What’s your value proposition?
It’s the most important part of your website. So do you have one, and what is it?
What is a Value Proposition and Why You Should Care?
Operating a business in the modern world is full of challenges and opportunities. It’s not enough to make great products and services, you need to focus on creating value and communicating that value to the people who matter. That is where a strong Value Proposition (VP) comes into play.
Your value proposition is your elevator pitch. You have, at the most, 5 seconds to describe what you do, how you solve a problem or provide an opportunity, and how you provide more value than your competitor. Telling them about the features your products or services have, is unlikely to stand you out from the competition.
What will stand out, is how the customer is better off with your product or service.
Value proposition examples
Apple is perhaps one of the most used examples of a company that uses a strong value proposition to stand out from the competition without focusing on features or being price competitive. In fact, Apple used price (and still do) to cement its value proposition.
The Apple value proposition is that everything works safely and seamlessly, and this attracts a premium worth paying for. Whether you buy into it or not, you have to admire the following they have built. Loyal customers lining up overnight to get their hands on the latest phone. To be the first in their circles. To be a leader. To be a trendsetter. To have the latest. To have the best. To be the best.
And ultimately, that is the string on which Apple pulls, brilliantly illustrated through their current iMac Pro “Power to the Pro. Pros love iMac”
Take a look at your favourite provider’s and you are likely to now see their Value Propositions in a different light.
Active Campaign’s “Turn leads into customers into repeat customers” articulates what their customers want, without any of the jargon to cloud the message. They make it easy to say yes to their offering with the promise of a solution.
Digit’s “Save money, without thinking about it” plays on the emotional burden of financial stress, and by automating the process of looking after the pennies to make the bucks.
Creating your value proposition
A value proposition articulates the value that you, and only you, can offer to your clients or customers.
Start at the company level, looks at your products or services and select the strongest, the one which creates the most value for your business or the one that has the highest potential, and build a Value Proposition around this. Make this the first message visitors to your website see and retain. Once they are hooked on this, offer different VPs for different offerings if it’s appropriate.
Let’s take the Apple example to illustrate this, it’s an oldie, but a goodie. Take a look at the first iPod Ad
The solution is clear, your music comes with you. You are happy. You didn’t even know you had a problem. But now, it’s easy. You want to be that happy. You want an iPod.
To get back to your own value proposition, use a “benefits ladder”
Consumer benefits ladder
- Dig out your customer targets and identification. Even if you don’t have this explicitly spelled out, you will have come up with this through your product creation/selection. How are your customers and what problem do they have? How are they currently attempting to solve these problems?
- Start with your product and identify its features. For a music library device, it might store 1,000 songs, be lightweight and have a big screen.
- Now step it up, to what functional benefits these features have. In our example, we have a variety of music, so you don’t run out, easy to carry without the need to think about it, and it’s easy to use on the go with a screen large enough to see everything.
- We can now move on to the emotional benefit for the customer. This is where we tug at the heartstrings. It’s cool. It’s the best. It’s a reflection of who you want to be.
The functional benefit is generally how you set yourself apart from the competition. It may be the buying experience or the follow-up support that differentiates your company from the rest.
The emotional benefit, if you can uncover it, will turn the table around, and make your customer ask you for your product or service, rather than having to sell them. People buy benefits, not features.
So, what value does your company provide for your customers?
Is it more time with their family, a healthier lifestyle, or less time worrying about what-may-be?
Put yourself in their shoes. What does your product do, really do, for them?
So you’ve nailed your Value Proposition, now it’s time to showcase it on your homepage, and the other major entry points to your website.
Check out our blog post on how to create a great website homepage. Your website homepage is where the vast majority of visitors will land when they first reach the website, and the website design, content, and structure can dramatically influence what they do once they arrive.