In a world with an endless number of products, you have to market your own offerings carefully. How do they stand out? What makes them different? Why should buyers choose them over a competitor’s?
What is a value proposition?
A value proposition is a clear and concise declarative statement communicating the unique benefits and value a product, service, or offering provides to its target customers. It answers the fundamental question, "Why should a customer choose this product or service over alternatives?" In essence, it articulates the specific value a customer can expect to receive by engaging with a particular offering.
A value proposition is a concise, customer-centric promise of value that guides a business's interactions with its target audience. It is a fundamental element of effective marketing and business strategy.
Need more convincing? Here are some other reasons why it’s important:
A compelling value proposition immediately captures the attention of potential customers. It helps them understand what's unique and valuable about the offering, making them more likely to explore it further.
In competitive markets, a strong value proposition sets a product or service apart from the alternative. It highlights the unique qualities or benefits that make the offering more attractive than others.
Clarity and understanding
A well-defined value proposition clarifies what the product does and how it addresses customer needs or problems. This clarity reduces confusion and helps potential customers make informed decisions.
It influences customer decision-making by helping them assess whether the offering aligns with their specific needs, preferences, and goals. A clear value proposition can help sway the purchase decision in your favor. This is more than just product features—value propositions can encompass ethical production or other emotional values as well.
Businesses can use the value proposition to allocate resources effectively. By understanding what customers value most, companies can prioritize product development, marketing efforts, and customer support accordingly.
A strong value proposition can drive business growth by attracting new customers and increasing customer lifetime value. Satisfied customers are likelier to repeat purchases and recommend the offering to others.
Here are some value proposition examples from companies you’ve likely heard of:
Shopify: "Start a business or grow an existing one with the all-in-one commerce platform. Try Shopify free and get powerful tools to manage your entire business."
Airbnb: "Book unique homes and experiences all over the world. Create lasting memories with friends and family while enjoying the comforts of home."
Dropbox: "Keep your files safe and accessible from anywhere. Store, sync, and share your important files seamlessly with Dropbox."
Are you surprised by how short they are? Value propositions are short and memorable. And that often makes writing them even more challenging.
How to write a value proposition
Need help creating a value proposition? We’ve got you covered. Follow these suggestions for a quality value proposition to help you reach your goals.
1. Understand your audience
Different audiences require different value propositions. For instance, a millennial sofa shopper might value quality and durability, while younger shoppers may value cost-effectiveness and funky colors more. Who is your audience? What are their pain points, needs, and desires? What problems are they trying to solve?
2. Identify your unique selling points (USPs)
Determine what sets your product or service apart from competitors. What are its unique features, benefits, or qualities that are most appealing to your target audience? Is your sofa modular? Is it pet-proof? Can it be customized? Those are USPs.
3. Highlight the differentiator
Clearly state what makes your product or service unique. Make it stand out—whether it's a feature, quality, price point, or something else entirely. This requires you to know and understand your competitors. How is your product different from theirs?
4. Provide evidence
If possible, include evidence that supports your claims. This can be in the form of testimonials, case studies, statistics, or awards.
5. Align with brand and messaging
Ensure that your value proposition aligns with your brand identity and overall messaging strategy. Consistency in messaging across all touchpoints is crucial.
6. Map out a value proposition canvas
A value proposition map, also known as a value proposition canvas, is a visual tool used to articulate the value your product or service offers to customers. It's a structured framework that helps organizations analyze and design their value propositions by focusing on customer needs and their products or services' unique benefits.
Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur developed the value proposition canvas, and it consists of six elements:
- Customer jobs: This element focuses on understanding the specific tasks, problems, or challenges your target customers are trying to accomplish or solve. Customer jobs can be functional, emotional, or social.
- Pains: Pains represent the negative aspects or obstacles your customers encounter while trying to achieve their jobs. These can include frustrations, difficulties, or inconveniences related to their current situation.
- Gains: Gains are the positive outcomes or benefits your customers expect or hope to achieve when they complete their jobs or overcome their pains. Gains can be functional, emotional, or social.
- Products and services: This element lists your organization's specific products or services to address customer needs and jobs. It provides a clear picture of what you are delivering to your customers.
- Pain relievers: Pain relievers describe how your products or services alleviate or eliminate the pains and challenges that your customers identified. They explain how your offerings provide solutions to the problems your customers face.
- Gain creators: Gain creators outline how your products or services create the desired gains and benefits for your customers. They detail the positive experiences and outcomes that customers can expect from using your offerings.
A value proposition statement usually consists of four things: A headline, a subheadline, a bullet list, and a visual. Let’s use Slack’s value prop as an example: "Slack is where work happens. It's a communication platform that connects your team, boosts productivity, and streamlines collaboration, making work more efficient and enjoyable."
- Headline: Where work happens
- Subheadline: It’s a communication platform
- Bullet list: It connects your team, boosts productivity, and streamlines collaboration
- Visual: Making work more efficient and enjoyable
Remember: you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. We’ll do the heavy lifting—all you have to do is customize the value proposition template, and you’ll be well on your way to an award-winning value proposition.
Explore more Lucidspark templates for every use case.Go now
Lucidspark, a cloud-based virtual whiteboard, is a core component of Lucid Software's Visual Collaboration Suite. This cutting-edge digital canvas brings teams together to brainstorm, collaborate, and consolidate collective thinking into actionable next steps—all in real time. Lucid is proud to serve top businesses around the world, including customers such as Google, GE, and NBC Universal, and 99% of the Fortune 500. Lucid partners with industry leaders, including Google, Atlassian, and Microsoft. Since its founding, Lucid has received numerous awards for its products, business, and workplace culture. For more information, visit lucidspark.com.
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