Value proposition is the #1 reason your target audience tries or buys your offering. It is the chief trigger for the prospects to think of your offering when they talk or hear about the product/service category. But value proposition isn’t the same as the unique selling proposition (USP). While USP makes you stand out because of your unique product feature or marketing strategy, the value proposition is a clear statement of tangible results a customer gets from consuming or experiencing your offering.
What Is A Value Proposition?
A value proposition is the promise of tangible benefits which a customer will receive from consuming or experiencing the offering.
It is a clear statement which –
- explains the product benefits
- explains how the offering solves customers’ problems, and
- differentiates the offering from the competition on the context of actual benefit.
Characteristics Of A Value Proposition
Roots In The Business Model
A value proposition is built on the foundation of a great business model; that is to say, the promise is crafted based on the offering itself. No false promises, no assumptions, just one line which explains the actual benefit.
Focus On The Benefit
It focuses on the benefit rather than the ingredients. Take as a painkiller which bills itself as a drug which helps you get rid of a headache in less than a minute rather than telling you what all chemicals it is made up of.
Crafted Considering The The Target Market
It is crafted based on what the customer desires and expects from the offering. It showcases the offering in the exact way as the customer it wants to be.
Uniqueness is a very important characteristic of a value proposition. Value proposition needs to be unique for every company. It should be something which makes the customers remember about your offering whenever he hears about the product category.
Value Proposition Examples
Suppose you run a company which sells cereals which are rich in every nutrient and not just in iron. Now, a value proposition for your cereal could be:
- Wholesome goodness for the whole family. (focusing on the target audience)
- All the nutrients you need for breakfast. (focusing on ‘all the nutrients’ and separating itself from the competition)
- Something healthy for every taste bud in the family. (if the cereal tastes good too)
Here are some real-life examples of the value proposition to help you understand the topic better
Freshbooks is an accounting software designed especially for small businesses. The software comes with a simple to use interface, an ability to automate invoicing, organising expenses, managing projects and payments and tracking time. All these features make billing effortless, hence the value proposition: Small Business Accounting Software That Makes Billing Painless
DuckDuckGo is a search engine which doesn’t collect your data to target advertisements. Hence, its value proposition is as simple as it gets: The search engine that doesn’t track you.
Evernote lets you organise your ideas and notes. It provides you with cloud features to save, access, and search through your memos on any device, hence the value proposition: Feel organized without the effort
How To Write A Value Proposition
Writing a great value proposition isn’t an uphill struggle. You need to be sure what the benefit the product provides to the customers (customer feedbacks in the alpha and beta stage might help) and explain it in one sentence.
- Identify all the benefits your product has to offer
- Identify your customers’ main problem that’s been unaddressed by the competitors
- Connect your benefit to the customers’ main problem
- Showcase yourself as the preferred provider of this value
Value Proposition Templates
Sometimes even the brightest minds can get a creative block. Here are few value proposition templates to help you craft your own value proposition
For (target customer) – For entrepreneurs
For those who (statement of the need or opportunity) – For those who struggle to choose the right roommate
(verb) (adjective) (benefit) – Feel organized without any effort
(proven industry example) for (operating industry) – Tinder for roommates
We help (target customer) (do the task) – We help startups find the right employees
We help (target customer) (do the task) by (benefit) – We help startups find the right employees by sending them pre-screened applications
(What) (When/Where/How) – Delicious Food in less than 30 minutes
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A startup consultant, a dreamer, a traveller, and a philomath. Aashish has worked with over a 100 startups and successfully helped them ideate, raise money, and succeed. When not working, he can be found hiking, camping, and stargazing.