It is pointless to make promises if you can’t growth customers

Gorillas, a multi million startup shrinks down aftrer the pandemic, failing growing a solid customer base. Without a customers, it’s pointless to make promises.

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It' pointless to make a promise

If you can't grow a customers

This week, I would like to comment with you on this week’s news, Gorillas is bailing out the Italian market.

Obviously, the scenario is slightly more complicated but extremely interesting to analyze.

Gorillas is a Berlin-based startup born at the end of 2019 with a simple as well as risky concept: to replicate thedark kitchens model (kitchens without a restaurant as a frontend that serve only food deliveries) applied to the industry of dark warehouses, (warehouses that move goods behind the scenes within a network of warehouses) to provide a stunning value proposition:

Your groceries, within 10 minutes.

The benefit here is crystal clear and, from the customer’s perspective, is something undeniably good, however even without a business dynamic analysis, which is by far out of our scope, we can make a brief postmortem analysis about the marketing and value analysis.

Event though the Value Proposition is powerful, this is a staggering example of a very common pitfall which may lead your business struggling into building a solid customer base: the perceive benefit is too good to be true believable.


Every solid ecosystem on the market needs to be well-balanced, therefore is essential for the Value Proposition to rely on a well-balanced benefit hierarchy as well.

In this case, the ecosystem is not well-balanced: benefits are too skewed towards the user and the benefit is purely functional. What happens here is that the functional benefit is too high and the context triggers our rational brain into looking for a counterweight, leading us to think about consequences, ethics, and a lot of stuff we usually ignore.

It’s the same uncomfortable feeling you feel when you are buying something small with a shallow economic value on Amazon and you feel bad about using Prime, knowing that logistics and delivery costs are far higher than your good.

You naturally perceive that something is not right.

This phenomenon is due to the “poor construction” of the benefit hierarchy (something so easy to fix, but requires time and consistency): the root cause is that the brand just took a hazardous shortcut trying to over-leverage their Unique Selling Proposition as the only strength point.

If you want to know more, you can read our article on what a Benefit Hierarchy is and how to build one.

Managing Partner, Value Proposition Strategy Director

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