What is a Value Proposition and How To Write One? (Free Template Included)
What if you can craft a single paragraph that will push your prospects towards choosing your product?
That’s what your value proposition does!
It’s a short, concise message that articulates why a customer should choose your product/service instead of a competitor’s.
Although it looks pretty simple to create one, considering that every owner must know their company’s biggest strengths, it turns out it’s not.
So how do you actually write an effective value proposition which will make you stand out?
The following lines will answer this question and give you more insights on topics like:
- What is a value proposition?
- What is not a value proposition?
- Is value proposition important?
- Questions you need to ask before start writing your value proposition
- How to write an effective value proposition
What is a Value Proposition?
А value proposition is a short, clear, and concise statement that summarizes:
- What benefits does your product or service delivers
- Why customers should purchase it;
- How the value of your offering is better than your competitors’.
And when we talk about customers, we don’t refer to “all customers” out there. You want to address your value proposition to the specific target audience that will benefit the most from your product/service.
Because when you talk to the right prospects, your value proposition (if well-created) will quickly transmit the values of your product without the need for further explanation.
According to MECLABS research, the effective value proposition has four main components:
- Appeal – How much do I desire this offer?
- Exclusivity – Where else can I get this offer?
- Credibility – Can I trust your claims?
- Clarity – What are you actually offering?
Often marketers and business owners focus on one or two of the components but leave the rest of them out. And although they’re moving in the right direction, attempting to communicate appeal and clarity, their value props are lacking exclusivity and credibility, which are crucial elements.
That’s why “great technical support” is not an effective value proposition. Do you think this would appeal to your customers? Absolutely. Who doesn’t want to rely on high-quality tech support?! And is it clear what your company’s offering? There are no two ways about it.
But what about the other two questions:
Is it very credible just to state that you offer “great support”? The truth is very few customers who haven’t experienced it firsthand will believe you right away. You might want to add the number of happy customers you have successfully supported already. Or your TrustPilot rating. You need proof of your statement!
And if we say that you are an IT company, do you think you are the only one offering great/excellent/amazing tech support? It’s hard to believe it.
You need all four components to build an effective value proposition that will turn your visitors into customers.
That’s what makes the creation of a powerful value proposition a complex task. And missing some components will result in something that’s “not a value proposition”.
What is not a Value Proposition?
By missing out on combining all four components (appeal, exclusivity, credibility, clarity) you end up with something that does not clearly convey the benefits of the company and its products.
The value proposition must not be confused with:
- An incentive – It is designed to persuade a visitor to act right away. An example of an incentive would be: “Subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll send you our e-book”. Obviously not the same thing as the value proposition.
- A slogan or tagline – Which is “a catchy phrase or series of words used to help consumers remember a company, brand or product.” Brands often confuse slogans with value propositions. But the truth is that the only thing they have in common is they both are “a series of words”.
- A positioning statement – Its definition is “An expression of how a given product, service or brand fills a particular consumer need in a way that its competitors don’t.” Although a positioning statement is a subset of a value proposition, it’s not the same thing and should not be confused as one.
Is Value Proposition important?
To better understand the importance of the value proposition for your business, we will examine three areas it has a huge impact on:
1. Converting Your Visitors into Customers
In a market-based economy, a strong value proposition is crucial for a company’s success and survival.
Your value proposition will be the first thing that visitors on your website direct their attention towards.
To put it another way, If your target audience isn’t convinced right away of the value that you can provide for them, there’s no reason for them to stay on your site.
And that’s exactly why HubSpot said the following:
“Your value proposition is the core of your competitive advantage. It clearly articulates why someone would want to buy from your company instead of your competitor. It’s also one of the most important conversion factors. A great value proposition could be the difference between losing a sale — and closing it.”
Think of the value proposition as a method to influence the decision-making of customers.
If you don’t put enough effort into it or decide to skip it, you’re missing out on convincing visitors that your offering is second to none. Respectively, your conversion rate will definitely take a hit.
And that’s something you don’t want to experience in today’s high competition market!
Want to increase your conversion rate? Check these Top 5 Landing Page Builders that Will Help You Convert More Leads.
2. Powering Investing Decisions
Your value proposition will definitely have an impact when it comes to powering investing decisions:
“I can say this with certainty: as an investor, a startup’s value proposition is the first place I look. It’s important that a new company spends a lot of time developing their value proposition. That first value proposition will determine their positioning with their investors and help us understand their ultimate aim. As a word of advice to new founders coming to market: you can’t spend too much time on your value proposition, and you don’t have much time to waste.” – said Zain Jaffer, Founder, and CEO, Zain Ventures.
