Creating An Engaging Value Proposition (otherwise known as 'clearly telling people what you do').
Updated: Mar 12
If a caveman landed on your website, would he know what you do (and if he's in the right place) within 5 seconds?
Business owners tend to spend a lot of time focused on fine-tuning their products and services, but in a time when consumers have an overwhelming amount of choice, more needs to be done to connect YOU with THEM and ultimately gain their trust. Great products and services help, but really, it’s how you speak to your customers that initially captures their attention. You need to present your products and services in the right way — overtly telling your customers that you can solve their problems and meet their needs and explaining how you’re going to do that.
A value proposition does just that. It essentially bridges the gap between your offerings and your customer's needs and joins them together in the middle.
What is a value proposition?
It’s a simple statement that summarises your customer-facing USP, or in other words what you promise to deliver to your customers. It communicates the benefits of choosing your businesses over one of the competitors.
There are a few factors you need to include within your value proposition, including what you are as a business, what your offerings are, and how you differentiate yourself from competitors – but this should all be done succinctly and jargon-free!. Simplicity is key.
It should be one of the first things a customer sees when they come across your company, and it should be reflected at every touchpoint. Value Proposition statements feed into branding too, so it’s important to get this right first if you want all your marketing or advertising activities to align.
Find a unique, engaging angle, but don’t lose the human touch
A value proposition needs to be unique to your business — it should capitalise on things that make you stand out and set you apart from your competitors. It also needs to be engaging to attract and retain customer interest enough that they feel that you’re right for them and they want to know more. What can go wrong is when businesses try to overcomplicate their value proposition, and their message is lost.
Marketing jargon, long-winded business terms or complicated language might sound clever, but it alienates customers and sometimes just isn’t relevant. Customers aren’t robots, they’re real humans looking for brands that will understand their needs, so it’s important to make your communication straightforward.
Businesses getting it right
Some of the most recognisable brands out there have very strong value propositions, and that usually goes hand in hand with how popular and how well known they are to customers.
You might recognise instantly the tag line ‘just do it’ from Nike, which sells popular sports clothing and trainers. However, this ISN’T their value proposition (remember – it’s a promise to your customers). Nike’s Value Proposition is ‘to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world’, which encompasses everything the brand stands for, what they do and for who. Nike’s clothing and trainers are known for eclectic designs that can be seen on some of the world’s top athletes, and so their value proposition is spot on.
It can help to look at some of the world’s leading businesses for value proposition inspiration, but ultimately, it comes down to looking inwardly at your business purpose.
The purpose of a value proposition for human emotions
Value propositions help with business differentiation and creating a clear message about what you can offer, but what about long-term relationship building with customers?
As we know, it’s more important than ever to build trust with customers, especially now they have such a broad range of choice. E-commerce skyrocketed during the pandemic; brands moved online to reach customers but needed a way to emulate the human-to-human connection from physical stores.
To attract customers, keep their interest and encourage them to purchase from you, there needs to be a clear and compelling reason why they should pick your business and subsequently come back for your products and services time after time.
Learning to present the value of your company and products in a clear & concise way is one of the most highly-valued, wide-reaching marketing activities.
How to test if it’s working
Once you’ve created a value proposition, or you’re in the process of deciding between options, there are a couple of ways to test their success.
The first way is pay-per-click advertising using Google ads, Facebook ads, or Instagram ads. They allow you to run ads shown to their customers, and you only pay for the clicks you receive. By split testing ads with different value propositions that target the same customers, you can see how well each one performed. The ad with a higher click-through rate has captured the attention of a customer better.
You can also pitch your value proposition directly to potential customers. This is a great way to test the clarity of your message, as you can see their reaction and even ask what feedback they have for you.
Staying ahead of the curve
Just like you would with your marketing strategy, you need to keep your value proposition up to date. As your company and your industry evolve and grow you need to refine it to make sure it reflects your business and matches what your customers are looking for.
You should regularly evaluate how well your value proposition is performing and update it when and if it is necessary. What works one quarter, might not work as well the next. With so much change occurring because of recent events, it’s best to stay on your toes and ask yourself frequently, am I communicating my business offering as well as I possibly can? (Remember the caveman!)
If your business needs a Value Proposition, a marketing strategy, content strategy, or brand help - contact Sally on 07970 483 026 or email firstname.lastname@example.org