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“If you can’t write your message in a sentence, you can’t say it in an hour”

Diana Booher

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“A single test on this client’s unique value proposition increased overall conversion rate by 33.8 percent.”

Bryan Eisenberg, ClickZ

Decoding Modern Marketing

6. VALUE PROPOSITION

A brand’s value proposition is the heart of it’s promise. If the product and what it can do isn’t relevant to your target audience, your purpose, mission and values will not be either.

In the recent past brands could get away with inferior offerings because consumers had imperfect information and access. But the digital age has let consumers shine a light on every aspect of every product. The result is there is no where for brands to hide anymore. If your product or service is not excellent and at minimum on par with your competition, the truth will quickly come out. Job one for any company is, therefore, to ensure that your offering is at minimum competitive.

DIGITAL HAS LET CONSUMERS SHINE A LIGHT ON EVERY ASPECT OF EVERY PRODUCT.

The value proposition is the distillation of the benefits and value that a company promises to deliver to customers with a product or service. It answers the questions “What’s in it for me?” and “Why should I buy this from you?” It is not a description of your business model, it’s a clear, easy to understand, short statement. If you have to do a lot of reading, or if you don’t get it immediately, it’s not working. Seeing or hearing a value proposition you should instantly know what it is, who it’s for and why it’s valuable.

Unlike your mission, purpose or values, your value proposition can change. It’s not a tag-line or slogan, like Nike’s “Just Do It,” because it defines the promise of your product very specifically.

SIMPLE, CLEAR VALUE PROPOSITIONS:

CakeHealth:

“The best free way to manage healthcare. CakeHealth brings all your healthcare plans together online so you can easily track your healthcare spending without the paperwork.”

Microsoft Office 365:

“Office 365 for your business. Get virtually anywhere access to the Microsoft Office tools you know and rely on, plus easy-to-administer business class IT services.”

GEICO:

“15 minutes or less can save you 15% or more on car insurance.”

Some might argue that this value proposition for GEICO is actually a slogan, which it is, but what is so artfully does, is encapsulate the essence of their value proposition into a single, short punchy sentence.

Most people research 3-5 options before making a product choice. This is the moment when your value proposition needs to clearly set you apart. It should be used whenever and wherever consumers are in the buying process. Value propositions are product specific and as quantifiable as you can make them while still being relevant and easy to consume. Clearly the more targeted the value proposition is to the needs and reality of the target consumer, the better. This means that you may have variations on your value proposition for different target audiences or different contexts. This can become an organizational challenge, but the more individually relevant it is, the more compelling it will be.

YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION SHOULD BE:

Relevant – how it solves your problem or improves your life

Quantifiable – how it delivers specific benefits

Unique – why you should buy it vs. something else

Value propositions are very important and it is smart to test them first to ensure you are resonating with your target audience. This can be as simple as A/B testing on your website, which is where you test and compare two different versions, or even run a couple of Google AdWords campaigns to see which one delivers more clicks.