew of user data like AOL with those search results. I have my doubts about the ability of Wesabe’s culture to survive acquisition, but today they have done a great job.
If user trust is mission-critical, consider putting together a trust proposition to keep your guiding principles in front of your organization. Your value proposition still tells you what to build and how to sell. A trust proposition will help your organization focus on acceptable practices and user perceptions (while supplementing your value proposition).
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