Digital is a crowded room full of noise. It’s 2018 and your prospects are mingling. You want to join in the conversation — but how to introduce yourself and what to say?
A technology reseller sidles up to chat about software and solutions. Everyone nods, smiles, pops olives like Tic Tacs, fiddles with their empties, but nobody’s listening. His competitors have been touting the same pitch all evening.
Outside, a group forms around a stylish multinational enterprise. He talks a good talk but the conversation dries. His proposition is outdated. No one can see the value in what he says he does.
Near the bar, an SME excitedly relates the story around her rapid growth. She’s engaging, magnetic, so passionate her bubbly’s almost flat (the waiter’s hovering), but there’s a disconnect between what she says she does and the markets into which she’s expanding.
In this scenario, all these businesses find themselves faced with one of two key challenges: they don’t know how to define their value or they don’t know how to communicate it in a way that is aligned with their target buyers. It’s a problem they didn’t even realise they had, and it’s ubiquitous in this day and age when the pressure is on to deliver activity rapidly, compliantly, and at scale.
What is a value proposition?
As its name suggests, a value proposition is a statement or paragraph that communicates the value your business delivers to its target buyers. This doesn't just mean what your products or services are, but how you deliver them, and how they benefit the customer.
In our buyer-focused age, convincing your prospects of your value has never been more relevant.
According to HubSpot, 69% of B2B firms have established value propositions — but that doesn't mean they're optimised to work as well as they could and it doesn't account for the 31% of businesses operating without one.
To navigate this challenge, today’s sales and marketing heads should work with the C-suite to identify (or re-evaluate) their unique value proposition, broader positioning statements, and top-level power statements. Once established, this messaging framework can be threaded throughout the organisation, from the tone of voice guidelines used in your editorial to the conversations your salespeople are having.
Defining your brand's value proposition
Let's rewind to that dinner party. (Top up?)
Your value proposition is much more than a messaging framework. It also directly influences your ability to generate leads that close. By articulating why someone would buy from you over a competitor, your value proposition becomes a key conversion factor. You're not just attracting people from across the room. They want to talk to you.
By contrast, an inability to communicate your business' value and why your customers should buy from you could be seriously limiting your business' growth.
To help you create or redraft a useful value proposition, here are five essential elements that you can work from.
How to write a value proposition your customers will love
Be succinct. Value propositions should be impactful. Ask yourself: why use two words when you can use one?
Be meaningful. The proposition needs to resonate with your target audience, so make sure it's accessible to them. Ask yourself: if you were in your buyer persona's shoes, would you understand the language, terminology, and benefits referenced?
Be human. An informal tone is your friend. Ask yourself: does the value proposition sound conversational?
Be benefits-led. Remember: most customers don't care about your brand. All they want to know is how you can help them. Whenever you find yourself writing about your products or your services, ask yourself: what does this mean to my target buyer?
Be emotional. While there's no need to make your reader cry, you should aim to elicit an emotional response of some kind from them. Most people buy based on emotion, then use thought to either rationalise or discredit that decision. Ask yourself: does the value proposition feature emotive language?
The digital scene is in full swing. Before marching inside and loudly announcing yourself, stop to rethink the value you are promising and whether or not this will resonate with your target prospects.Better yet, invite your customers to the table with a unique value proposition statement and start the conversations your business needs to grow. Cheers!