If your prospects understand what you do and what’s in it for them, good for you. You’re in a good starting place to start building a value proposition to separate your brand from similar businesses in your category. A value proposition in marketing doesn’t simply explain what you do. A compelling value proposition also describes who you help and how you’re different from everyone else.
Targeting Your Audience to Separate from the Pack
A great value proposition is an important strategic branding asset because new prospects are unfamiliar with your brand. They put your business alongside a few others in your category and quickly assess who’s the right fit. Your positioning statements and messaging are important elements in reinforcing how you want your brand to be perceived.
Creating a Category of One
Competition is fierce in most categories and business leaders need to take a comprehensive approach to improving their positions and protecting their markets. A compelling story encourages prospects to believe you and to prefer you, compared to others, and preference drives improved conversion rates and more qualified leads.
We may be confident in the quality of our solutions, and hopefully, our existing customers will agree. But to truly succeed and grow, we need to educate and convince more people of this – especially potential customers who may discover us for the first time by reading articles, visiting our website, or finding us through search or social channels.
An effective business value proposition is vital: it’s a visible and convincing statement that tells your ideal customer why they should buy from you, including specific benefits of how this purchase will make something in their lives better. What problems can it solve? What does it improve? What do you do better than your competition? Why should customers spend their valuable time and money with you?
The Ingredients of Your Value Proposition Model
Your prospective customers are always asking some version of the question, “What’s in it for me? so taking into consideration their point of view, is essential in crafting a message that is relevant to what they value. If you can get this right, your business value proposition will be an important asset in driving more qualified leads, because your message is:
Make sure your Unique Value Proposition is Relevant
If you are conducting buyer persona research effectively, you’ll have a good idea about the problems, questions and beliefs that your customers have about businesses in your category. The “value” that your business provides is specific to a targeted, ideal customer, and it addresses a specific pain point that your customer understands and agrees with.
A good value proposition is unique
The universe of your brand exists solely in the space of your market. It’s unlikely that you’re competing with Nike, but you should take care that your positioning strategy doesn’t seem exactly like the other companies who are competing for the same opportunities that you are. Your positioning should explain why you are the only….. (What?).
Make your selling point brief
Value propositions are short, memorable phrases, that use language that is relevant to your audience rather than catchy slogans or business jargon.
Create a value proposition that is integrated
Your value statement doesn’t “carry” your brand. It is supported by other content, blog articles, and visual brand assets and evidence that reinforce your core promise. Is your messaging believable? Is it consistent with other assets. Are you using case studies to support your messaging?
Map Your Product or Service to Competitors Offers
Let’s make things easy. Before you knock out your value proposition, you’ll want to take inventory of a few critical items. Using a simple scoring system (download value proposition template for positioning), you can quickly identify areas where you compete effectively by assessing your main customer groups, their core problems, and the key competitors or competitor-types that you face within your category.
Scoring is easy. Score the effectiveness of your business on a simple scale that starts at “below average” and goes to “above average”. You can plot your performance and that of your competitors anywhere on that spectrum. This is a relatively easy way of visualizing positions which you can own. See the following example:
Your Positioning Inventory List
Use the following elements to score your matrix:
- Group customers into broad categories such as segment, products, or company size.
- Identify broad groups of core problems that your target customers face.
- Select and review competitor value propositions
- Compare how selling points are relative to your target customers
Ready the following elements to include in your statement:
- Short description of what you do
- Synthesize customer analysis to describe your ideal customer
- Narrow down your problems to a single, core customer-challenge
- Why should the customer select your business?
A Template for an Effective Business Value Proposition
Now you’re ready to put it all together. ‘Writing short’ effectively can be a challenge even for seasoned copywriters, but consider your business value statements to be a vital first impression. Treat this short introduction as you would a quick in-person pitch, where you may only have seconds to wow them – or drive them elsewhere. The following frameworks can be a good guide to deciding not only the right wordplay but intensity of your message.
How to write a Value Proposition Template
If you can consolidate your value proposition down to a single brief sentence, you’re going to provide a great deal of clarity for your customer. You can remix the following statements to fit your own needs.
- We’re ( Doing what ).
- We help (Who) solve (What Problem)
- We help (Who) accomplish or overcome (Problem) by doing ( Our Unique Value )
- We are (what customer values) For (Customer Group), who (context: have what problem)
Having trouble narrowing it all down to a simple statement? In many B2B environments, there are multiple beneficiaries of your solutions, or steps in the value chain, and you need to appeal to all of them.
- Start with a headline that describes your core benefit.
- Expand with 2-3 brief sentences that include (for whom you provide this benefit), and why (how it benefits customer).
- Refine with short sentences or bullet points to expand for unique sub-segments.
Where to Display Your Value Proposition
Experts also recommend displaying your proposition anywhere visitors and potential customers are likely to see it, not just once on a main page. This will reinforce the message and also make sure it isn’t missed. You may not need to include the entire value statement formula everywhere, but at least feature the basic takeaway or perhaps vary the benefits on different pages.
Overall, the value proposition examples definitely all have had other assets going for them, such as innovative products and well-designed sites. But the effort started with defining and sharing what made them work well.