Are you Selling the World’s Best Fax Machine?

Stoke Consulting - Executive Coaching | Leadership Development

In 1989 there were millions of fax machines in use around the world when Marty McFly got fired via fax machine in the movie ‘Back to the Future II’. Writer-director Robert Zemeckis had no idea emails and smartphones were on the horizon which would replace the fax when he set the movie in the year 2015. No one saw it coming. 

The reason no one uses fax machines today (except for lawyers maybe) is that no one values them anymore. They were ambushed by emails and internet communications in one fell swoop. Providing value to your clients should be the nexus of everything your company does. If not, your product or service is going the way of the fax machine and Marty McFly.  One of the greatest Marketers of them all, Philip Kotler once stated,  


“Marketing is not the art of finding clever ways to dispose of what you make. Marketing is the art of creating genuine customer value. It is the art of helping your customer become better off.” 


So, what is value in terms of products and services? We all know ‘features’ are what our customers utilise as part of the service or product. The ‘benefit’ is what the customer gains from the feature, but ‘value’ is truly where the magic happens for the customer. Value is quite simply making the customer’s life better off. It’s what they ultimately gain from the price they pay for the product or service.  

Take for example a feature of any smartphone we take for granted, Bluetooth. The benefit of Bluetooth is the removal of wires to connect devices to the phone. Pretty simple. But the real value of not having wires connecting devices is being able to connect multiple devices to be more productive and simplifying your connected world. You’d pay money for that right? 

That’s a very simple example which is easy to define. Typically, many companies, whether they are selling products or services often fail to understand the true value of what they are selling. They are wrapped up in the day-to-day operations and machinations of sales and marketing driven by pricing battles, cost reductions and market share domination that they fail to understand how they can position themselves away from their competitors and maintain a strong market position. That should be a red flag to any business leader who wants to maintain their market position based on value and differentiation.  

As a business, you must know what value you are providing for your clients. Here’s a few very simple questions to ask yourself on your journey to find your real value proposition. 

  1. What problem you are solving for your client?
  2. What does the future hold for your market and what trends and technology can upset or disrupt how you do business?
  3. Does your product or service have any points of difference to your competitors? 
  4. Why should your market buy your product or service?


Identifying your value proposition takes a concerted effort and dedicated resources from across the business to pinpoint what your customers and your prospective market value the most. A value analysis requires a thorough examination of the elements that make up value. Once you have established your value proposition, you then need to start all over again. 

Ask yourself the question; Is your value proposition sustainable or will it go the way of the fax machine? If not, a good place to start is with a call to a Stoke Consulting Consultant who can put your mind at ease by setting a course of action. 


Osman Bahemia
Stoke Consulting

Osman works with businesses to develop and implement strategies for growth and effectiveness. Osman has worked in a variety of industrial sectors including aviation, mining, asset management, transport and marketing. His skills in operational effectiveness, strategy development, leadership development and change management propel significant growth and efficiency improvements in medium to large organisations.