A value proposition is a statement that summarises the customer segments you are targeting, and how you are differentiated from your competitors. It should answer the question: “Why should I choose to buy this product or service, and why now?”. It’s a key element of developing a great marketing strategy. In this article, I’ll give you a template you can use in crafting your own value proposition.
A value proposition is also called a positioning statement. Accurately positioning your product in the mind of a prospective buyer is one of the most important apects of marketing your offering. Importantly, your value proposition needs to show not only why your product or service should be chosen, but why inaction by the buyer is to be avoided.
While it’s possible to use such a statement verbatim in your marketing communication, it’s more usually used within a company to achieve consensus on what the value proposition is, and then that proposition can be expressed in a variety of visual and textual ways.
Value Proposition Template
Here is a template that can be used to build a two-sentence value proposition. Try filling in the blanks in the template for your own product or service.
A Light-Hearted Example
Although this is tongue-in-cheek, it demonstrates how the template can be used.
For a commuter who wants to eat breakfast on the train without mess, our Excello BrekkieBar product is a health food, which provides a completely nutritious and delicious breakfast that you can eat anywhere.
Unlike grain bars and breakfast cereals, BrekkieBar tastes like a full English cooked breakfast, but has no fat and no calories, and even the wrapper can be eaten, leaving no waste.
This is because of our unique combination of innovative use of genetically modified foods and bio-engineered plastic packaging, that we have already used to produce a leading product in this market – Excello BrandyMints – the all-in-one after-dinner treat.
The “So What?” Test
Try your value proposition out on colleagues, employees – and most importantly, existing and potential customers. If the response to your value proposition from a prospective buyer is “So What?”, you know that it’s not strong enough. Did it describe tangible or measurable benefits that are truly of concern to that consumer or business person?
To produce a concise, convincing value proposition is not a trivial exercise. When I do that with my clients, it’s based on analysis of their company, its products and services, their competitors, and the market they’re operating in. You’ll need to think deeply in order to produce something that’s compelling.
What’s your experience of developing a value proposition? Let me know in the comments.
UPDATE, 14 January 2014: You might find this article helpful too:
More Gain Than Pain: A Really Simple Definition of ‘Value Proposition’