Intro to Value Propositions

What is a Value Proposition?

A value proposition is a short statement that defines why a customer should choose your product or service. It should suggest exactly what benefits come when engaging with your business.

A good value proposition should always speak to, and center around, the customer. What is the customer’s need or problem? How does your product or service meet those needs?

Your value proposition should answer these questions:

  • Why is your product relevant?
    In other words, what does your product or service do to meet customer needs and pain points, for each of your target market segments.
  • What’s the cost-benefit?
    Here you define exactly what benefits you offer with your product or service and how much each additional benefit will cost your customer.
  • How is your product better than similar offerings?
    A great value proposition will always mark why a potential customer should buy from your company and not from the competition.

It is important to keep in mind when crafting your value proposition that you are speaking to real buyers. Your value proposition should be simple and easy to understand by your target customer, and ideally by all types of people.

Don’t overcomplicate your value proposition with technical jargon or terms your customers might not be familiar with. This kind of language can make your value proposition confusing and ineffective, and will not necessarily convey the kind of sophistication you intended.

Anatomy of a Great Value Proposition

A value proposition normally includes a:

Your headline should describe the overarching benefit your company is offering.

Sub-headline or short paragraph:
This should be a more specific explanation of what you’re offering, who you are targeting and why it is useful.

3ish bullet points:
Your value proposition should summarize the key benefits of your product or service.

Visual element:
Bonus points if your value proposition translates well into a picture or video.

What a Value Proposition is NOT

Let’s look at some examples:

“Staff with business acumen in partnership with technology based in lead generation automation to improve marketing and sales efficiency” 

This is not a value proposition. Someone well versed in marketing vernacular may be able to understand this; however, if a friend or family member cannot understand your value proposition with ease, it is likely poorly written.

“Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline” 

This is also not a value proposition — it’s a catchphrase. It does not provide the buyer with necessary information to make the decision to buy your product.

Freshbook website screenshot with value proposition

Freshbooks gives you the info and time you need to focus on your big picture–your business, team, and clients.”

This is a value proposition. FreshBooks defines what service they offer, how they meet customer needs and how they save you more time to focus on other aspects of your business. It’s better than the previous two examples, but it’s missing competitive differentiation.

Note that FreshBooks placed their value proposition on their homepage. Your value proposition should be one of the first things prospective buyers see when visiting your website, and should be reinforced through much of your sales and marketing collateral. Our recommendation would be to feature your value proposition on all major website entry points.