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  • Writer's pictureChris Fevens

Creating a Dynamic Value Proposition

A value proposition is quite simply a promise of exceptional services or products that helps customers choose your company over others. While the concept is simple, it's not so easy to create a great value proposition, and the importance of this single statement is truly paramount to a business' success.

This notion is not new to business owners, however, somehow creating a value proposition for a company gets lost in all the rest of the business planning and operationalizing, or many people simply settle for a statement that just isn't effective.

In this blog, we want to provide you first with a quick explanation of why a value proposition is so vital for your business, and then look at 4 easy-to-follow steps to creating a dynamic statement that's perfect for you and your customers.

But are a couple value propositions, to give us a better understanding of what this statement actually looks like. Here are a few very effective value proposition statements, and as you read this blog, you'll find out why.

Why are Value Propositions a Big Deal?

From a marketing standpoint, value propositions are everything. These concise and engaging statements have the power to quickly inform customers who you are (your brand), what you offer, and how you differ from your competitors; factors that have the potential to drive sales and help to build a solid customer base. As mentioned in previous articles, we get a very short time to engage and inform today's online customers, and people develop first impressions within seconds of visiting a website, thus making it crucial that your value proposition is effective. If someone cannot clearly see what you're offering and why they should consider your service or products within seconds, chances are they'll move on to one of your competitors.

A strong value proposition can also be instrumental in guiding how your business operates, and the people who work for you, much like a having a company mission statement or vision. This statement helps everyone involved in your business, regardless of their position, to understand what value they are expected to deliver to your customers. Moreover, this promise delivered to customers can also help to steer future business and strategic plans, by keeping a focus on the foundation of your company.

The Three Essential Elements of a Value Proposition

For a value proposition to be effective it is typically comprised of the following features:

  1. A Target Audience - Who will benefit from your business' services or products. If you look at the three examples above, you'll see that Mailchimp is targeting business owners / operators, InVision is promoting its services to those working in a team environment and WordPress mentioned bloggers, small businesses and Fortune 500 companies directly.

  2. The Solutions You Offer: What problem is your business solving, and what effect will this have on your customers' lives. For example, Mailchimp is offering a multi-function business platform, that reduces the use of many different types of apps of software, that takes business to the "next level."

  3. How You Differ from the Competition: What is it that makes your business unique or special. For WordPress, they simply use their past and present success to make them standout against the crowd by stating "43% of the web is build on WordPress."

4 Steps to Creating a Strong Value Proposition

1. Identity your target audience

The first step to writing a great value proposition, is something you most likely have already started, and that's identifying who your target audience is for your products or services. By doing so, you can begin your research into the needs / wants / problems that your target segment has, and how your business addresses these items. When identifying who you serve, it is crucial that you attempt to narrow this audience as much as possible. While it may seem like a good idea to create a broad value proposition that attracts the widest possible audience, generic or wide-ranging propositions come across as meaningless and do not resonate with potential clients. Instead, customers want to be considered unique and want a business that speaks directly to their specific needs and wants.

2. Pinpoint the problem that this audience is having

Identifying the pain-points your target audience is having is the next step to creating a strong value proposition. This will require you to do a bit of research into issues that your customers are having that are a burden on their time, money or efficiency. One great way to pinpoint problems is getting out there and actually talking to your target customers about their needs. Once you understand the biggest problem(s) your customers are having, you can then explain to them how your product or service can solve these problems.

3. Consider the unique ways your business solves this problem

Chances are that no matter what business you're in, there is someone else who's offering similar products or services as you do. On top of that, they've probably also got value propositions themselves that explain how they satisfy their customers' needs / wants or how they solve the problems that they are experiencing. This is why you need to explain to your potential customers why you do something or offer something that is better, faster, or cheaper. Perhaps this could the technology you use, the materials in your products, the prices you offer, the previous success you've had (like the WordPress example above) or something else that differentiates you from your competitors. Whatever it is, needs to be stated in your value preposition to help you become "the business" when shopping for X or when you need Y.

4. Craft your Value Proposition

There really is no one 'right way' to construct a value proposition. You only need to do a quick scan of some of the biggest companies in the world, to see the various ways that they explain their value to their customers. With that being said, there is definitely a common structure that has been followed (successfully) by businesses around the world, including those 3 examples above:

  1. A Headline: A short one sentence statement that introduces the main benefit your business offers in a catchy or attention-grabbing manner.

  2. A Sub-Headline (1-3 sentences): a clear and concise explanation of what your company offers, who it serves, and why it makes you better than your competition. In his book, Crossing the Chasm, author, speaker and business expert Geoffrey A. Moore, lays out this excellent approach for crafting sub-headlines:

“For [target customer] who [needs or wants X], our [product/service] is [category of industry] that [benefits]”

So, if I were a business that specializes in work boots used on construction sites, my sub-headline using Moore's template might look like:

"For constructions workers looking for light and comfortable boots that provide maximum protection for their feet on any job site, our line of work boots are the only ones on the market that offer a 5 year 100% satisfaction guarantee."

Some more advice when writing your value proposition would be to write in a clear and concise manner, be specific (as mentioned earlier) and use language that everyone understands. Finally, writing a value proposition is a team effort and shouldn't be left in one person's hands. Instead, because of its importance, this statement needs to go through a systematic review process that will involve several sets of eyes and possibly many edits to get it right.

Last of all, when you finish writing your value proposition how it is displayed it on your website is also very significant. It should prominently appear at the top of your website and you should find ways to make it stand out visually. This can be done by choosing the correct font (style, color, and size) and by possibility accompanying the statement with a 'Hero" image that stands out. Here are some examples of some more effective value propositions on websites:

For more assistance on how to create a great value proposition, a staff member at Fevens Content Design is always available to help.

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