What Is a Value Proposition and Why Does Your Business Need One?
by Saunder Schroeder • January 18, 2022
By Saunder Schroeder
You have a great product or service that you believe is the top choice for customers in your market. Your next step is finding out the perfect way to show potential customers why they should choose you over competitors. How can you showcase your value in a compelling and converting way?
The answer: A great value proposition. A well-written value proposition does much more than entice your customers. It also drives your company’s mission, laying down the foundations of your company values. Even better, value propositions propel the success of your other marketing strategies so that you target consumers in all market segments.
To help you get started, this guide will provide a value proposition definition, break down its components, describe its benefits, and outline some stellar examples.
Value Propositions: What Are They?
What is a value proposition? Essentially, it tells future customers why they should pick your product or service. It defines the value that your customers get from your company. More specifically, a good value proposition will clearly outline the benefits that your product or service offers them, speaking to their pain points. The best value propositions are easy-to-understand and simple.
Moreover, value propositions avoid over-used buzzwords, empty slogans, or complex business jargon. Customers want to have a valuable understanding of why you stand out among similar businesses. As such, value propositions give you the chance to reflect the core of your mission insightfully and attractively.
What You Need To Have To Create an Effective Value Proposition
Coming up with an impactful value proposition does take a bit of thought and reflection. However, when done correctly, it leads to increased conversions and loyal consumers. To help you create the perfect value proposition for your company, you should have the following.
An Understanding of Your Target Market
In the end, value propositions are all about your target market — your customers. To know how to appeal to them, you will want to undergo some market research to answer some important questions, such as:
- What are some buying trends occurring in your field right now?
- Are there particular customer segments, or types of customers, more likely to buy from you?
Take a look at some common customer behaviors or characteristics for your industry, and then build up an ideal customer profile.
An Ideal Customer Profile
A customer profile consists of the ideal customer type for your product or service. There are a few questions you can ask specifically to build up your profile.
- What are your customers’ pain points? By far, the number one focal point of your customer profile is your customers’ pain points. What problems do they need to be solved right now? What are they worried about, and what risks are they afraid of taking with a company? What issues have they faced in the past? What problems might they face in the future?
- What are your customers’ motivations? On the opposite end of the pain point spectrum, you’ll need to think about your customers’ motivations. Specifically, think about what customers desire out of your product or service. Consider what may influence them to make a purchase. It may be worth doing additional research here, such as sending out surveys or questionnaires to current customers about what inspired them to go ahead with a buy from your business.
- What goals do your customers have? In line with customer motivations, don’t forget about consumer goals. It’s good to get particular here. Come up with a few goals that consumers have when purchasing your product or service. Are customers simply looking for a product that will solve one problem? Or, perhaps customers want a service that will provide them with valuable solutions over time?
- What purchasing challenges do your customers face? Think of your journey as a customer. What challenges have you come across when trying to buy from a company? Were there solutions not clear enough? Were you unsure what benefits you would get from a product or service? Did you have trouble getting satisfactory customer service?
An Understanding of How Your Product Relieves Customer Pain Points
After doing some research and asking yourself the above questions, you should have a clearer understanding of the lack customers face from other businesses in the field. This will help you better determine what sets you apart from your competitors, an essential aspect of a value proposition.
What a Strong Value Proposition Includes
The best value propositions are made up of a few key factors.
How Your Product Fills the Need of Your Customer
First and foremost, a value proposition precisely outlines how your product directly fills your customers’ needs. To avoid overly-long or convoluted propositions, focus on how you can solve one overarching need. This need should be centered on customers’ biggest pain point.
Added Benefits of Your Product or Service
Benefits are another big part of value propositions. To get started with this step, write down a list of features and the benefits that your product or service provides. Each benefit should correlate with exactly one customer need each to make your benefits as clear as possible.
Why Your Product Is Better Than Those of Your Competitors
Look into your competitors to see both what they offer and what they lack. Is there a product that only you supply? Perhaps you deliver an innovative product design. Zone in on your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, and identify a particular component of your company that makes it stand out from the rest.
Creating a Value Proposition Using a Proposition Canvas or Template
Originally coined by author and entrepreneur Alexander Osterwalder, the value proposition canvas is a visual and practical tool to assist you in breaking down all of the essential components of your proposition. The canvas is split up into the customer profile and the value map.
To fill out the customer profile part of the canvas, put yourself in the customer’s shoes and consider the following three elements:
- Jobs: What’s the task the customer is trying to get done? Or, what problem is the customer trying to solve?
