What is a Value Proposition?
Your value proposition is arguably the key component of your marketing strategy. And yet, you would be surprised to realize just how many businesses make it difficult for consumers to discern their value proposition – or can’t pinpoint it, to begin with!
But whether you’re here to refine your existing value proposition or are starting from scratch, we’re going to help you figure out what your value proposition is and how to communicate it effectively. We’ll cover the basics of value propositions and then highlight seven of the best example value propositions to give you a little inspiration for finding your own.
A value proposition expresses exactly what your business has to offer and why a prospective customer should do business with you rather than one of your competitors.
It highlights the unique benefits of your products and services and demonstrates why your business is the best in your niche and geographical area. It effectively addresses your customer’s wants and needs, explaining the pain point your business solves and illustrating how you can help them be the “hero” of their own story.
A successful value proposition sets your brand apart from your competitors and shows consumers what you can offer that nobody else does.
How to Come Up with a Value Proposition
So, exactly how do you create an effective value proposition? The key ingredient is your unique selling point (USP), so you first need to figure that out.
Your USP should be something that adds value to your customers’ experience, a unique quality that is directly tied to your brands, products, or services.
Value Proposition vs. Slogan: What’s the Difference?
Is a value proposition the same thing as a slogan? Not exactly.
Although both should be memorable statements representing your brand, they aren’t quite the same thing. A slogan is a short phrase (about three to five words in length) that will be paired with your brand name or logo. It’s a part of your initial introduction, but it doesn’t give the consumer that much information – that’s where your value proposition comes in.
Your value proposition takes it to the next level, going deeper to explain better who you are as a brand and why you’re unique. Usually, a value proposition will be a mid-length phrase or a single sentence and show that you understand your target customer, what they want and need, and how your brand can serve them.
How to Write a Value Proposition Statement
In most cases, creating a value proposition statement is best approached as a collaborative project. It can be hugely helpful to gather a team that includes people from across your business, so you can all work together and offer insights.
There are also useful tools that can come in handy for brainstorming value proposition ideas, including a “value proposition canvas.” This is a visual aid that provides areas for you to jot down key ideas, such as:
- Customer wants
- Customer needs
- Customer fears
- Benefits of your product/service/brand
- Features of your product/service/brand
- What the customer can expect in their experience with your brand
As you brainstorm the above concepts, you may find that your value proposition statement starts to take shape.
Structure of a Value Proposition Statement
Now, you know what should be in a value proposition statement – but what does a value proposition statement look like? Of course, every brand is different, and there isn’t a single “formula” that you have to follow. That being said, some general guidelines can be useful during the writing process.
We often recommend breaking the statement down into three key components:
- The customer: Who are your target customers?
- The problem: What problem does the customer have?
- The solution you can offer: How can your brand solve the problem?
Here’s an example of what that might look like for a brand that offers a baby diaper home delivery service:
- The customer: Parents of babies and toddlers
- The problem: Constantly stocking up on diapers is a hassle, but running out is out of the question
- The solution: An affordable, convenient diaper delivery service that can be set on auto-delivery
Once you’ve worked out your three basic pieces of the puzzle, it will be much easier to take those points and incorporate them into a few short sentences.
Again, there isn’t a cut-and-dry structure for value proposition statements, so don’t feel you have to limit yourself to fit into a certain box. However, if you’re having a hard time getting started, this basic structure can help:
- A headline: What is the primary benefit your brand offers? This should be a clear summary delivered in a brief, catchy sentence. This will be your main value statement.
- A subheadline with additional details in 2-3 sentences: Depending on the content, you may need added information to contextualize your value proposition statement. Here, expand on what you offer and why it benefits customers.
- Three bulleted points: Break down your key product/service benefits in three short bullet points, which you can use as “boosters” in content where you have more space for added copy.
Tips for Refining Your Value Proposition Statement
Your value proposition statement shouldn’t be debuted in its “first draft” form like any branding material. Rather, an editing and refinement process should ensure it is absolutely perfect and representative of your brand and message.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re perfecting a value proposition statement:
Your Language Matters
The best value statement examples are those that keep it simple. In other words, your statement should be written in everyday language, without any industry jargon that may confuse the customer. A person should be able to skim the statement and understand it without any issue quickly.
- The Customer Should Be At the Center
Even though your value proposition is technically about your brand, it should focus on the customer and what they have to gain from doing business with you. Make sure you have positioned the customer as the “star” of their show and your brand simply as the trustworthy supporting actor that can help them solve a key problem.
