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40 The PCB Magazine • December 2016 STRENGTHENING YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION TO BOOST ORGANIZATION SUCCESS in the industry."). Write it in the language of the customer. The language you use to describe your products and services is not necessarily the way a customer expresses their needs. Include a headline and three to five key points that deliv- er the message. Test it on your trusted custom- ers to see if it rings true to them. If not, you may need to improve or adjust some aspects of your product or service. It they love it, ask if they would be willing to give a testimonial. Consider using visuals to convey your val- ue prop. For example, infographics can be de- signed to incorporate the benefits as well as the unique elements of your products and services. In today's web-based media culture this can also prove to be a fast and effective way to reach your audience. Clarity is key and audience attention span is at all-time lows; get right to the point! A weak value proposition may expose the need to boost your value delivered. Brainstorm ways to increase the benefits delivered to your customer. Consider areas such as performance guarantees (lower risk), customer testimonials (validation) or bundled services at a discount (lower cost) to pump up the value and differen- tiate yourself from the competition. It's a journey, not a destination. If you struggle to do this exercise, it may be an indication you have lost sight of the value you are delivering to your customers. Or you may need to consider packaging it in a new and fresh way that speaks to your audience. Either way it's time well-spent for your entire orga- nization (and customers) to know your value proposition and be the brand ambassadors you want them to be. PCB John Mitchell is president and CEO of IPC—Association Connecting Electronics Industries. Wearable technologies could be transformed with a new type of artificial material that can mimic the properties of skin from sensing touch to even be- ing self-healing. It is thought that the device could be used in prosthetics, which would im- prove on current designs that are heavy, easily damaged and cause difficulty in sensing touch in the wearer. The international team of researchers created a patch using semi-conducting polymers, which are similar to manmade plastic in that they are flexible and can be stretched. The research was carried out over two years at Stanford University in California and published in the journal Nature. Co-author Dr. Bob C. Schroeder, now based at Queen Mary University of London, assisted with the design and synthesis of the new semi-conduct- ing polymer. "Our research shows for the first time that it is possible to combine the electric properties of organic semiconductors with the stretchability and healing capabilities of skin." The prototype skin showed the ability to heal itself after being mechanically damaged. However, the healing occurs only once the material has been exposed to heat or solvent va- pour of chloroform. The researchers are working on improving the design and are investigating whether alternative, less toxic solvents could spark the healing process. The work could also have implications for flex- ible displays like touch screens in smartphones and TVs. Continuing his research at QMUL's Materials Research Institute, Dr. Schroeder is developing new materials to power diagnostic sensors using body heat for healthcare monitoring. Researchers Create Synthetic Skin

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