3 Steps for Defining a Winning Value Proposition

by Carolyn Edgecomb on March 20, 2013

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3 Steps for Defining a Winning Value PropositionQuick...what's the one reason why your ideal prospects need you?

Can you sum up what your company does and offers your consumers in one quick sentence? What sets your product, service and company apart from ALL of your competitors?

Your value proposition should be the foundation of your company, keeping your message clear and consistent across every aspect of your physical and online presence.

The most compelling value propositions are those that are clear and concise, promise quantifiable outcomes and clearly distinguishes the value the seller is offering from the value the buyer could obtain from your competitors.

If you're a startup or need to give your current value proposition a facelift, look no further as we've outlined some steps to help you develop a value proposition that is sure to grab your target audience's attention.

3 Steps to Developing Your Value Proposition

Often times, there tends to be this traditional fill in the blank value proposition formula that goes something like this ... We help [your most promising prospects] that [need help with the pressing concern you address] succeed by [providing the material improvement you will deliver].  Unlike [the alternative solution], [your solution] [describe the reason why your company is a better choice] as demonstrated by [evidence that you will deliver as promised].

This traditional "value proposition formula" is bland and cookie cutter. How do you expect to grab the attention of visitors if it looks like your competitors and everyone else's?

1. What are You Good at?

What does your company do better than your competitors? What is your core competency? Being able to identify what your company does, and how you're different from the competition gives you the foundation to develop your value proposition.

Your value proposition isn't something that you can just develop, place it somewhere on your homepage and then just forget about it. You have to walk the walk.

Everyone within your company should be able to explain the value proposition in 10 seconds, 60 seconds, 5 minutes and even 30 minutes. You shouldn't place a time limit in describing what your company can do to help your prospects. However, when placing your value proposition on your site, keep it short and sweet as well as clear and concise.

When creating your value proposition keep these questions in mind:

  • What solution are you offering?

  • What is your target audiences biggest concern or problem?

  • What solutions do you offer?

2. Who are Your Customers?

So your product or service offering is different from your competitors, but do you actually have any customers or prospective customers? Being able to sell your product or service is key. In order for you to sell your product or service, you need to undertand who your customers are, their needs and how you can solve their problems.

Here is a great way for you to really get to know who your customers are. This activity was mentioned on Inc.com, "To really know your customer, you have to have a deep understanding of their life, what drives them, and what keeps them up at night.Take time to describe who your first customer is and how you can couple your competencies to better meet their needs. Designing a value proposition around your customers' needs will better prepare you to move the apathetic consumer".

3. What Value Do Your Competitors Offer?

The last piece you need in order to develop a strong value proposition is knowing who your competitors are and what their product and service offering is.

You don't want to provide the same value as your competitors, you want to stand out and you cannot do that without differentiation. Once you've identified your competitors strengths and weaknesses, you can develop your value proposition that meets the needs of your customers that your competitors are unable or cannot address.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is your competitors value proposition?

  • How do you differentiate from your competitors?

  • How is your product or service different from your competitors?