- There Should Be a Clear Meaning
It’s easy to get buried in buzzwords and meaningless slogans, but that will leave you with a value statement that doesn’t impact customers – or at least, not the right kind of impact. Consumers are savvier than many brands give them credit for, and they can see straight through an overly vague value statement. Make sure you’re saying something worth hearing in your value statement, and you’ll make a solid first impression.
The 7 Best Example Value Propositions
You’re probably ready to gather some inspiration and start getting creative. And we aren’t giving you just one value proposition example; we’re setting you up with seven of our favorites!
Here are some of our go-to picks for unique value proposition ideas so that you can see a successful value statement in action.
1. Uber: Get In the Driver’s Seat and Get Paid
Most of us think of Uber from a rider’s perspective, and there’s no question that they do a good job delivering an effective value proposition to that audience. However, the brand has developed an equally impressive value statement for anyone considering becoming a driver for the company.
The first sentence cuts straight to the point: when you drive for Uber, you’re in control (in the driver’s seat) and earning money. Then, they drive home another benefit – they have the largest rider network, thus increasing your earning potential.
2. Apple: The Best Experiences. Only on Apple
Apple is famous for marketing products that aren’t just things but rather experiences – and they even come right out and say that in one of their value statements.
Even though Apple has already established a strong reputation for excellence, that doesn’t mean they undersell their brand, either. Their value statement highlights that users are buying an experience when they do business with Apple, experiences that aren’t available from their competitors.
3. Slack: Great Teamwork Starts With a Digital HQ
Slack’s value statement pinpoints what they know customers want (great teamwork), following that up immediately with what they need to get there (a digital HQ).
Because Slack is designed to be a valuable productivity tool, it only makes sense that its value statement doesn’t waste any time getting to the point. The subheadline on their homepage continues to center the customer, showing them what “could be” if they sign up for Slack.
4. Venmo: Fast, Safe, Social Payments
The fact that most of us are constantly using Venmo, especially when there are so many options for payment apps out there, shows just how effective their marketing strategy is. When you look at their value proposition statement, you can see why.
The brand keeps it simple with a straightforward statement of what users get when they use the Venmo app: speed, security, and convenience (in the form of a socially-connected payment app). Their follow-up statement goes on to tell the customer how and when they can use Venmo, while the next sentence builds authority by stating that 83 million-plus people are already using the app.
5. Mint: Managing Money, Made Simple
Mint is a personal finance app designed to help users better control their budget, investing, credit, and more. And in their value proposition, the brand immediately gains user trust by pointing out the obvious: many of us feel overwhelmed at the prospect of money management. But with Mint, the brand asserts it can be simple.
Even when you look beyond the initial value statement and see the call-to-action (“Sign up for free”), the brand highlights yet another benefit they have to offer – it’s free to use.
6. LessAccounting: #1 Simplified Accounting Software for Freelancers, Consultants & Small Business Owners
At first glance, it’s easy to assume that LessAccounting’s value statement is too simple. But when you’re a brand that’s selling simplicity, it’s only fitting to be clear and upfront from the get-go.
You can immediately see the three key components of a value statement:
- the customer (freelancers, consultants, and small business owners)
- the problem (overcomplicated accounting software)
- the solution (a simplified option)
7. WordPress: Welcome to the World’s Most Popular Website Builder
Exactly who are the target customers for WordPress? When you read their value statement, you can see that the more appropriate question is: who isn’t? WordPress is the world’s top choice among website-building platforms, and they have the stats to prove it. Everyone from bloggers to Fortune 500 companies fits into the WordPress target audience, which gives the brand mass appeal and impressive authority.
While aiming for mass appeal might not work for every brand, in this case, it’s highly effective.
Get Your Value Proposition Right with Our Help
From using clear, concise language to incorporating SEO strategy, a lot goes into crafting the perfect value statement for your brand. But if you’re feeling intimidated, don’t be – because V Digital Services is always here to help.
We’re a full-service digital marketing team that works with a diverse range of clients, supporting them in developing their brand messaging and connecting with their target market. We have you covered whether you need a value proposition, a social media marketing plan, help with PPC ads, or a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. With years of experience and a broad range of skills and areas of expertise, our team is the one you want on your side.
For more information about how to use a value proposition statement to achieve your marketing goals, contact the V Digital Services team today!