A value proposition usually addresses a current problem or satisfies an existing need. It speaks directly to the specific needs or expectations of a target group.

CIT 08 step 2 value v02 r3  

In this context, the value proposition is what ‘hooks’ the attention of a community member to want to be part of your program. You have successfully translated their needs, desires and expectations into an initiative they can’t help but want to be involved in. 

Without a clear value proposition you’ll risk investing in and designing a program that does not spark the interests or meet the requirements of those who you want to involve. 

Use the value proposition as an anchor from which key decisions on the program are made. For example, the value proposition will help you craft the program’s key messages, engagement plans and funding options.  

How to get started 

1. Identify what is important to your target group(s)

Now that you have a clear overview of who your target group is, you need to identify what is important to them (in the context of the program) and how they can benefit from it.  

Remember that each target group will benefit in a different way but overlaps will naturally occur.

In Melbourne

Through our research conversations, we uncovered what is important to the members of the target groups and how they can benefit from the program. Here is what we’ve found. 

Apartment owners who currently reside in the laneway, as well as members of the Owners Corporation Committee share similar key benefits:

  • Increased value of building/asset
  • Improved safety and cleanliness of the laneway
  • Better community interactions
  • Reduced maintenance costs (e.g. graffiti removal on building walls)

For onshore building owners who currently lease out residential and commercial spaces benefit from a greened laneway through:

  • Increased value of the building/asset
  • The opportunity to charge higher rent
  • Improved reputation of laneway
  • Improved desirability of area
  • Increased diversity of people wishing to reside in the area (e.g. particularly beneficial for short-term leases, such as through AirBnB)

Businesses located in a laneway have a lot to gain from the program. Key benefits for this specific target group include:

  • Increased footfall in the laneway
  • Improved desirability of area
  • Improved reputation of laneway
  • Increased diversity of people visiting the laneway (e.g. a landmark that attracts tourists) 

2. Formulate value propositions

The second step is to create a value proposition for each target group. Each group will have their own value proposition, keeping in mind that there may be overlaps. 

There are a number of elements that contribute to creating value for your target group. Here is what to keep in mind:

Newness 

The program offers the target group something they previously didn’t have access to. 

For example, in Melbourne we found that many laneway residents and visitors are seeking access to more public green spaces in the city centre. Currently, the only access to greenery are limited parks within or at the fringes of the city centre. Many feel they need to leave the city to enjoy greenery. 

For Melbourne’s laneway hospitality businesses, a close proximity to public green spaces not only invites more diverse visitors to the area but it also offers (additional) outdoor seating without the need to apply for Council permits. There is also an opportunity for Council to ‘fast track’ permit requests as an incentive for businesses to get involved and contribute to the program.

Performance

The program positively contributes to the current state of living, working or running of a business in a laneway. 

Melbourne experiences very hot summers with temperatures above 40º Celsius. This has lead to a ‘heat island effect’ in the city centre, which occurs when a metropolitan area is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas due to human activities. Green infrastructure and increased canopy coverage throughout the city will help minimise the urban heat island effect and improve thermal comfort at street level. 

Customisation 

The program considers the specific needs of an individual or a group in a particular context. 

For example, as you progress through this process, you will find that the different target groups of your program will have differing preferences on funding options. In Melbourne, we found a variety of different funding avenues that would be suitable for the program. You can find these in Step 6. Define funding mechanisms.  

Customisation can also apply to how you interact and communicate with the target groups. For instance, laneway businesses we spoke to expressed an interest to work alongside the Council and to be involved in the program as a partner (rather than just a participant). This understanding helps define how the Council can best engage businesses in the future. 

Brand and status 

Association with the program may contribute to the brand and status of a local business or a specific laneway.

As we outlined earlier, laneway businesses have a lot to gain from Melbourne’s ‘Green your Laneway’ program. Green infrastructure can contribute to the desirability and reputation of a laneway. For example, a previously lesser known laneway may become a tourist attraction and attract visitors from all over the world once it has been ‘greened’.

Reduction in cost 

The program may help to lower operational or maintenance costs in the long run. 

After speaking to strata managers and members of the Owners Corporation Committee, we uncovered that vertical greenery covering the outside wall of a building may help combat unwanted graffiti. At the moment, a portion of the building’s annual maintenance budget is used for graffiti removal.