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Value Proposition

Value Proposition:
What You Need To Know

In today’s noisy, highly competitive marketplace, you only have seconds to capture site visitors’ attention and convince them to consider your brand’s offerings. A well-composed value proposition summarizes your organization’s competitive advantage and helps potential customers understand why they should do business with you—without taking up too much of their time.

However, writing a thorough, captivating and succinct value proposition is not always an easy task. After creating an entire website to showcase your offering, boiling down all the value your organization provides into just one or two sentences can seem nearly impossible.

To help you accomplish this task, we’ve compiled several tips on how to write a value proposition that attracts prospects and drives conversions.

What is a Value Proposition?

A value proposition is a statement that explains why a potential customer will gain greater value from your product or service than from similar solutions in the marketplace.

Think of your value proposition like a shop window display. As you pass stores along the sidewalk, you use window displays to determine whether a store’s offerings are likely to meet your current wants and needs. If the display wins you over, you’ll likely step inside, look around and maybe even complete a purchase.

Just as a shop owner places best-selling and most sought-after items in the window as a way to lure prospects inside, your value proposition should provide a promise of what you will do for your customer—how you will solve their problems, meet their needs and deliver better results than your competitors.

What Should You Include in a Value Proposition?

Most customer value propositions include these elements:

  • Headline: Something short and snappy that illustrates the primary benefit.
  • Subheadline: A more detailed explanation that addresses the “what,” “who” and “why.”
  • Bullet points (optional): A summary of key features and benefits. (Try to limit this list to no more than three bullet points.)

While there is no steadfast rule for value proposition formatting, these elements can act as a helpful guide—especially if you’re creating a value proposition for the first time. But don’t feel obligated to include everything listed above. If you can communicate your organization’s full value in one sentence or phrase, there’s no need for additional elements.

How to Put Together a Unique Value Proposition

If you don’t already have a value proposition, or if your organization has one but you feel it's not powerful enough, you may not know where to start.

Here are a few steps you can take to begin putting together your organization’s value proposition:

  1. Identify your prospects’ most significant pain point(s). What keeps your audience up at night? What stresses them out most during the day? What roadblock is keeping them from reaching the success they desire? Once you know the No. 1 reason someone is searching for the product or service you offer, you can align your value to their needs.
  2. Summarize what you do. This might seem like a bizarre suggestion. After all, you already know what your organization does. However, once you start to write a summary, you might realize it’s not as easy to describe your offering as you might think—especially using simple, easy-to-understand language. This exercise can help you condense your explanation and get to the point a little faster.
  3. Determine what makes your offering unique. Free shipping, free installation, no contract, easy customization, 24-hour customer support… What do you offer that most others in your space don’t? Be sure to highlight this in your statement.
  4. Perform a SWOT analysis of your competitors. Choose your top three competitors and determine the following:
    Strengths: Things that give a brand an edge over competitors
    Weaknesses: Things that competitors do better
    Opportunities: Situations that provide a competitive advantage
    Threats: Situations that can negatively affect outcomes

Then, compare their SWOTs to your own and look for the glaring gaps between the value you offer and the value your competitors offer. This will help you identify what makes your offering unique and why it’s superior to the product or service provided by others in your space.

Tips to Make Your Value Proposition Stand Out

If every brand has a value proposition to share, how can you make sure your message leaves an indelible impression and drives prospects to take further action?

Here are a few tips to make sure your message stands out above your competitors’:

  • Keep it concise. Remember, you only have seconds to capture a reader’s attention. The shorter and “punchier” your value proposition, the more likely you will be to hold their interest and get your point across.
  • Make it as easy to understand as possible. Can someone grasp what you offer and the value your solution provides in five seconds or less? If not, work to simplify your message further.
  • Answer the question “Why is this solution different and better?” Potential customers are comparing your competitors. Make their search easier by telling them why your solution is unique and more valuable than others they’re considering.
  • Address a major pain point. What problem does your product or service solve? How will your offering make a customer’s life easier? Answering these questions will ensure you’re communicating value in a way your audience will understand.
  • Add a visual element. Including an image or video enhances your value proposition and can help customers better grasp your offering.
  • A/B test different messages. Your value proposition is not set in stone. If you’re not convinced it’s as powerful as it should be, consider testing out an alternative. Feel free to continually tweak and optimize your message as your company (and its product or service) evolves.

Remember: once you’ve captivated your customer, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss specs, delve deeper into features and explain additional benefits in other areas of your website.

Don’t feel like you need to communicate everything about your offering in your value proposition. After all, the wordier and more complex it becomes, the less likely readers will be to understand the crux of your message and continue forward.

Value Proposition Examples

Here are a few examples of highly effective value proposition statements to help inspire your message.

 Grammarly

 

In the headline, Grammarly shares the primary benefit: improving your writing. The subheadline communicates what the app offers while also highlighting its competitive advantage over alternatives like spellcheck: it doesn’t just check for spelling errors—it also makes sure your content is clear and effective. Finally, the company includes a graphic to illustrate the simple software in action.

 Trello

Value Proposition

Here, Trello sums up their key benefits in an ultra-simple headline. Below, the subheadline further clarifies what the app does, how it works and why it’s better than alternatives. (How many productivity apps can say they’re fun, flexible and rewarding?) Finally, the CTA shares another unique element of the offering: It’s free!

 iCONN Systems

 

Even if you’ve never heard of or used iCONN Systems, this quick and straightforward headline sums up exactly what they do: They’re a design engineering firm that manufactures connectors. But not just any connectors. Their product line meets all your connector needs. This simple phrasing communicates a wealth of value and finishes up with a CTA to see their product catalog. To help drive the point home further, the hero background video shares imagery of their various products across multiple applications.

 Gebauer

Value Proposition

Gebauer’s value proposition evokes its lengthy history to convey how the company’s products have remained most trusted for more than a century, and also that they’re still considered the industry leading comfort solutions today. The subheadline finishes by sharing the company’s mission: improve the patient experience, and increase patient satisfaction—and uses imagery that illustrates this mission.

Another thing to note is Gebauer’s use of the word “your” at the beginning of the headline. Similar to starting a greeting by using someone’s name, second-person pronouns in a value proposition naturally capture readers’ attention. 

Be sure to check out more value proposition examples here.

A powerful value proposition not only informs prospects about what you offer, it also makes potential customers feel like their search is over and your product or service is exactly what they need. A weak value proposition, on the other hand, confuses visitors and leaves them feeling disengaged with your offering. By using these tips and examples, you can craft a compelling statement that piques prospects’ interest, stimulates action and drives more conversions than ever before.

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