The frenetic nature of marketing makes it very easy to forget what the overall purpose of it is – namely, to differentiate your company from the dozens (or hundreds, or thousands) of similar organizations in your industry. This is true even for markets where one company effectively owns the lion’s share of the business; for instance, many people would struggle to name a brand of ketchup beyond Heinz, and yet the condiment giant still continues to invest in outreach and branding initiatives.
Marketing is, in essence, the act of continuously demonstrating and proving your company’s value to your customer. Thus, it’s vital to ensure that your company is operating with a clear understanding of its value proposition.
A value proposition, at its core, is “a promise of value to be delivered”. It’s a statement of why your customers should buy from you and not your competition. The best value statements articulate clear, demonstrable advantages for using your company’s product or service.
The Elements of a Value Proposition
A basic value proposition includes four distinct elements:
- 3 bullet points
- Visual focus point (logo, hero shot, etc.)
The exact form and fashion of your value statement will depend on the overall goal(s) of your company. However, it’s useful to remember that a value statement is ultimately a statement of your company’s strengths, whether it’s the price, the level of service you offer, or something else. A value proposition is a direct appeal to the needs or problems of your customer, whether it’s a solution for a temporary annoyance or a long-term problem.
Your value proposition is something of a fluid asset; thus, it can be communicated in a number of formats. These can include your company’s:
- Website copy
- Calls to action
- Social media content
- Ad text
- Email copy
The most effective value propositions address the differences between you and your competition, with a specific focus on the areas where your company is strongest.
Basic Value Proposition Examples
Perhaps the purest example of a value proposition can be found in the marketing approaches of companies like Papa John’s. Their slogan – “Better Ingredients, Better Pizza” – is a direct, succinct distillation of their core value proposition – namely, that their dedication to quality ensures the best-possible product for their customer. The value proposition of Papa John’s emphasizes the quality of their food on every possible front, from their television commercials to their SERP snippet.
MailChimp is also an excellent example of the power of a value proposition. Their tagline – “Send Better Email” – uses just three words to communicate a world of benefits. MailChimp’s marketing consistently includes mentions of their service’s many different features, including list segmentation, split testing, and detailed analytical data. The simplicity and directness of the proposition ensures that their potential customers understand exactly who they are and what they do.
However, it should be said that a value proposition is much more than a slogan. If anything, a value proposition is a statement of the ultimate goal of each of your company’s products and services – but, also, a direct appeal to what your customers find valuable about your company. You may find that there’s a vast difference between what your customers find valuable about you and what you consider valuable about your company – thus, always be open to altering your company’s value proposition. After all, “the customer is always right”.
All of this is to say that a value proposition is never a concrete, immovable aspect of your company; if anything, it’s natural for it to evolve and change as your company grows. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to focus on providing additional value to your customers.