What is a value proposition?
A value proposition is a central part of a company’s marketing strategy. It is a statement of intent that describes the product or service that a company promises to deliver to prospective customers or clients with the aim of earning their business. As the name implies, a value proposition summarizes a company’s added value, i.e., benefit or feature, that differentiates it from all other competitors.
Why is having an effective value proposition important?
As the aim of a value proposition is to convince consumers to buy your company’s product or to use its services, the more effective it is the more business you’ll likely get. A good value proposition clearly and concisely articulates the number one reason why your company or services add more value or solve a problem better than any other similar offerings by competitors. If successful, your value proposition will persuade potential customers or clients to become returning ones. Therefore, an effective value proposition can increase your company’s sales conversions and, in turn, your revenue.
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How to write an effective value proposition?
A value proposition is found on a company's website and/or in its marketing materials. It is typically the first thing that consumers see when they arrive on a company’s website. Since attention spans are limited, your value proposition should therefore be written in a concise, direct yet catchy manner as it is supposed to quickly sum up everything about your brand at first glance. A good way to make your company’s value proposition visible and help it get noticed is by creating a professional business website.
A strong, memorable value proposition is typically divided into a headline, a sub-headline and then a paragraph of text that includes visuals. Here are more details about the usual structure:
Headline: This should be a single sentence, phrase or slogan that is strong, catchy and clear. It needs to communicate the company’s promised value or benefit to consumers. This headline usually includes a tagline that becomes part of the company’s ad campaigns.
Subheadline: This subheadline is a sentence added under the main headline, which expands on the explanation of delivered value. It may also state why the product or service is better than the competition.
Short paragraph: This short paragraph is usually between 2-3 sentences and emphasizes the key features or benefits of the company’s product or service. There are often added elements, like a photo, video or graphics, to make it easier and faster for consumers to grasp the value being explained.
This structure allows consumers to quickly scan the value proposition and pick up on why the product or service features may be the best choice for them.
Tips for creating a strong value proposition
Memorable value propositions need to be interesting yet concise. Otherwise, you might risk losing consumers’ attention and, in turn, their business. To help make your value proposition effective and give your business a competitive advantage over your competitors, below are some points to consider when shaping it.
Your value proposition must be:
Clear: It must be clear so that customers can immediately and fully understand the value you are promising to deliver without needing additional explanation. It must show how your company will address, and fulfill, a specific need or solve a particular problem.
Concise: It must summarize what your company does or offers in a single sentence. If you include a sub-headline and accompanying short paragraph, they also need to be brief and to the point. Remember, the catchier the writing, the more memorable it will be.
Company-specific: It should be as specific as possible regarding your company and the added value you promise to provide. Try to avoid generalities (i.e., “we give fast service” or “we offer problem-solving solutions,”) otherwise your proposition will lose impact as it could apply to every other similar company out there.
Customer-Specific: It needs to be written with your target market in mind. It should touch on what they need instead of just what your company offers.
Genuine/Realistic: It shouldn’t include exaggerated claims (e.g., “Best brownies in the world!” “Fastest turnaround time in the industry”). As it’s hard to prove such claims, your competitors could say the same thing, making your value proposition seem disingenuous.
A last point to consider to help create an effective value proposition is to conduct market research to help figure out which messages come across strongest with your customers or clients.