A High-Level Concept is a one sentence pitch, describing your product in terms of others in existence that are widely known and well-established. Here are examples: “Friendster for dogs.” (Dogster) “Flickr for video.” (YouTube)
Imagine you’re at the end of your sales conversation. Your prospect is going to have to go and communicate to their stakeholders and their team about what your business does. Now let’s face it, they are not going to know your business the way that you know your business. They’re probably going to miss a ton of really valuable stuff completely out of the conversation. So a really great tool that you want to use when you’re doing your sales and your marketing is to come up with a high-level concept.
The high level concept explains your unique value proposition in a way that’s memorable. Try to avoid using phrases like, “It’s Apple but for X” or it’s “Uber but for Y.” While the framework of “it’s like this, but for this,” is really helpful as a high-level concept, you want to avoid cliches. It’s probably the hardest part of your Revenue Roadmap, second to your Unique Value Proposition. Have a think about it and try to find the thing that is sticky and memorable that you can give to your prospect at the end of a sales conversation, or if you run a Business to Consumer (B2C) business, perhaps it’s something that you could say right before they buy as social proof. Give them the reason, the core benefit for why it is they’re buying. It should be the stickiest idea or thought in your Revenue Roadmap.
How does your product fit into the bigger picture?
High-Level Concepts are perfect for investors describing your company to partners, fans spreading the word about what you’re up to, and the press covering your business in an article.
Careful! People should be familiar with the companies and or analogies used in your Concept. If you refer to your business as the love child of an obscure corporation and off-brand mythical creature, it will mean nothing to no one.
A key part of creating value for your customers, which drives revenue growth, is knowing what the alternatives are to what you’re offering.
Your biggest competitor: “Doing nothing”
So you’re running a business and you know that your customers have a particular problem, or that you can solve a particular list of problems. The next thing you want to do is to find out what the existing alternatives are for your solution. It may not necessarily even be a competitive product. It may actually be that your prospects do nothing at all. It may be that an existing alternative is to not do anything because they are too scared of making the mistake of getting the wrong product, or getting the wrong service. So your would-be customer delays the decision-making process even longer.
An existing alternative might be a competitive product, in which case you need to figure out, “Well what is it that I solve that my competitor doesn’t solve?” If you’re a Business-to-Business (B2B) company selling tasks that are outsourced to you, an existing alternative could actually be your customers hiring an internal team to do it instead. So you might actually be competing against an internal team. In this case you’ll want to frame your solution in a way that explains the benefits of using an external team versus an internal team.
The point is, don’t just think about competitive products. Also think about some of the excuses and the things that people do, sometimes even just out of human nature, that would replace your solution in their problem context – even if it means they’re doing nothing.
So what are the existing alternatives?
How else can your customers address their problems? What products or services already exist as alternatives to yours? This section is where you identify competition. Who are you up against?
Research your competition using multiple methods. Ask target customers about other products or services they’ve explored or used. Utilise search engines, social media and trade publications to become an authority on your industry.