Your value proposition is the number one thing that determines whether people will bother reading more about your products or engaging with your business. The less well known your company is, the better value proposition you need. When reviewing marketing plans with my clients, the main conclusion was that missing or poor value propositions is one of the most common shortcomings.
What exactly is a value proposition?
A value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered. It’s the primary reason a prospect should buy from you.
In a nutshell, value proposition is a clear statement that:
- explains how your product solves customers’ problems or improves their situation (relevancy),
- delivers specific benefits (quantified value),
- tells the ideal customer why they should buy from you and not from the competition (unique differentiation).
You have to present your value proposition as the first thing the visitors see on your home page, and should be visible in all major touch points with your customers.
It’s for people to read and understand
Your value proposition is something real humans are supposed to understand. It’s for people to read. Your value proposition needs to be in the language of the customer. It should join the conversation that is already going on in the customer’s mind. In order to do that you need to know the language your customers use to describe your offering and how they benefit from it.
You cannot guess what that language is. The way YOU speak about your services is often very different from how your customers describe it.
The ideal value proposition should be:
The value proposition is usually a block of text (a headline, sub-headline and one paragraph of text) with a visual (photo, product shot, graphics).
There is no one right way to go about it, but I suggest you start with the following formula:
- Headline. What is the end-benefit you’re offering, in 1 short sentence, you can mention the product and/or the customer, and it needs to grab attention.
- Sub-headline or a 2-3 sentence paragraph. A specific explanation of what you do/offer, for whom and why is it useful.
- 3 bullet points. List the key benefits, from the customers perspective.
- Visual. Images communicate much faster than words. Show the product, the hero shot or an image reinforcing your main message.
Evaluate your current value proposition by checking whether it answers the questions below:
- What product or service is your company selling?
- What is the end-benefit of using it?
- Who is your target customer for this product or service?
- What makes your offering unique and different?
Use the headline-paragraph-bullets-visual formula to structure your answers.
How to create a winning value proposition?
The best value proposition is clear: what is it, for whom and how is it useful? If those questions are answered, you’re on the right path. Always strive for clarity first.
If your value proposition makes people go “hmph?” you’re doing it wrong. If they have to read a lot of text to understand your offering, you’re doing it wrong. Yes, sufficient amount of information is crucial for conversions, but you need to draw them in with a clear, compelling value proposition first.
If you would like a review of your current value proposition, or need advice on how to develop your first fill in the form below for a initial review.