How To Write A Compelling Value Proposition

Updated: Nov 16

Every business should have a clearly-defined value proposition. This statement can help you to convey your company's specific benefits to your target audience, and it is used to differentiate your business from the competition. A great value proposition can help you attract more customers, but an unclear or poorly-written statement will do the opposite.

This article will show you how to create a value proposition for your startup.

1. Choosing an Angle for Your Value Proposition

The first step in writing a compelling value proposition is choosing the angle you want to approach it from. You can describe what your business offers, or highlight what makes your product different from your competitors. For example, you might position yourself as the "low-cost leader" by offering the best deal on the market, or you might focus on using cutting-edge technology to produce a better product. You can also appeal to customers' emotions by highlighting the positive change your product brings to people's lives.

Your value proposition should answer this question: "Why are you different from every other company out there?"

2. Target Your Market

You might have several different groups of people in mind when you develop your value proposition, but you should know which one is the most important to focus on. For example, if you are pitching to investors, convincing them that your technology will appeal to a wide variety of consumers might be more helpful than pointing out how it can help businesses.

Once you have decided on a group, focus on that one and avoid straying into other demographics unless you feel confident that your product or service will appeal to them too. You can add in extra value propositions for different customer types later once your campaign is underway.

3. Bring Your Value Proposition to Life with Benefits

Every value proposition should include benefits. These are the features that make your product stand out from your competitors', and they help customers to understand the positive impact that will result from using it. Some of these benefits can be tangible, like increased productivity or giving users more control over their business data, while others might be less concrete but still effective in motivating customers, such as increased autonomy or making users feel more equipped to take on challenges.

Your value proposition's benefits should be compelling and unique enough that customers will wonder how they managed without your product before now.

4. Quantify Your Benefits with Numbers

You can make a benefit even more effective by quantifying it into a number that customers can understand. This is especially effective if your product will save them money, but it can work for any benefit that you want to highlight. For example, "Our system ensures that employees are able to complete their jobs in half the time they would normally take" is more compelling than "Our system helps employees finish faster."

Quantifying benefits is also helpful if you need to show proof of your claims. For example, if you say that "We can increase productivity by 50%," it will be easier for a customer to believe that if you provide them with the research that proves it.

5. Add Value With Tangible Benefits

In some cases, especially when selling products rather than services, adding value can mean focusing on tangible benefits like saving customers time or making their lives easier. For example, "Now you never have to spend hours trying to remember where your important documents are again!"

It's also helpful to think of how customer's lives will be better if they use your product rather than your competitor's. Many businesses try to come up with benefits that make their products sound more advanced, but it can be just as effective to highlight the positive change you will bring to people's lives.

6. Add Value With Emotive Language

Every value proposition should be persuasive, but adding some emotive language can help to engage customers on an emotional level. For example, "Our product will transform the way you work" is more compelling than "Our product offers benefits that you'll love."

However, care should be taken when using emotive language because it can also alienate potential customers who take issue with your language. For example, "Our product will make you feel more equipped to take on any challenge" might be a turn-off for people who disagree with this sentiment or who don't want to be convinced of anything by an emotional appeal.

7. Use Active Voice Whenever Possible

It's easy to fall into the common trap of using passive language to make your value proposition sound more professional. However, using active voice will make you more likely to connect with customers and convince them that your product is right for them.

For example, "Processes are streamlined for employees" does not hold the same impact as "Employees save time on processes." This is true across all types of language: if you want to add impact, use active voice whenever possible.

8. Examine Other Value Propositions

Whether you're looking for inspiration or just trying to see how other value propositions compare, it can be helpful to examine others' work in the same field as your own.

For example, if you're selling a plug-in for email, you might find it helpful to look at other products that offer similar benefits. This will give you an idea of what has worked well in the past and help you avoid common mistakes, but always double-check your research before using anything substantial in your own value proposition.

9. Finish With a Call-to-Action

Once you have laid out all of your key points, your value proposition should end with a clear call-to-action that tells customers what to do next. This might be as simple as encouraging them to visit your website for more information or inviting them to contact you directly if they want to try your product.

It's also helpful to have a call to action at the beginning of your proposition. For example, "No matter which industry you are in, our product can help you improve productivity" makes it clear to customers that this is what they should be taking away from the proposition.

Wrapping it up

A compelling value proposition can mean the difference between a customer who is interested in your product and one who isn't. The most effective way to craft a strong value proposition is to focus on your customer and what they want from you. If you can pinpoint exactly what it is that will make them choose you over your competition, then the rest of your marketing strategy should be relatively easy to implement.

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