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What Is Your Region’s Value Proposition?

What Is Your Region’s Value Proposition?

June 14th, 2019

by Ian Smith

Pop Quiz?

What is your region’s value proposition in terms of investment attraction?   If you need more than 30 seconds to answer, then there is a good chance that you do not have one to inform investors.  With the very competitive landscape for investment dollars, regions must rely on various marketing tools to promote themselves.  If constructed properly, a value proposition will aid in cutting through the noise for competing regions and clearly position your region as the best alternative for potential investors.

In this blog post, readers will learn about what is a value proposition is the context of economic development specifically for investment attraction and what steps are needed to build or enhance it.

What is a value proposition is the context of economic development?

From a pure marketing standpoint, a value proposition can be defined as a clear statement of why individuals should select one product versus alternative options.  After presenting a value proposition, the target audience should be able to:
  • Know the differences between the two or more options
  • Be able to identify the key promise that is being made in the statement
  • Remember what is going to be delivered by the selected brand or product
From an economic development point of view, region should strive for the sane level of clarity products and brands achieve amongst their respective target audiences.  In the context of investment attraction, a value proposition must seek to engage audience members in which they know the region very well and be able to differentiate amongst others based on investment needs.

What are the steps needed to build or enhance a value proposition?

The steps are identical whether an agency is building or enhancing their region’s value proposition.   The exercise entails:

1. Conducting a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (S.W.O.T) analysis of the region

This initial step allows the agency to assess internal and external factors that could influence investors to select the region.    The end result should be two or three key points in which marketing efforts can be built upon.

2. Conducting a comparative analysis of competing regions

Once the agency has  a solid understanding of what the region has to offer, it wise to compare it to other regions.   This step will allow the agency to benchmark the region in terms of what potential investors are seeking for a location to open a plant and to create well paying jobs.  The objective at this point is to identify two or three things that region does well and cannot be available in other regions.

3. Formulating the value proposition

With the information gathered from the first two steps, the agency can proceed to formulating the value proposition statement.   The statement should be succinct and possess the following characteristics:

  • Easy to understand
  • State benefits
  • Be bold

Without these characteristics, target audience members will most likely confuse the region other regions with similar offers and benefits.

4. Testing the value proposition

Before launching any coordinated marketing effort to sell a region for foreign direct investment, it is critical that any new value proposition should be tested.  The best avenue to do so is to organize a focus group of past and current stakeholders to ask questions about the new value proposition.   The objective of this specific exercise is to evaluate how well the value proposition is constructed to clearly distinguish a region from competing jurisdictions.


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