Value Proposition – Your Secret Sauce
Value Proposition is one of those jargon phrases that gets knocked around quite a bit. I wanted to demystify it a bit and give you my view on it. Every single business has to have one of these – so you should have a good idea what yours is. Maybe by the end of this article, you’ll know that you do (and that you just need to write it down properly).
Defining the phrase
The phrase is made of two words: VALUE and PROPOSITION. So, in essence, it is…what it says on the tin.
As a business and, more importantly as a brand, you need to be pretty clear on where your VALUE lies…in the eyes of your customers.
What is it about what you do that puts you front of mind for your customers…every. single. time? Clue: it’s not what YOU think it is, so ask them. It may be incredibly simple.
This is really about: where does your offer (or your value) sit in comparison to your competitors. Usually this part to the phrase zooms the focus in on where you sit in the market place. (Will potentially indicate your brand’s position in terms of pricing, or depth to which you provide the thing that you do).
Crafting your Value Proposition
A value proposition statement’s job is to cut to the chase, be smart enough to catch attention and instantly let the reader (a prospective client/customer) know if you are who they are need.
Remember you do not need to be unique to the whole world, just to your customer. Here are some examples to demonstrate quite clear succinct value proposition statements:
Trello (online project management tool)
“Trello helps teams move work forward. Collaborate, manage projects, and reach new productivity peaks. From high rises to the home office, the way your team works is unique – accomplish it all with Trello.”
Un-bounce (landing page optimisation platform)
“Boost your ROI with smarter landing pages. High-converting landing page layouts. Instant copy generation. Up to 30% more conversions. When you work with AI, you get the results you’re looking for. (Yep, that means more leads, sales, and signups.)”
Ideally your value proposition (based on your brand as a whole) – will start with an initial strong statement sentence, then be followed up with two to three short sentences to elaborate on benefits. If you are able to place a visual that expresses or demonstrates the value proposition too – then include this. All the better (see the Unbounce example below).
Various forms of positioning statements
Now, in my Brand Compass Programme, we spend quite a bit of time on this. We expand the various statements you need in the business and call them your positioning statements. These are added to what I refer to as your Messaging Library.
I usually advise a few different versions or sub-divisions to your value proposition, and it becomes a mix of value statements as well (simpler sentences). I’d advise drafting these for:
- The business itself (i.e. your main brand value proposition)
- Each of your products on your Value Ladder (focussed on what it does for its ideal customer)
- For you, as the entrepreneur (or person behind the brand)
- For any expert team members (if relevant)
- (Potentially) For each ideal customer (not always relevant – but is helpful if you have different levels of the same ideal customer, but their pain point words are different)
Where to use your Value Proposition
Once you have the different versions of your value proposition then you can filter these into the various areas of your marketing (print/online) and communications.
What’s great about having your value proposition and positioning statements all drafted, approved and ready to go – is you have them to hand to put into all kinds of places. The best thing is – you will instantly achieve a level of message consistency. (A win for attracting customers).
Here are some places you could use them:
- home page of your website (main brand proposition)
- about page (or meet the team page) on your website
- in a business plan
- marketing the business or products
- compiling a press release
- completing bios on social media accounts
- introduction bios for guesting on podcasts
- being introduced on stage for a talk
In my Brand Compass Programme you get to work on your positioning statements to go into your Messaging Library. This work is incredibly helpful to keep your marketing of specific products on-point, and also any sales-led meetings like networking or prospect meetings. It’s really good to match your value proposition work with your value ladder, so everything works nicely together.
Bitesize Insights & Truths on Branding for Micro-Businesses.