In today's competitive business landscape, having a strong value proposition is crucial for sustainability, attracting and retaining customers.
A value proposition is a concise statement that communicates the unique benefits and value that customers will receive from your products or services.
In this blog post, we will explore the importance of crafting effective value propositions and provide practical tips on how to create a compelling value proposition that resonates with your target customers.
Examples of what a Value Proposition looks like
What is a Value Proposition? Some famous value propositions include Apple’s “Think Different” and AirBnB’s “Belong Anywhere”.
Though neither of these phrases contain specifics of the services offered by the brands, they represent key value that consumers can expect from these brands.
This phrase represents the differentiator between Apple and any other smartphone brand and, hence, the reason why customers choose Apple in their millions.
So where do you start when crafting a value proposition that will resonate with your target audience?
It's Crucial To Understand Your Customer Segment
Before diving into creating a value proposition, it is essential to understand your customer segment - your ideal customers.
Identifying your target customers and their specific needs, preferences, and pain points is absolutely key to developing a value proposition that speaks directly to them, and is the foundation for sustainability and success with your business model.
Conducting market research, analysing customer data, and creating customer profiles can help you gain valuable insights into your target audience.
Whether you are targeting a mass audience – for example, everyone who wears T-shirts – or an extremely niche audience – a small group of investors perhaps – the most important thing is to put yourself in their shoes.
First Step On Your Value Proposition Canvas
Understanding what they truly want from your organisation helps you to deliver that. This is why the first step on the Value Proposition canvas is to list all the jobs that your target customer wants to do, including social and emotional jobs along with the functional jobs.
An easy way to begin this process is to complete an empathy map on your audience – think about their pain points, their emotions, their thoughts, the kinds of things they are hearing and seeing, even their demographics and their name.
As well as this, speak to them or future prospects about the things they are looking for and what is important to them. You can’t always guess!
Another idea is to do a competitor analysis. How do your competitors engage with and relate to their stakeholders? Are there any gaps in their value propositions that you can fill?
How to write an effective value proposition
Creating a value proposition that 'really' resonates with your customers requires creating a delicate balance between both emotional and rational appeal.
This is what makes a value proposition stand out.
Thinking about Apple’s value proposition again, “Think Different” not only promises products that stand out but it also promises the social and emotional benefit of feeling, and being seen as, unique and discerning.
It is important to think about what you can offer your audience other than just the transactional and rational aspects as it is this combination that makes your value proposition irresistible.
Toolkit: The Value Proposition Canvas
The value proposition canvas prompts you to think of the pains and gains your audience experiences, which of those can you use to prompt them to turn to you rather than your competitors?
This canvas allows you to map out the key elements of your value proposition, including the customer profile, the customer's jobs to be done, their pains, and the gains they seek. By visualising these elements, you can identify opportunities to address customer needs and create a value proposition that resonates with them.
[DOWNLOAD OUR FREE VALUE PROPOSITION CANVAS PACK WITH EXAMPLES] Includes FREE Blank Value Proposition Canvas Template PDF to print, and 5 Examples.
When using the Value Proposition Canvas Toolkit, keep the following tips in mind:
Focus on the Customer: Your value proposition should clearly communicate the benefits and value that your customers will receive. Highlight how your product or service solves their problems or fulfills their desires.
Be Clear and Concise: Your value proposition should be easy to understand and communicate. Avoid using jargon or technical language that may confuse your audience. Use simple, straightforward language that resonates with your target customers.
Highlight the Competitive Advantage: Identify and emphasize your unique selling points and competitive advantage. What sets your product or service apart from others in the market? Highlight these differentiators in your value proposition to attract customers.
Address Pain Points: Understand the pain points of your target customers and address them directly in your value proposition. Show how your product or service alleviates their challenges and makes their lives easier.
Offer a Great Value Proposition: A great value proposition not only solves customer problems but also offers additional benefits or advantages. Consider what extra value you can provide to make your offering even more appealing to customers.
A Value Proposition Canvas for Each
Yohlar recommends completing a value proposition canvas for each of your major target segments, but you could even break it down further.
For example, a care home might want to do a value proposition for their residents, residents’ families, staff, and local NHS contacts. But they could also break down the residents category into those requiring high levels of care and those who are more independent. Doing so would allow them to tailor their messaging to appeal to a wider range of people, articulating different value propositions depending on who they are communicating with.
Value Proposition Test and Feedback
Once you have identified your value proposition (or propositions), the next step is to test them and collect feedback.
You could just launch them, it would be fairly easy to see if a marketing campaign based on your new value proposition was working or not. However, this can end up being costly in money, time and reputation if you get it wrong. Speaking to your target market and asking focus groups to give feedback on your value proposition is a good way to get some initial feedback before launching fully.
This is similar to what some movie companies do by showing a test screening of their upcoming release and getting feedback from the audience before releasing it more broadly.
(One of the results of a test screening was the addition of the discovery of the severed head in Jaws to add another jump scare for the audience.)
Your value proposition should be just as carefully reviewed as a film – for many brands their value proposition is the thing that people remember them by. (Think ‘Every Little Helps’ - Tesco; ‘By Your Side’ – Lloyds Bank).
Crafting a compelling value proposition is like creating a bridge that connects your organisation's essence to the desires of your target market.
Often, it is the first thing that they will think about when considering your brand and the key that will make them choose your product or service over that of your competitors, so it is extremely important to think carefully about it.
Go Beyond Your Value Proposition
Yohlar’s 'Rapid Discovery Workshops' help you examine your target market and value proposition in detail, encouraging you to think about your offering from a new perspective and inviting you to craft a value proposition that truly resonates with your audience.
Our innovation team go further than just your Value Proposition or Business Model Canvas with our 'Power of Three' methodology and most importantly, our Yohlar Mindset.
Want to know how to get your Value Proposition just right and Yohlar’s 'Power of Three' ? It might be worth speaking to our innovation team, or attending an event or workshop with us. We would also love to speak with you.