Why should I buy your product or service? This is the fundamental question every business needs to answer, and that answer is the value proposition.
Simply put, a value proposition describes the tangible benefits a customer gets from using your product or service. It should deliver a strong first impression and make a clear case for buying from you over your competitors.
Some people confuse another term – unique selling proposition (USP) – with value proposition, but the USP simply describes what makes your product or service different from your competition. USPs are good in marketing materials, or in talking to customers who are ready to buy. But it won’t usually do the trick of convincing buyers who are satisfied with their situation or who are frustrated but still aren’t ready to change. That’s where a thoughtful value proposition comes in.
When done right, a value proposition will describe:
- How your product or service solves problems/improves daily life
- What benefits customers can expect
- Why customers should buy from you over your competitors
In crafting your value proposition, brevity matters. The best value propositions are succinct, memorable and motivating, using as few words as possible. Not to be confused with a tagline, nonetheless it should be short and sweet, and contain three main elements: the customer, the problem the product/service is solving, and the solution it is providing. One way of conceptualizing a value proposition is by filling in the blanks of this statement: We help [X] to [Y] by [Z]. For Spotify, this might be: “We help music lovers stream their favourite tunes by providing an online library of millions of songs.” For Evernote, it might be: ‘We help you keep all of your notes in one central place with one simple app.”
Here are a few outstanding taglines that deliver against a value proposition.
Shopify: Everything you need to sell everywhere.
Value proposition: An e-tailing platform that helps businesses of all sizes sell online easily.
Lyft: Rides in Minutes.
Value proposition: Lyft is a local, on-demand car service that responds immediately.
Evernote: Remember Everything.
Value proposition: The organizing app that busy people use to consolidate all their notes in one place.
And here are a couple of taglines that Clever Samurai developed based on client value propositions:
Enersource: More than energy.
Value proposition: To provide a service experience for our customers that enhances their lives through the smart use of electricity.
Icynene-Lapolla: Expect more with us.
Value proposition: Icynene-Lapolla provides an unmatched customer experience through easier, faster building product applications that perform better.