Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Deconstructing the Value Proposition

One of the most important pieces in brand development is the formation of the value proposition. In the simplest of terms, a value proposition is the promise of value to be delivered. It describes how the brand, its products and services add value to the customer – the tangible and intangible customer benefit.
Essentially, your value proposition should be successful in explaining how your products/services solve problems or improve situations, what benefits the customer will receive, as well as why the customer should choose you over the competition. Without a value proposition, your brand will lack focus and confuse customers. This confusion will lead to reduced trust in your brand and, eventually, a loss in customers and sales. When it comes to your brand, the last thing you want is a lack of trust and confusion. 

In order to fully understand the importance of the value proposition, we're going to deconstruct its pieces and explain the importance of each element. As long as you've completed some extensive research during your initial brand development, establishing a value proposition can be a somewhat straightforward process. To craft the value proposition, you want to focus on four main elements: benefits, target customers, differentiation, and measurable proof.
  1. Identify Customer Benefits. Make a list of ALL benefits your brand, products, and/or services provide, explaining what you can do for the customer. It is all about the customer, and what's in it for them. Traditionally, value propositions tend to emphasize one of 4 basic benefits: lowest prices, uniquely better products/services, making things easier, and ownership of customer results.
  2. Define Your Customer. Who, exactly, does your brand, its products, and/or services cater to? Clearly define your target customer.
  3. Differentiate from the Competition. Clearly identify the strengths of your brand. What makes you different and better than your competitors?
  4. Provide Measurable Proof. Provide an explanation and proof of how and why your brand, products and/or services are the best solution that can deliver better results over the competition.
Brands aren’t always built on a single value proposition. The more value that your brand brings to its customers, the stronger your brand and the more unique it will be, as long as these additional values support the main benefit.

Identifying your value proposition and additional values is integral in supporting your brand and its story. In order to build your brand further, you need to share these brand messages with your customer through marketing. When applying your value proposition to marketing pieces, for example, a website or landing page, follow this formula for maximum impact and higher conversion rates:
  1. Headline. This should describe the end benefit – the most important benefit – that you are offering to the customer.
  2. Sub-header or Short Paragraph. This provides a detailed explanation of the products/services offered, who you offer them to and why.
  3. Bullet Points (optional). This information lists additional value/benefits/features.
  4. Call-to-Action. Prompt the customer to take action.
  5. Visual Element. Follow up with a visual element – an image or video – that enhances your message and supports the value/benefits/features.
Need a visual? Here are 10 value proposition samples found on some popular websites.