Done correctly, a value proposition can give your business a huge advantage over your competitors.
Done wrong, you can fail to lift your business off the ground.
But, here’s the problem: very few businesses have an effective value proposition.
This is a huge problem because an ineffective value proposition can make your ideal customers turn to your competitors simply because they don’t immediately understand that you offer what they need.
It’s also extremely challenging to distill your company’s services down into one concise sentence. Today’s article will help you with that.
What is a value proposition?
In its most basic form, a value proposition is a summary of how your product or service benefits your customers.
Typically, it answers the question:
“What do you do?”
But beyond that, it presents the most compelling reasons why a prospective buyer should become a customer and highlights a benefit or feature that sets you apart from every other company in the market.
Value propositions normally include a block of text (such as a headline, sub-headline and one paragraph of text) with a visual (like a photo, video, or graphics).
As you write your value proposition, think about what you’d want to say if you were sitting across the table from a prospect, having an informal conversation. Never try to impress a potential customer with a language they don’t use. You’ll lose their attention – and likely their business, too.
A value proposition is not:
- An incentive: The word ‘incentive’ is defined as a ‘positive motivational influence’ designed to incentivize a visitor to act right away. Incentives are not value propositions, but often brands confuse them.
- A catchphrase: A slogan or tagline is “a catchphrase or small group of words that are combined in a special way to identify a product or company.” Slogans are not value propositions, but many brands conflate the two.
- It’s not a positioning statement: A positioning statement is an expression of how a given product, service or brand fills a particular consumer need in a way that its competitors don’t. A positioning statement is a subset of a value proposition, but it’s not the same thing.
Some of the benefits you can expect when you create a clear, compelling value proposition for your brand
- Potential customers can quickly understand what your company has to offer: Most customers already know what they’re looking for when they research online. So, if it’s not immediately clear that your company can meet their needs, they’ll likely look elsewhere.
- Creates a strong differential between you and your competitors: Almost regardless of what you do, you have competitors. An effective value proposition tells the ideal customer why they should buy from you and not from the competition. In other words, it provides your company with a unique differentiation.
- Attracts the right prospects and increases not only the quantity but the quality of prospective leads: A company’s value proposition targets your company’s ideal customer and explains why your solution is the best option. This increases your chances of attracting the right prospects for your business and finding higher quality leads that are more likely to convert to customers.
- Improves customer understanding and engagement: A powerful value proposition helps your customers truly understand the value of your company’s products and services. It also helps your ideal customers to see how your services benefit them and are their best available option. With this increased understanding, customers are more likely to become engaged with the services or products you offer.
- Provides clarity of messaging: A strong value proposition makes it immediately clear to your customers what you offer. Additionally, it also makes sure to communicate your message clearly on all the main entry pages. These include your home page, product pages, and category pages.
Things to consider, research or compile before you start creating your value proposition
1. What you offer
Simply put a specific explanation of your products or services.
Make sure you take into account the point of view of your target audience and explain your services in a way that will appeal to them.
On top of that, don’t forget wording matters!
Even if you offer exactly what they’re looking for, if it isn’t worded in a way that makes that clear, potential customers will look elsewhere.
2. Who you serve
To accomplish this, research your audience to understand who they are and what they look for in products or services like yours.
You’ll want to have answers to the following questions:
- Who are they (demographic data) and what they do (interests, careers)?
- What are their values?
- What are their needs or pain points?
- What challenges did they experience before working with your business?
- What motivated them to search for what you offer?
- Was there anything about your particular brand that showed that you catered to their needs?
3. What differentiates you from your competitors
Let’s face it, you probably have competitors offering similar products or services. And many of your potential customers will compare their options, so you will need to convince them that you are different and better than all the other competitors.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What are your competitors lacking?
- What do you do better?
- Why do these differences matter to your customers?
Once you have clear answers to these questions, you can begin to write a more effective value proposition.
So, what makes an effective value proposition?
- Summarizes what your company does in one sentence: However, for maximum effectiveness and articulate what your company does in a single sentence, your value proposition needs to be both clear and instantly credible.
- It is specific about the benefits of your customers’ experience: A good value proposition comes with specificity. It needs to be as specific as possible about the benefits your products and services provide to your customers.
- It shows how you solve a specific problem or address a specific need: Your value proposition needs to be clear on what problem or need you are addressing, and also demonstrate how you solve this problem.
- It explains why customers choose you over your competitors: To be effective, a value proposition needs to be written with your ideal customer or buyer persona in mind. It needs to clearly and compellingly explain why the customers should choose you instead of your competitors.
- It doesn’t include hyperbolic claims (ex. “Best email marketing software in the world!”): The trouble with hyperbolic claims is that there is no way to prove them and because of this any one of your competitors can say the same thing. Think about your current value proposition and ask if any of your competitors can make the same claim. If the answer is yes, then you don’t have a good value proposition.
Examples of good value propositions
This proposition focuses on the clear benefit of simplicity and making the customer’s life easier.
It then goes on to explain exactly how it delivers that simplicity, by remembering all your passwords for you.
The main strength of this value proposition is it is clear and concise. Even if a visitor had never heard of Lightshot, it’s immediately clear what they offer.
Also, their emphasis on how convenient and easy it is to use their service helps them to stand out from their competitors.
This value proposition is very clearly geared towards a specific target audience, who are environmentally conscious people with specific skincare needs. These are people looking for natural products that are gentle and hypoallergenic.
It is evident from reading Peet Rivko value proposition who their audience is and how their products are catered to a specific target customer.
The word “free” grabs readers’ attention and explains what the users can expect to gain. The benefits are clear, as Duolingo will provide language instruction for free, which is likely to appeal to language learners without a lot of money to spend on classes or tutoring.
This value proposition also sets Duolingo apart from other companies that provide language instruction with a fee, since they promise unlimited free lessons.
Now, it’s your turn. Take a good hard look at your current value proposition and ask yourself the following questions:
Is your value proposition clear? Do you even have one? Does it keep the customer in focus?
PS. This reminds me… GrowRevenue’s current value proposition is “Get one hand-picked article about conversion optimization and growing your revenue, every day“. I need to change “every day” to “Monday-Friday” or “every working day”.
Bye, I’ve got some work to do!