If you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig. Sorry, I had to use that one. Even though the campaign is over, that one-liner is going to linger forever. But we should think about it for a minute. In 2009, are you going to have to re-invent yourself in order to survive? Does your value proposition really have value anymore? What makes you different? What makes you unique? Now more than ever, you must look in the mirror and be honest about the reflection. Can you show and tell your prospects why you are different from the competition and why customers should choose you? Just changing your image doesn’t change your value proposition. You have to live it, breathe it, sell it, or it’s just that lipstick cover-up. Why are your existing customers still buying from you? What do you offer that your competitors don’t? What do you do better than anyone? Those are your differentiating points. Those unique traits will set you apart from — and above — your competition. Then write it down. Your value proposition should speak to solving your customers’ problems. Make sure you share the “what’s in it for them” part. Then that will eliminate your need for lipstick.