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The Easiest How-to for Writing Powerful Value Propositions

The Easiest How-to for Writing Powerful Value Propositions

By Jessy SmulskiDec 13 /2018

The decision to use the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 may have been influenced by the misinterpretation of a single Japanese word. The Titanic might still be afloat if not for a tiny locker key that housed a pair of binoculars. A little piece of duct tape over a door lock blew the whistle on the Watergate scandal.1 My point? The smallest details have the power to trigger significant, historical, fate-changing outcomes.

This paradigm is as prevalent in life as it is in marketing. Take your company’s value proposition statement, for example. Though concise and seemingly small (compared to the sea of online content), a value proposition statement is your most powerful conversion tool. Yet, many brands fail to pay this tiny detail the attention it deserves. Today, we’re going to change that. Here’s how to write a value proposition statement with the power to change the course of your company’s future.

What a Value Proposition Is and Is Not

You can’t create your most powerful conversion tool if you don’t know exactly what it is. So, before we get too deep, let’s clear up some misconceptions.

Your Value Proposition Statement is not a:

  • Slogan
  • Tagline
  • Vision statement
  • Mission statement
  • Positioning statement

Your Value Proposition Statement is:

  • A clear, concise statement telling prospects why they should buy from you
  • One of the first details an individual sees when visiting your website
  • A serious problem if non-existent or poorly written

In a sentence or fewer, your objective is to succinctly explain who you are, what you do and why a prospect should choose you over competitors. The trademarks of a powerful value proposition statement are:

  • Clear, direct language
  • Uniqueness
  • The inclusion of specific results
  • Readability and understandability in seconds

How do you get all the amazing details about your company down to the bold, distinct core of your competitive advantage? I’m glad you asked…

Step 1: Know your target audience.Value-Prop-Venn-Diagram

More specifically, know their pain points and how these challenges affect their business goals and strategies. Once you develop this list and use data and research to refine your understanding, whittle it down to a single most pressing problem. This problem represents your prospect’s primary motivation for buying a product or service.

Step 2: Know the value of your benefits.

Create another list that identifies and describes each benefit your product or solution delivers. Expand on this description by stepping into your prospect’s shoes and thinking about what value each benefit provides for their business. Pare the list down to your single most valuable benefit. When you write your value proposition statement, your goal is to position this single benefit as the secret ingredient to your prospect’s problem that no other provider can offer.

Step 3: Revisit competitor research.

You likely already have an understanding of what differentiates you from competitors. Revisit this research, browse competitor websites, note what words they use to describe their offering and use different words to say it better.

Pro Tip: Identify the negative stereotypes that surround your industry and (in your value proposition) boldly state how your product or service goes against the grain. This is a great way to nix the immediate skepticism prospects subconsciously think about as they form an impression of your brand.

Step 4: Know the anatomy of a value proposition.

There’s more than one way to build an effective value proposition statement. However, all approaches involve the same essential components:

1. Headline

This is where you present your ultimate benefit.

2. Subhead

This is where you describe who your ultimate benefit is for and why it’s the superior choice. Your subhead can be a sentence or a small paragraph, but brevity is critical. If a visitor can’t read and understand your entire message in seconds, you’re missing a vital characteristic of effective value propositions.

3. Visual Element

Include a visual element, such as animation, a video, logo, image or even a call-to-action button to draw attention to the value proposition statement.

At Kuno Creative, we place our value proposition statement front and center on our home page and use motion to attract extra attention. Check it out here, you can’t miss it! Below are some more value proposition examples to help bring your creative genius to the value prop writing table:

value-proposition-SoundCloud

value-proposition-Kissmetrics

value-proposition-InfusionSoft A final piece of advice; don’t forget to A/B test the elements of your value proposition to understand what resonates best with your prospects. You can experiment with different colors, headers and visuals, or construct different value proposition statements for two or three “ultimate benefits” to see which benefit your target audience finds most appealing.

If following this value proposition writing exercise revealed a lack of deep-level understanding about your brand character or target audience, you may need a little extra help bringing your digital strategy up to speed with competitors. Check out 5 Secrets To Reach Your Target Market, where we unveil our most valuable secrets to help you reach even the most unreachable target audiences.

1  Mental Floss

5 Secrets Revealed

Jessy Smulski
The Author

Jessy Smulski

Jessy turns everyday industry talk into simple, insightful, humanized conversation. Often described as bold, empathetic and charmingly sarcastic; her writing style reflects her personality and reads like a friend telling stories over supper. When she isn’t writing, you can find Jessy backpacking the Midwest, snowboarding the Rockies, or capturing life through the lens of her camera.
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