The So What, So That Test (SWST) from our Growth Mapper framework is an exercise that helps you define your business value to customers and potential clients by identifying what problem(s) they face, how it affects them negatively/positively (So What), why they should care about this issue whatsoever (So That).
Let’s look at the So What, So That Test from our growth mapper framework more closely.
The SWST Test: Why use it?
The SWST test can be a powerful tool that will help you decide the best way to communicate your business proposition to your target audience so they understand it immediately. This is how you help them to understand the benefits it offers and what they need. In turn, this will result in more customers.
To understand your business, you’ve scoured every surface and reconstructed every rock. It’s easy to talk about it confidently, with expertise, and authority.
Your customers may not be experts, even though you might be an expert. Talking like a professional can lead to getting lost in the details and making you appear distant from your customers.
The SWST Test
Below is a flowchart that starts on the left. There are three sections: “My business”, “So that my customers will”, and “Resulting in”. The last step is “Benefit statements” (your value proposition).
This passage is designed to help you communicate your business’s value to customers in a way that makes it easy to understand. You can do this by taking some facts about your product or service and turning them into benefit-led statements.
This example uses an accounting practice to show how it works.
Let’s see how this works by looking at an example. In the case below of “Accounting Practices”, they have performed an audit of their client base and found that approximately 10% of them are small business owners interested in other services.
This Accounting Practice then uses targeted messaging to reach potential clients who come to it looking for assistance with payroll management or taxes.
The accountancy firm provides three services to businesses, as you can see. These include bookkeeping, management reports within 7 business days, and tax advice.
What’s the point? These services are important to accountants’ target audience directly and immediately.
Next, we will explain how you can link the service to its immediate result. Then, we’ll dive into why it matters.
An accountant who provides bookkeeping services to clients allows them to keep their accounts up-to-date. This is a fascinating example. This is the simplest example of what they do. This section is filled in as follows.
“So my customers can …”
- Make sure your accounts are up-to-date
- You can make faster and better decisions
- Minimize “accidental” tax
It is important to identify the product’s core benefits. What are people trying to achieve by buying this product? These benefits are important. How will they affect their lives if they have what they need?
An accountant isn’t necessary for a business owner to have up-to-date financial records. This is a side effect of the service. They want to have peace of mind and not worry about having to file their taxes on time each year. This is an emotional benefit that we can express through exercise.
- Peace of Mind
- A stronger business
- Capital available to extract or invest
Now we have all the pieces needed to make our key messages.
Let’s use the tax advice service as an illustration: My [accountancy company] offers tax advice to my customers to minimize accidental tax, resulting in more capital to invest in or extract.
A fairly standard service for an accountant practice (tax advice), comes with a compelling reason to use it once we have followed the framework. They don’t want to get tax advice. Instead, they want to save money and have this benefit in their everyday lives.
This can result in a value proposition that is meaningful and benefits-led that speaks directly to your ideal customers:
Our tax experts will help you avoid paying more taxes than you should. This means you can keep more of your hard-earned cash to invest in your company or yourself.
Customers must be able to understand your message in order for you to position your business. It’s more likely that customers will not be engaged if you speak in jargon and stroke your own ego rather than speaking to them in a language they understand.
The SWST test will give you structure and direction so that your message is more relevant to your audience. After you have refined your messaging, it’s possible to modify the tone or wording to match your brand’s identity.