Assess For Success: 6 Ways To Evaluate & Improve Your Business – Part 2: Feature-Benefit-Value Mapping

In the first installment of Assess for Success, we reviewed Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Analysis. In this second installment, we’re going to review assessing value creation and delivery.


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Specifically, we are going to create a Feature-Benefit-Value Mapping process to enable you and your employees to determine and understand the following:

  1. If and how everything in and of your business, every position, process, activity, event, asset, and resource creates or delivers benefit to your customer (we’ll call those Features)
  2. If each feature produces customer benefit and what that specific benefit is (Benefits)
  3. If and much customers value each benefit (Value)

The perhaps surprising and disturbing truth is that the leaders and employees of many businesses, big and small, old and young, do not know or understand the relationship between what they have and do, if and how it generated customer benefit, or if and how much each of their customers value it. For many, it is assumed that a business’ offer, and how it comes to be, and how it is perceived and valued by customers is obvious and known. But that’s almost never true. And if it is true at one point in time, it is likely not at another with the rate of change in business and our culture in general.

You and your employees understanding the relationship between every person, activity, asset, investment, the customer benefit it creates, and if and how much your customers value that benefit is a substantial competitive advantage.

I want to offer a process that may help you identify, refine, validate, and verify your customer’s values and how the value your business creates and delivers reconciles with it.

Let me introduce a Feature-Benefit-Value Mapping process. It can be adapted to product or service offers. I have found to be highly effective in several ways:

  1. Enables you and your employees establish or re-establish a thorough, accurate understanding of your business offer and customers values.
  2. It enables you to identify outdated or erroneous assumptions and replace them with valid and verified insight.
  3. It allows you to optimize the productivity or return on investment of everything in your business (including eliminating Features that no longer (efficiently) produce customer benefit.

Phase 1 – Feature identification

List every feature, quality, or characteristic of your business. You can decide on your perspective or level of detail. For example, for each department, team, or group, you could list the features, benefits, and value created and delivered by the people, process, events, assets, resources, and deliverables, of the following:

  • Leadership, including but not limited to Executives, Directors, Advisors; Mission, Vision, or Values (statements); Strategy (Statement); Plan(s);
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Offer
  • Customer Service or Support
  • HR
  • Finance & Accounting
  • IT
  • Administrative & Clerical
  • General or Operational Management
  • Creditors, Investors
  • Contractors, Vendors, Suppliers

Your Feature Identification process will likely be developed along your business process(es) or organizational structure, to give it relevance.

The more rigorous, the more specific the process is, the better. Like many activities, it’s “garbage in, garbage out.”

Phase 2 – Benefit Identification

Let’s be clear that a business’ offer includes a benefit or benefits, and that it is the customer who values that benefit or benefits. The customer determines value.

For each feature of your business, what is the benefit to or for you customer? Your offer provides a benefit to your customers. What is the result, impact, or outcome does it generate? How does it help your customer? Or solve their problem? Or make your customer better, more successful, or happier?

Phase 3 – Value Identification

As we confirmed earlier, the offer has benefit. The customer determines the value.

Simply defined, “value is the importance, worth, or usefulness of something (the benefit of your offer) relative to the cost.”

For each feature, does your customer value it? How much do they that value it? Are they dependent on it? Do they need it? Is their existence or success dependent on it? How easily can they find a substitute or replace the benefit of your offer?

When you review the assessment of your business, are there features and benefits that provide value that you didn’t realize or underestimated? Or that deliver less or no value, to your surprise? Does everything in your business (consistently) contribute to creating and delivering customer value?

The process can be a revealing, surprising, encouraging, and uncomfortable process. But it can force you and your employees to really get to know and understand your business. You can use the insight created to create or revise your Value Proposition, and to assess your Positioning. How does your Value Proposition fit into your customer and competitive markets?

If you or your team has struggled to create a Continuous Improvement or Innovation process, I suggest using value creation and delivery as criteria to fuel thinking, planning, and execution. Let answering the question, “How can we create and deliver more customer value?” drive your people and processes.

I intend and hope that I have created and delivered value to you with this article by informing, motivating, even inspiring you to think and act in new ways that will improve the performance and results of your business.

If you are intrigued and want to explore topic and process this further, please contact me and let’s see what we can accomplish together.

To download or print this article:  Assess For Success 6 Ways To Evaluate & Improve Your Business Part 2 FBV Mapping

There a numerous Feature-Benefit-Value Mapping template available online. To download and print the Feature-Benefit-Value Mapping worksheet I created and use:  Feature-Benefit-Value Mapping Template

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