Miscommunication is the biggest thorn in any businesses side. If you can’t explain why a potential customer needs your product – then you clearly don’t have a valuable product to begin with.
The challenge of creating a valuable proposition most likely stems from the fact that you yourself don’t have a clear idea as to the what, why, and who of your own product. Peep Laja from ConversionXL proclaims that
”Value proposition is the #1 thing that determines whether people will bother reading more about your product or hit the back button. It’s also the main thing you need to test – if you get it right, it will be a huge boost.”
With that thought in mind, let us jump right into the topic and begin by learning what value proposition actually means!
The Four Pillars of a UVP
Unbounce defines value proposition as a unique value proposition (UVP) or unique selling point (USP). It is a clear statement (prominently shown on your landing page or website) that describes the benefit of your offer, how your offer can solve a customer’s needs, and finally, what distinguishes your business from the competition.
But what makes a value proposition a GREAT value proposition? Here are a few points worth remembering:
- A measurable VP – Can you provide numbers that prove just how much other customers benefited from your offer?
- A memorable VP – Is your headline bold and informative enough to communicate the value you offer?
- A clear VP – Is your headline followed by information that lets your prospective buyers know what problem you will solve, how you will solve it, and what benefits they can expect?
- A familiar VP – Can you demonstrate why you’re better than the competition and why you are more qualified to help your prospective buyer? Do you truly know what they are looking for?
A value proposition can follow different formulas and formats, as no two businesses are the same. Your UVP will be unique for your business, but it will more or less always contain the four pillars we mentioned in the points above.
Why Do You Need a Value Proposition?
Going back to the words of Peep Laja: “The less known your company is, the better value proposition you need.”
The truth is that companies like Apple, L’Oreal (No, “Because You’re Worth It” is not a VP), or Doritos just don’t need that much of a value proposition. Huge companies are a value proposition on their own – they’re recognizable, memorable, you know all the stats and all about their competition.
Less known companies, or companies that have a specific niche, need to stand out – and they need to do it fast! The only way to put one foot forward is to create a value proposition that’s more than just a slogan. A value proposition is about taking your four pillars and shaving them down into four elements that can be placed (And tested! We’ll talk about that later on) on your landing page:
- Headline – One sentence explaining the end benefit of your product
- Subheadline – Two or three sentences explaining what you offer and how it works
- Key benefits – A list or bullet points showing what a prospect will gain with your product>
- Image or video – Images speak a thousand words, use them to either put a face to your company (making your business more trustworthy) or to show in a few seconds how your product actually works.
Companies That Get VP
Now that you’re kind of getting your mind wrapped around the idea, I’d like to show you just a few examples of companies that made value propositions very unique and very advantageous for their own business.
Although Trello isn’t a “less known company”, it is a specific product that unless you need one like it – you might not care to know about Trello.
That being said, if you do find yourself searching for productivity, organisation, or task management tools you’ll stumble upon Trello’s website. Let’s break down their value proposition:
- Headline – Trello lets you work more collaboratively and get more done.
- Subheadline / Key Benefits – Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun, flexible and rewarding way.
- Image – Background image showing collaboration and joy + a sign up button that’s easily noticeable.
As you can see, Trello made their key benefits part of their headline. Although this is a very simple VP, it is memorable. You instantly know what the product does, what it can offer you, and what you can achieve. All that’s left to do is click Sign Up!
Hourstack.io is a time and task tracking tool for teams and individuals. Most websites offer either expensive, complicated tools, or easy to use but very 1998 looking team tracking platforms.
>Which is why hourstack is a breath of fresh air when you happen to find yourself on their website. Its value proposition is very clear and very minimalistic – just like their tool! Let’s break it down:
- Headline – Make every hour count (key benefit)
- Subheadline / Key Features – Time tracking and resource allocation with Slack, Asana, and Trello integration
- Image – Clear CTA to sign up for free + a screenshot of the actual platform.
What I love about this minimalistic approach is that it does not use marketing mumbo jumbo, instead you’re welcomed with words that you specifically are looking for – time tracking, resource allocation, integrations, every hour counts. What’s more, you get an inside look into what the tool looks like – you’d be surprised how many companies fail to give people an inside look into their product before people hit sign up!
Simple, clear, memorable – I’m sold.
Taco is a cool tool that allows you to keep track of all your tasks AND what needs to be done first. What do I mean? You might have tasks in a couple of tools, some are personal, others are work related, on top of that you have a few emails you need to look into – Taco helps you integrate all of those things and then prioritize all your tasks for the day (from replying to an email all the way to buying milk).
Their value proposition hits all four pillars:
- Memorable (headline / key benefit) – All your tasks. One screen. – Hey, they’re called Taco and they let you create an app… taco
- Measurable (subheadline / key features) – From Asana to Gmail to Trello to Zendesk (and 35+ more). Deciding what’s more important? Just drag and drop – You know how many apps you can integrate and how much more you can get done.
- Clear – Live in seconds. No Credit Card. If you have any doubts, they’re cleared right away! You know what you’re getting, how fast you’re getting it, and what you’re paying for it.
- Familiar (image and trustworthiness) – “Taco looks like the be all and end all of to do lists – Testimonials help solidify your VP using social proof, giving it credibility. They raise trust and they show what you do for your customers first hand.
As you can see value propositions are not about creating marketing mumbo jumbo and plastering a video underneath it. In fact, value propositions are about creating a simple-worded and clear cut statement telling people exactly what you do, how you do it, why you’re the ideal choice, and what kind of outcome you provide for your prospect buyers.
Here are the 5 steps on how to create a unique value proposition for your business:
- Think about what your product does and the positive outcomes that result from it (the benefits).
- Break down the information from point number one and bring it into your headline.
- Establish the most important feature(s) you know your prospects want and add this into your subheadline.
- Is there an image, GIF, or video of your product that you can post? Give people a glimpse of what they can expect.
- Are there any statistics, customer case studies, or testimonials you can post along with your value proposition to make your brand and product stronger?
If you find yourself spending more time trying to write your UVP than you did writing your entire website, no to worry, that is quite normal. This is the crux of your marketing communication and well worth the time spent to find the right one.
As a bonus – remember to test! A/B test your landing pages to see what resonates with people most. Find the value proposition that converts best and see just how much your revenue will change!
Maybe you already have ideas you’d like to share, or have a question about your current value proposition? Drop me a line in the comment section below – which I personally read & respond to!