Branding adds spirit and a soul to what would otherwise be a robotic, automated, generic price-value proposition. If branding is ultimately about the creation of human meaning, it follows logically that it is the humans who must ultimately provide it.
— David A. Aaker
Why does a value proposition matter? Because once you know what your value proposition is, you’ll be able to see your business and your marketing needs with greater clarity.
Value propositions are one of the most important conversion factors. A great value proposition could be the difference between losing a sale — and closing it. For that reason, it’s important to create one that accurately represents your products and services and makes it clear why you’re the best choice. (Coleman)
The value proposition is the argument from the company's perspective on why you should be their customer. The argument may have several propositions, but when you put them all together and summarize them, they become the ultimate reason. When you discover your value proposition, your biggest challenge is not going to be talking people into anything, it's going to be communicating clearly the value you are offering. (4 keys to creating a compelling value proposition)
Value propositions are unique among all other marketing tactics. They don’t have to be catchy. They don’t have to be short. They don’t have to be flashy. They need only be honest and relevant.
A good value proposition stabs your customer exactly in their pain point. Notice I say your customer, because there will be people who read your value proposition and don’t care, because it’s not directed to them.
That doesn’t mean you should pick a phrase or band-aid for the largest group of consumers you can find. Your value proposition must be honest, to the point, and direct. All a value proposition does is tell people exactly what your product will do for them. Sound easy?
Like all good things, it’s not.
It’s difficult because you must shave away most of the darling things you love about your product, the pretty details, and customs you’ve nurtured and cared for. They don’t matter. Get to the core, the very bare bone of your product. What is it? What is the customer pain point that your product cures?
It might be useful to think of your value proposition as the solution you provide to your customers, or the value of the cure that your product will give them. What can they count on you to deliver? That’s your value proposition.
Value Proposition vs. Mission Statement
You might be thinking “You fool, you’re describing a mission statement or a slogan.”
Don’t worry, I wouldn’t lead you astray like that.
Your value proposition details what you offer customers and why they should choose you, while a mission statement details your objective as an organization. While the two can have points in common, a value proposition is more product and service-oriented while a mission statement is more goal-oriented. (Coleman)
Value Proposition vs. Slogan
A slogan is a short, catchy statement that brands use in marketing campaigns to sell a specific product. While your value proposition wouldn’t necessarily go in an ad (at least, not usually), a slogan would. The most important thing to note is that a company can have different slogans for different campaigns or products.
Value Proposition: “Exquisite diamonds, world-class designs, breathtaking jewelry.”
Slogan: “A diamond is forever.” (Coleman)
Value Proposition vs. Tagline
A tagline is a short statement that embodies a certain aspect of your brand or business. While a value proposition is more concrete, a tagline can represent a concept or idea that your business stands for. Most businesses have only one tagline that is instantly recognizable and connected to their brand.
Here’s an example from Apple:
Value Proposition: “The best experiences. Only on Apple.”
Tagline: “Think Different.” (Coleman)
Like I said before, your value proposition is the true solution you provide to your customers. Its purpose isn’t to be catchy; its purpose is to be reassuring and true.
I know this sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but it’s possible. Grab a notebook or search online for templates to help you make your value proposition now! Your business and marketing plans will thank you.
Your value proposition is a unique identifier for your business. Without it, buyers won’t have a reason to purchase what you sell. They may even choose a competitor simply because that business communicates its value proposition clearly in its marketing campaigns and sales process.
“4 Keys to Creating a Compelling Value Proposition.” MECLABS, https://meclabs.com/education/4-keys-to-compelling-value-proposition.
Coleman, Basha. “How to Write a Great Value Proposition [5 Top Examples + Template].” HubSpot Blog, HubSpot, 10 Mar. 2022, https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/write-value-proposition.
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