What is a Value Proposition? How to Develop Your Value Proposition

The purpose of a business is to deliver something helpful to its customers, whether that’s a product or a service. For example, a law office delivers legal solutions to clients to help them navigate their cases fairly. Similarly, a maternity wear company provides well-fitting, comfortable, and affordable clothing to moms-to-be. 

Every successful business should have a clearly defined solution to their customers’ most pressing problems. That solution is known as a value proposition, and it can be equally as important to customers as it is for a business.

What is a Value Proposition?

Sticky note with "Value Proposition" on a clipboard with papers

A value proposition is a statement that explains what customers can expect from your product or service. This statement should be concise and clear, allowing your audience to know exactly what promise you intend on delivering. Your value proposition should solve a specific need that a customer has.

5 Steps to Develop Your Value Proposition

Your value proposition should become a central part of your branding and marketing. Many businesses add some version of it to their websites and marketing materials so that the business’s purpose is clearly defined. It’s essential to perfect your value proposition from the start.

Here are the basic steps to take to do that:

  1. Identify Your Target Audience

Your audience defines your business. Without an audience with a problem that needs to be solved, you don’t have a reason to offer a product or service.

Start by identifying your target audience if you haven’t done so already. Create a customer persona, or a fictional person that best represents your target audience. It could be an adventurist who loves outdoor activities, a single parent with more than one child, or a healthcare administration executive.

Focusing on that ideal customer, jot down everything you know about who that customer is. What do they do for a living? Where do they live? What are their likes and dislikes? What kind of personality do they have?

You might dig into the social media profiles of competitors to help you nail down this person. Find out who follows your competitors and learn everything you can about them, their needs, and why your competitors’ offerings might appeal to them.

  1. Learn What Problems Need to Be Solved

With a good grasp of your target customer, you can now determine what problems you need to solve with your product or service. Use your customer persona as a guide (or take it a step further with customer modeling) to outline common issues your audience could face that your product or service can help.

For example, your event planning company could be perfect for couples who disagree on wedding plans. Your group of experienced event planners can swoop in, understand the couple’s differences, and plan a wedding that they both love.

Outline a few key problem areas to start brainstorming in the next step. 

  1. Start Brainstorming
Hand placing the word "IDEA" in a box that says "BRAIN" on a person's head

Photo by SHVETS production via Pexels

Take those problem areas and use mind maps to map your thoughts about them. For each problem area, jot down types of people, words, phrases, and other potential issues relating to that problem. Also, list out some ways that your product or service could help people with that issue.

When you’re done, you should have a lot of notes about your ideal customers, what they need from you, and what your business can do for them.

  1. Organize Your Ideas Into a Statement

Look over each problem area and the notes you jotted down. Do you see any similarities between them, such as the people your business can help? If so, these similarities should be part of your value proposition.

Start organizing your ideas into a statement. At first, your statement is probably going to be several sentences long. That’s okay — you’ll reorganize and edit later. Include in your statement what makes your business valuable and how you can prove it. 

  1. Refine, Refine, Refine

It’s time to nail down your value proposition, condensing it into just a few words that entice customers to choose your business to meet their needs. A few examples of value propositions that do their job include:

  • Uber: “Tap the app, get a ride.” This simple statement tells you everything you can expect from Uber’s service.
  • Grammarly: “Great writing, simplified.” Customers know, from this statement, that Grammarly will take their words and make them even better.
  • Namecheap: “Every step to online success.” This tagline on the website is followed by a few highlighted services that Namecheap offers people who want to get their websites up and running.

Your value proposition should be just a few words, so keep refining it until it results in that powerful, clear statement your customers are looking for. Need some inspiration? Check out our list of effective copywriting examples (and why they work).

Create a Successful Value Proposition

A value proposition is an essential piece of your business marketing, so it’s important to get it right. After refining your value proposition, make it easy for your audience to spread your message by installing social media share buttons on your blog or website. With a single click, your visitors can share your content with their favorite social media platforms, helping to boost traffic and brand recognition.

About ShareThis

ShareThis has unlocked the power of global digital behavior by synthesizing social share, interest, and intent data since 2007. Powered by consumer behavior on over three million global domains, ShareThis observes real-time actions from real people on real digital destinations.

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