The importance of a winning value proposition (and how to develop one)

How can innovators best articulate their value to patients, health and care services? Dr Louise Jopling, Commercial Director at Health Innovation East, explains…

Published: 26th November 2021

Understanding your value proposition

Many innovators struggle to make expected progress and some fail because their innovation does not address a recognised problem, is seen as unaffordable or because they can’t clearly explain the benefits of their innovation. If you can’t articulate the value of your product, how can we expect buyers to adopt it?

A value proposition describes the market’s need for your product or service and how you meet this; backed by robust, researched evidence. It also ensures you as an innovator are being as efficient as possible by focusing on a clearly defined need.

Why is having a value proposition important?

Having an agreed value proposition, shared with your colleagues and stakeholders, will show investors and buyers you have a shared understanding of the exact market need for your innovation and a shared vision of how you are tackling it. A value proposition is an opportunity for you to demonstrate the impact your innovation can have, versus the alternatives of doing nothing or otherwise using current common workarounds or competitive approaches. It may also help you identify benefits not previously thought of.

Problem, consequence, intervention and impact

Your value proposition should include four key elements:

  1. Clearly define the problem you are seeking to solve. This requires research-backed evidence from primary and third-party sources and should be as robust and wide-reaching as possible.
  2. Articulate the consequences of inaction. What will happen if this problem continues to go unaddressed? Are other initiatives underway to address it and if so, how does your solution outperform those? Can you put a monetary cost to the NHS on the problem and back this up with strong, researched evidence?
  3. Define how your proposed intervention, product or service improves upon other current approaches or workarounds – efficacy, efficiency and/ or cost?
  4. Illustrate the impact of your intervention and its potential if scaled

Articulating your value proposition

Once you have clear idea of your value proposition, you need to know how to explain it to different audiences and tell your story in an engaging way. This could be a one-minute elevator pitch or a much more in depth negotiation with potential purchasers. Your solution may meet multiple needs for different audiences so knowing which to focus on and when will help you keep your value proposition relevant and concise. Have a clear idea of how you might pivot your pitch for patients, clinicians, funders, accelerator programmes, regulators, NHS procurement, the media or the general public. You may want to prepare specific communication and pitching materials for different audiences, all backed up by relevant research and unified by your purpose.

One of the tools we use frequently to outline a value proposition visually to procurement teams is an infographic or short animation. Both are a great way to visually present information to support your value proposition and make the content easily accessible.

Find out more

To find out more about articulating your value proposition including how to build an infographic, have a look at our value proposition innovator toolkit.

Do you have a great idea that could make a positive health impact?

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