- Gains: What benefits does the customer expect from your product or service? What would make them happy? Would it be your unparalleled design aesthetic or your stellar customer service?
- Pains: Think back to your original customer profile here. What are the customers’ fears or negative emotions before, during, or after getting their “job” done?
Here, it’s time to think about how your business addresses the customer profile’s needs, wants, and fears:
- Gain creators: Beyond what benefits your products or services offers customer, what about them delights the customer or improves their lives overall?
- Pain relievers: In what specific ways does your business solve pain points?
- Products and services: List out the top products and services that create the most gain and alleviate the most pain.
After you’ve completed your canvas, take the time to rank your products and services by order of which ones best offer customers value in terms of the customer profile. This process gives you a better idea of how your business best approaches and solves customer problems and will define your unique value compared to competitors. You can also refer to value proposition templates online to help begin the overall process.
How Your Value Proposition and Marketing Strategies Relate
Value propositions can become part of your company’s overall digital marketing strategy. You can use a value proposition as part of your marketing materials, including it in email newsletters, social media posts, or on your company’s website. Displaying your proposition across various marketing channels ensures it’s seen by potential consumers across the board, delivering them value no matter where they access your company from.
Benefits of Having a Proposition Statement
You know that an invaluable proposition statement persuades customers to choose your company. But what other advantages do you gain by having one?
Provides Clarity and Understanding of Your Messaging
Many brands suffer from unclear, unfocused, and uninteresting marketing messages that provide no real value at all. Having a coherent proposition that consists of useful phrasing and wording puts you a step ahead of the competition. Customers can immediately understand why they should pick you — saving them time and, more often than not, frustration.
Promotes Customer Engagement
By having a value proposition in the first place, you show that you have taken the time to understand your customers. You’ve put in the research into grasping their pain points, their motivations, and their desires from a brand like yours. Customers are much more likely to engage with a brand that’s personable than one that seems distant and sales-focused.
Differentiates You From Your Competitors
In a crowded market, it can be hard to be unique. Customers come across companies that promise the same thing over and over again. They want to know, without a doubt, that they’ve invested in a brand that’s truly unlike anything else. Your value proposition will show them exactly that.
Increases Your Chances of Gaining Market Share
Of course, every businesses’ goal is to increase conversions and, by extension, gain market share. One study done by Scandiweb found that effective value propositions can increase site conversion rates by up to 35%. Knowing how to target customers is a surefire way to lead to more sales over a long period.
Examples of Winning Value Propositions
Below are some of the best examples of value propositions that have addressed customer needs and demonstrated their unique value.
Nike’s value proposition centers on inclusivity above all.
Nike remains a top example of a company that lives and breathes its value proposition. As stated on their site, the company aims to “Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete.” Nike gives consumers around the world the chance to be part of something bigger. It intends to create a worldwide community where everyone can be a top athlete by offering innovation, sustainability, and a positive. It reflects those goals by consisting of a diverse team, giving back to those in need, and selling unparalleled products. When buying a Nike product, customers know that they are getting top-quality and investing in a company that is dedicated to the bigger picture.
Stripe’s value proposition sets its sights high to inspire change.
From the get-go, Stripe makes it clear what it wants to do for the world: ” Increase the GDP of the internet.” It’s a fine example of a business that has complete confidence in what value it offers its customers. Using Stripe, businesses both large and small can use top-notch payment processing payments to both accept payments and manage their business online. The company was founded to address the need for more advanced payment infrastructure online, providing solutions for contemporary businesses today, demonstrating their awareness of customer pain points — and how to solve them.
Trello’s value proposition emphasizes uniqueness among its customers.
Finally, we have Trello, a popular work management tool. Using the online software, teams can collaborate on work projects, meetings, and events from anywhere in the world, helping teams improve their productivity and build team spirit. The company states that Trello is more than just work — rather, it’s a ” way of working together.” The business knows and celebrates the fact that every work team is unique in what they need to be done and how they’d like to get it done. By using Trello, customers know they have a solution for their particular pain point, no matter how specific it may be for them.
Why You Need a Value Proposition
A value proposition is a vital tool for success in your overall business strategy. Taking the time to get to the core of what your business offers customers over competitors helps you understand your value and further inspires your company’s mission.
Fortunately, you don’t have to tackle value propositions on your own. Disruptive Advertising’s marketing experts will guide you in unearthing what makes your company the go-to choice in a competitive market. Contact us to nail your value proposition today.