What’s a Value Proposition? And 4 Ways to Strengthen Yours

“Value proposition” may sound complicated, but it is actually quite simple: it’s the benefit – or value – that your customers will get, or believe they will get, from your product or service. An example of a good value prop is that of Dollar Shave Club: “A great shave for a few bucks a month.” That’s what they promise to their prospective customers, and that’s what they deliver.

It’s crucial that you lock down your value prop before you launch your startup. It provides you with a consistent message around which to focus your marketing efforts, adds credibility to your offering, and should eventually result in sales. Here are four considerations to help you craft an effective value proposition.

Current benefits

Start by identifying the clear benefit that your prospective customers may be looking for and that your product or service provides. Try to use the term “benefits” as opposed to “services” (although both seem to be popular). Examples might be “Easy to use accounting” or “Reliable financials.”

The customer’s problem or “pain point”

Second, focus less on your company and more on your customers. Think about what problem or “pain point” customers have that your product or service can solve, then use language that reminds them that you exist to help them resolve that issue.

What sets you apart from the competition

Next, concentrate on what makes your company unique – your “fingerprint” or “special sauce” that the customers can connect to. Maybe it’s a specific feature of your product or service, or how you do things, or your mission – for example, if you solve the customer’s problem in an environmentally responsible way that the competition doesn’t, make that a centerpiece of your value prop.

Positivity and clarity

Finally, stay positive. A value prop is too short to veer into negativity, and it may work against you. And be clear. Though it’s not a slogan, it’s important to be concise and use accessible words. Your prospective customers will read this for a second or two, if you’re lucky, so make that time count.

A value proposition can appear to be a combination of a slogan and a mission statement, if properly crafted. You’re giving prospective customers a quick, hopefully effective pitch that will convince them to purchase your product or service. Try writing a few value propositions for your business idea and test them with potential customers to see how they do. If you need assistance, reach out to learn more.