Value Propositions: Writing with Power

Chris Hawkins's picture

The formula for Value Proposition Development is simple: Write for your product/service: We Do This. Why then can it be so difficult for business owners to write these statements effectively?

One thing that many people are missing is information about their target audience. They substitute this valuable marketing knowledge with self promotion, talking about themselves and what they do, instead of connecting directly to the needs of their customers. 

Writing in this way misses great opportunities for creating connections with customers who need your products and services.

At Authentic, we write powerful, clear, bold Value Propositions that connect you with your target audience. We provide homework to your staff to determine what you believe about your target markets. We then sort that data into what is truly known (information you have gathered by direct contact with your customers within that market) and what is an assumption. There is nothing wrong with making assumptions in your marketing, but it does matter that they are, in fact, assumptions. Knowing the difference lets us know what statements are well aimed at your audience and which are experiments that can later be adjusted. In this process, you also further your marketing knowledge and move closer to true connection with your customers.

Value Proposition Development: Use a Structured Process:

Whether you work with a digital marketing firm or create your own statements, following a structured process will be to your advantage. That process can be simple and include very few steps, but the structure will help the finished product be useful to your business and to your customers. In this arrangement, your business gains customers, and your customers gain understanding of what your products/services can do for them, leaving them an opportunity for an educated choice. Today's customers have, and expect, extensive purchasing options through the internet, and the more you can use your marketing in a transparent, accurate way, the better chance you'll have of matching customers needs to your products/services.

Value Propositions in 6 Easy Steps

  1. Perform Market Segmentation
  2. Take notes on what you know about each Market Segment
  3. Consider a customer need - what can you say that accurately connects their need to your product?
  4. Write a draft list
  5. Let your staff or editor review your drafts
  6. Choose the items that have the warmest feel to you. Scrap the ones that use cliches like "best", "lowest price", or other junk-marketing catch phrases - these do nothing to connect their needs with your products

Once you have accounted for what you currently know about your target markets, you can use that information to inform what you write. One point: it's critical at this stage that what you write about your product, service, or business is true and accurate. When marketing your business, it is your job to be a translator between the needs of your customers and the actual use-cases of your products and services. In their essence, the statements you're writing are brief statements of what your products or services do, framed by what you know your target customers.

The structure for writing your Value Propositions is fairly simple once you have the right information to work with. Here are a few examples:

  1. We clean those hard-to-get spots at the back of the fridge
  2. Our soap is gentle on the skin
  3. Need extra toe warmth? Our Cascade Mountain Socks are made with merino wool for those cold nights
  4. Babies sleep longer on our mattresses, giving you a bit more sleep too

These sound a lot like slogans, don't they? Slogans are similar, in that they also tie a value to a customer need - the best of your selections in this process could well be used as slogans. Some people like to tie a "Call-to-Action" to each Value Proposition and use them for advertisements. However you use them, be sure to do the groundwork with Market Segmentation and the other steps of your structured process. Remember, the clearer you can get on who you're serving and what they need, the more easily you'll be able to describe how your products and services are a fit.

*** A stub version of this article was posted on March 27, 2019, but was incomplete

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