That’s how powerful your value proposition truly is. It may allow you to scale your business by attracting huge investments and position your brand as the market leader.
3. Keeping Your Entire Business Ecosystem on the Same Page
While the previous two points were focused on how your value proposition affects the financial side of your business, we shouldn’t forget that behind your messaging stays a lot of work.
And for that reason, a clearly defined value proposition is essential for enabling your entire business ecosystem to understand what value it should deliver and what value it should communicate.
When you own an SMB (small and medium-sized business) it’s easier to keep everyone on track of your values.
However, as time goes by and your business keeps on growing, you will end up with hundreds of employees that need to be on the same page when it comes to delivering the right product and communicating the right messaging.
Questions You Need to Ask before Start Writing your Value Proposition
Answering some fundamental questions before starting working on your value proposition will ensure that you won’t miss anything important later on.
Here are three things you need to clarify in order to write the best possible value proposition:
1. What is your offering
The explanation of your product or service is at the core of your value proposition.
Although it might sound like the easiest thing to do, you need to make sure that you’re using the right wording.
And more specifically – your customers’ wording!
You need to take into account your target audience’s point of view and explain your services in a way that will push the right buttons for them.
This means that you need to conduct thorough research on:
- What keywords/phrases do they use when they are looking for your product?
- What are their needs?
- What problems do they want to resolve with your product/service?
You can join Facebook groups or Sub-reddits where your prospects discuss related issues:
Or you can use a tool like AnswerThePublic which will show you what questions your prospects are asking based on a keyword of yours:
Or you can use Google’s suggestions:
2. Who is your ideal customer
You cannot do any of the things mentioned in #1 if you don’t know who you are going to serve.
That’s why building your buyer persona (ideal customer) is fundamental for writing a powerful value proposition.
To accomplish this, research your audience to understand who they are and what they look for in products or services like yours.
You’ll want to have answers to the following questions:
- Who are they (demographic data) and what do they do (interests, careers)?
- What are their values?
- What are their pain points?
- What challenges did they experience before looking for your product?
- What motivated them to search for what you offer?
And any other question that you think would be important for getting to know them better.
Some of the information you will get by doing keyword/phrase research. Focus on what and how people are asking their questions, how they structure their problems, etc.
Bonus: HubSpot’s “Make my Persona” tool will help you build and visualize your ideal customers so that you know who you are talking to.
3. What makes your offering unique
Unless you are offering a Tesla, you will need to include unique selling points in your value proposition.
Think of what differentiate you from your competitors that will convenience customers to choose you instead of them.
Even if you have some ideas, it won’t harm to conduct competitor research. Then you ask yourself the following questions:
- What are my competitors lacking?
- What do I do better?
- Do these differences matter to my customers?
How to Write an Effective Value Proposition
You know which four components need to be presented in your VP, you’ve built your buyer persona, came up with unique selling points, you got a list with specific words your prospects are using.
Now it’s time to combine all of this knowledge into a concise paragraph that will convey your brand’s value in the best way possible.
Here’s what you need to strive for:
Avoid using vague language or industry jargon. Terms like “result-oriented” or “customer-driven” drive zero to no value to the customer. The only thing that you’ll achieve by adding them to your value proposition is to look exactly the same as the majority of your competitors.
Instead, use straightforward language that is clear, understandable, and will allow prospects to grasp the idea behind your offering.
Tell them what your product is and how it’s going to help them solve their biggest issue.
Get straight to the point and you most definitely will like the results
It’s a “Value” proposition.
So it would be strange if it doesn’t convey the value of your offering.
Make sure that your proposition highlights the value that customers will get, once they start using your product
In the best-case scenario, a visitor lands on your site and buys your product.
However, it’s very unlikely. Today’s customers want to make an informed decision before purchasing a product or service. They research the market, all the competitors, compare their offerings, and then decide which one is the best option.
This means that they will read several value propositions in the process.
And you need to stand out. To last longer in your visitors’ minds. To position yourself as the best option out there.
That’s why your proposition should be unique.
Once you have all three things combined in your proposition paragraph, it’s time for the most important stage:
Crafting the perfect value proposition doesn’t end with you writing it. You need to run some tests to acquire real-user data on what is working and what is not.
You can run some A/B tests to see which iteration works best.
Only then you can consider your task done!
A well-written value proposition can have a lot of benefits for your business.
This is far easier said than done, considering what amount of information you need to gather and then transform into a single paragraph.
However, we believe that following the steps and techniques presented in this article will make the process easier.
Plus, we did not forget about our promise!
To help you craft the best possible value proposition for your company, you can download Brandanizer’s free template:
It will allow you to better structure all of your information before sitting down to craft your value proposition!