Perfecting Your Value Proposition: What You Should Know

By Lauren Inggs - May 13, 2016

Every business needs one. It's a pivotal element for converting leads and securing customers. It defines and differentiates your company, and your marketing can't be effective without it. Wondering what I'm talking about? What this elusive element might be?

Well, simply put, it's your business's value proposition.

What defines a Value Proposition?

When we talk about a value proposition, we refer specifically to that unique quality that defines you and differentiates you from your competitors. When people interact with you and your brand, it's your value proposition that helps them decide to stay and engage with you versus your competitors.

It motivates them by allowing them to weigh up the perceived benefit you're offering them, minus the potential cost they may incur in doing business with you. If you’ve got this equation waxed, they'll see that your perceived benefit far outweighs any perceived cost. This makes a massive difference to your ability to convert leads into customers.

So, have you got a Value Proposition in place?

It's not uncommon to find businesses dithering when it comes to their value propositions. Sometimes they try to adopt a more generalised approach that leaves them high and dry as they attempt to differentiate themselves. Other times they simply think that their slogan is everything their value proposition needs to be, and leave it at that.

Let's be clear. Your value proposition is not your slogan, nor is it any potential positioning statements you might use to position yourself within your designated market. It's made of specific elements that come together in a clear and concise way to convey maximum value and impact to your target audience.

Ideally, it should consist of the following:

  • A striking heading that captures the end benefit you're offering your potential users/target market or customers
  • A detailed subheading that explains exactly what you're offering, who it's aimed at and why you're offering it
  • Optional extras that add more punch to your value proposition that you might consider adding are a bulleted list of benefits or features linked to your product or service, or perhaps a visual element that showcases it

If you haven't got a solid value proposition yet, there's a process you can follow to create one.

3 Steps to Creating a Solid Value Proposition

1. Go Back to the Benefits

Sit down and make a comprehensive list of all the benefits your product or service offering has for all potential customers. It's important to explore all these benefits thoroughly so you can find the edge that'll help you differentiate yourself from your competitors.

2. Link Benefits to Values

Once you've identified those benefits, it's time to link them to your value offering, highlighting the value your product or service can bring to your potential customers.

3. Dare to be Different

Here's the important bit; now you need to differentiate and position yourself. You need to clearly define your target audience and customers here, what you're planning on offering them and how you can stand apart from your competitors.

Once you've created your value proposition, measure it up against the following best practices:

  • Is it clear and concise? Your value proposition needs to show clarity, so that your prospects can understand exactly what you are offering.
  • Are your results highlighted? Make sure that your proposition highlights the specific results your customers can expect from you and your product or service.
  • Are you offering an explanation? You need to offer an explanation to your prospects as to why your product or service offering is different or better than the other options out there.
  • Is it short and sweet? A value proposition shouldn't be an epic – it should be easy to read and understand. Imagine your prospect only has a few seconds to read and understand it.

There are other factors you can use to help differentiate yourself and your value proposition once you've developed a basic one. You could highlight competitive research, target specific value propositions for specific buyer personas or develop separate value propositions for separate offerings you may have. You can even test out your value proposition across multiple media outlets to see which ones offer the best responsive.

The key is just to take time to start thinking about your value proposition (if you have one), or about creating one if you don't. Ask yourself if your current one is working for you, or reaches your target audience and personas.

Don't assume that the value you have to offer potential customers is obvious – it may not be, or may be difficult to determine. Avoid missing the chance to reach out and improve your business, lead conversions and customer base with this simple, yet crucial, step. Create a value proposition that does justice to the passion you have for your business and your clients.

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