Value proposition: What benefit does your product offer?
What makes your product or brand special? Why shouldn’t your customers go to the competition? Those who have a compelling answer to these questions ready and communicate it skillfully to the outside world have laid the foundation for a convincing value proposition. With a pithy value proposition, you make your target group understand why and how your services and products above all others are beneficial for them. This insight may not sound spectacular at first – but in fact the development, formulation and communication of a good value proposition is extremely challenging. Many companies therefore make do with hackneyed slogans or messages that do not convey the product’s actual added value.
What makes a good value proposition?
A value proposition is more than just an advertising slogan. It doesn’t necessarily have to refer to specific product properties. It is about showing on a global level how your product, brand or services enrich the lives of your target group. Therefore, you should assign the value proposition a central position on your website, for example in the header or on the front page, and communicate it on all other channels as well.
The value proposition should be formulated and placed in such a way that it is understood as an overarching core message. With a value proposition that makes immediate sense to your target group, you can increase your conversions and, in the long run, ensure greater brand awareness, high recognition for your marketing strategies and a stronger brand relationship.
A convincing value proposition should always have the following properties: it should
- be absolutely clear, unambiguous and understandable,
- meet the tonality of your target group,
- be formulated concisely and memorably,
- be authentic and
- be unique.
How do you develop an on-target value proposition?
Formulating a value proposition is by no means about praising the positive aspects of your brand or product to the skies with scores of superlatives. Instead, taking a customer-centric approach, you should ask which of your target group’s problems is solved by your product, from the customer’s perspective. To develop a convincing value proposition, you should therefore ask yourself the following questions:
- Which product or service do you offer?
- Why is your product attractive for your customers? Which of your target group’s problems is solved by your product or service? To what extent is your customer’s situation improved?
- What is your product or brand’s unique selling point?
Ideally, you will succeed in putting your value proposition into a single, concise sentence. It should definitely be no longer than two or three sentences. Depending on the product, unique selling point, etc., it may be a good idea in some cases to add a more detailed description of the special features of your portfolio to the pithy value proposition. The development of a good value proposition not only calls for a precise analysis of your service spectrum and the added value for your target group, but also requires a great deal of creativity. It is a good idea to formulate many different versions and thus approach the core of your message step by step. Experience shows that a joint brainstorming session produces the best results.
Examples of memorable value propositions
The more succinct and precise the value proposition is, the more tangible and memorable it is for your target group. These best cases show that there is no need for excessive paraphrasing, but that brevity is key:
The e-mail marketing service needs only three words to get to the point of its value proposition: “Send Better Email”. The succinct sentence not only expresses the services offered by MailChimp in a concentrated way, but also communicates from the customer’s point of view.
The eBay subsidiary Kijiji, known in Germany as “eBay Kleinanzeigen”, also needs just a few words to express its value proposition: “Kostenlos. Einfach. Lokal.” (Free. Simple. Local.) (eBay Kleinanzeigen), or “Buy, Sell and Save on Local Deals” (Kijiji), makes the benefits of the regional classifieds portal unmistakably clear to the target group.
The goal of Slack is to bring teams together and improve communication within working groups. The value proposition of the instant messaging service proves that this approach can be put in a nutshell, briefly and simply: “Where work happens”.