What is your value proposition?

When starting your business, understanding your value proposition is key to ensuring success.

So, what do we mean when we talk about a value proposition? Well, in very simple terms it explains how your business solves your customers’ problem and why they should buy from you. It’s the main message you will want to deliver to your customers across all your marketing. Basically, you are telling your customers how you are adding ‘value’ to their lives.

Customers need to understand it

Like with anything you show your customers, it’s not much help if they don’t understand it. Many big corporate companies often end up writing a value proposition that makes no sense to any normal human. They end up being full of jargon and pretty much meaningless:

“We offer solutions to synergize revenue, maximise production within multiple workflows”

Meaningless fluff, written purely for the enjoyment (or displeasure!) of a copywriter. Writing a value proposition in this way can also make your business blend into the background, the opposite of what you are trying to achieve.

How you describe your business may be drastically different from how your customers would. They may not know your terminology, so you will need to use language that demonstrates the benefits in their terms. Think about reflecting the language of your customers and consider what words they use on a daily basis.

Remember, don’t confuse your value proposition with your slogan, you need to keep these separate as they serve two very different purposes.

Creating your value proposition

Look at your business as a whole, what are your services? Who are your partners and what differentiates you? On Elmwood LaunchPod’s accelerator, we got all our Poddees to look at these elements with a business model canvas. We enabled the team to step back and see exactly what they are doing in their business that solves customer problems that no one else is. If you are struggling to get started with your value proposition we highly recommend taking some time to complete your own model canvas.

The value proposition will usually end up being a few paragraphs long (at most) and should be one of the first things your customers will see when they land on your site. If you are able to offer supporting imagery or video with your text, it will defiantly help but don’t lean on it too much. If you follow these rules, you will have a great value proposition on your hands:

It’s got to be clear – If your customers don’t get it, then it won’t sell to its full potential.

It specifies how you differ from the competition – Showcase your unique offering.

It can be read and understood in a few seconds – Don’t offer an essay and keep it simple

It says ‘Why’ and ‘how’ – Say why you are filling the customer’s need and how you are fixing the problem.

Avoids overly emotive language – You are stating facts about your business and what your aim is, no need to dress it up.

Fundamentally, your value proposition should be based on a true insight of your consumer’s need.  It shouldn’t be some conjured up one that happens to suit your solution which is highly bias. Your value proposition needs to articulate how your solution addresses those needs and provides value to the customer.

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