How to Create a Value Proposition That Works
- What is a value proposition?
- How to create a value proposition: 3 simple steps
- Great examples of value propositions
How does your product solve your customers’ problem? Why should people buy from you instead of your competitors? What sets you apart from companies with similar offerings? The answers to these questions are contained in a company statement called “value proposition”. A value proposition is a crucial factor behind people’s purchase decisions. From this article, you’ll find out how to put together a worthy value proposition and convince potential customers that your brand is the best choice for them.
What is a value proposition?
A value proposition is a statement which explains why customers should choose your product over other offerings.
For example, IKEA is known for its budget-friendly prices which make it affordable to the masses. The Swedish brand gives people an opportunity to purchase high-quality furniture and home products without spending a fortune. Apple, another iconic brand, stands out through its visually appealing and functional electronic gadgets. The tech giant satisfies its clients’ need to showcase a good aesthetic taste and high social status.
A value proposition can refer to a brand, category of products, or specific product. Here are the tips to keep in mind when creating your value proposition:
- Your value proposition must be concise and up-to-the-point. It must outline how your product resolves your prospects’ pain points and what makes it better than similar offerings. Be sure to differentiate between a value proposition and a slogan which is a short catchphrase that broadcasts your company’s essence.
- Your value proposition must grab attention. Be sure to place it across all customer touchpoints, including your website, social media pages, blog, etc.
- Your value proposition must highlight your competitive advantages. It must communicate to your target audience what makes your brand or product better than the rest and why a potential customer should choose you.
How to create a value proposition: 3 simple steps
A company’s value proposition relies on its target audience’s needs, product’s advantages, and product’s uniqueness. The area where these three factors overlap makes up your value proposition. Before putting together your statement, run a basic marketing analysis. You won’t be able to put your proposition into words unless you know exactly what it is that your prospects need and how your product can resolve their problem.
Run an analysis
1. Your product. The paramount question you need to ask yourself is this: What value can I offer to my customers? It can be a trendy design, attention to details, budget-friendly prices, etc. Identify 1 to 3 strength points that set you apart.
Beware a common pitfall that can get in your way. Avoid using abstract characteristics, e.g. “best”, “high-quality”, “reliable”, and the like. Being too generic, these qualities won’t communicate any useful information about your product to your audience. Be more specific when talking about your product’s strengths. It can be a 5-year warranty, hands-on quality control, 24/7 support, etc.
2. Your target audience’s needs and pain points. Your perception of your products can be different from how your customers see them. To create a proposition which resonates with your audience, you need to speak to them in their language. Gather feedback from your prospects. (You can do that personally, on social media or via email.) Here is what you should ask them:
- Do they really need your product?
- What problem does your product solve for your customers and how does it make their lives better?
- Why did they choose your company over other brands?
Be sure to incorporate into your value proposition the exact words and phrases used by your customers. This way, your proposition is more likely to resonate with people because they’ll recognize themselves in it.
3. Competitive advantage. Your brand or product must stand out among similar offerings in the market. Study the value propositions of your competitors. Think about what benefits you can offer to your customers to set your product apart from the rest.
Create several versions of your proposition
While there is no recommended length for a value proposition, the rule of thumb is to keep it short. As for the structure, a value proposition usually consists of a headline, subheadline, and image. A study conducted by CXL Institute shows that:
- users are more likely to notice your value proposition if it takes up more space on the page;
- the more information your value proposition contains, the easier it is for users to memorize your product or brand;
- users prefer to consume information in the form of bullet lists.
1. Headline. Headline is the essence of your proposition. It must catch customers’ attention and pique their curiosity. Do a brainstorming session with your teammates and employees and write down the best ideas for your headline.
2. Subheadline. In this segment, you must show off your product. Tell your audience what value your product can deliver to customers and what its competitive advantages are. Your subheadline can take the form of a short paragraph (2-3 lines) or bullet list. At this point, it’s best to come up with several versions of your value proposition (headline + subheadline). Below we’ll go deeper into the key criteria of a good value proposition to help you choose the best description.
3. Image. Photos, illustrations, and other graphics communicate meaning more effectively than words. Use an image showing your product, manufacturing process, team, logo, etc. Don’t have a logo yet? The Logaster logo maker is here to give you a helping hand!
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Choose the best option
Now you need to select the best version of your value proposition. To make the task easier for you, here are the main characteristics of a good value proposition:
- Clarity. Your value proposition must give a clear idea of what product or service you offer, to whom you offer it, and why you offer it. Also, it must outline what makes your product better than similar offerings from other companies.
- Focus. Your value proposition must be brief, succinct, and up-to-the-point. Each word must be meaningful and make your statement more convincing.
- Clear structure. Your proposition must be consistent and well-structured. It must contain a catchy headline, subheadline, bullet points, and compelling image.
If you’re unsure which draft is the best one, it might be a good idea to perform A/B testing. Launch two versions of PPC ads with different value propositions and see how many clicks each version gets.
Great examples of value propositions
A good way to craft an effective value proposition is by learning from successful brands. We’ve scrutinized the value propositions presented on the websites of renowned companies. Check them out!
Yandex communicates its value through a catchy slogan “We’ll find everything” which is displayed in its search bar. Above the search bar, you can see the icons with the company’s products, including Maps, Music, News, Images, etc.
Trello’s value proposition has a really good structure. The headline communicates who and how might benefit from the company’s product: “Trello helps teams work together and achieve more.” The subheadline elaborates on how Trello can be useful to businesses: “Boards, lists, and cards allow teams to manage projects and set priorities in an easy, flexible, and effective way.”
Then Trello lists its competitive advantages in the form of short paragraphs. Each paragraph is accompanied by the relevant imagery.
While the headline leaves you in the dark as to what product the company offers (“Marketing smarts for big ideas”), the subheadline specifies its benefits: “MailChimp is an all-in-one marketing platform which was built with small businesses in mind.”
MailChimp goes on to reinforce its proposition with a more detailed description: “Bring together your audience data, marketing channels, and insights together so you can reach your goals faster — all from a single platform.”
The homepage of the Evernote website is dominated by two simple and concise statements without imagery. The headline brings forward the key benefit that customers will get by using the product (“Better notes for bigger accomplishments”). The subheadline showcases the advantages of the product (“Evernote lets you store and share information quickly and securely.”)
The value proposition is further reinforced by Evernote’s four competitive advantages. To the left, you can see the screenshots showing how the app works on desktop and mobile.
Zoom instantly grabs customers’ attention by putting its major accomplishment right in front of you: “#1 Video Conferencing and Web Conferencing Service, as to Gartner Magic Quadrant 2019.” This headline makes it clear what kind of product the company offers. Scroll down a bit, and the brand lists its unique benefits that set it aside from the competition.
The main page features two statements written in large type: “The power of video at your fingertips. Simple tools for you and your team for creating, curating, and sharing high-quality video content.” Even though it lacks imagery, this value proposition is good at pinpointing the company’s benefits for potential clients.
A value proposition is a promise you’re making to your potential customers. A gripping, clear, and specific value proposition is a surefire way to connect with your target audience and convert them into loyal customers. Crafting a unique value proposition takes a good deal of effort but it’s sure to pay off eventually. Conduct a basic marketing analysis, write several versions of your proposition, choose the most fitting one, and publish it where your prospects can see it.