One of the most compelling ways to communicate the benefits of your brand is to create a value proposition. A clear and concise value proposition will explain how you help your customers and why your brand is the better choice.
What is a Value Proposition?
Your brand value proposition is a clear statement about the outcomes your customer can realize from using your product, service, or solution. In simpler terms, it is a statement about the value you are proposing.
Think of your value proposition as a promise of outcomes or results that your customers will experience. “If you use our product or service we promise that you will…” “…save time, save money, feel better, get stronger, look better, be less stressed, be more productive, etc.”
Keep in mind—your value proposition is not your slogan or tagline (we’ll be working on that tomorrow!), it’s a few short statements about the benefits your customers get.A clear and concise value proposition will explain how you help your customers and why your brand is the better choice. Click To Tweet
USP vs VP
I often hear the terms “value proposition” and “unique selling proposition” used interchangeably. I want to make a clear distinction between these two statements. I explained in a previous post that your unique selling proposition (USP) is a statement of your uniqueness. It’s all about how you are different from your competition. On the other hand, your value proposition (VP) focuses on the benefits the customer gets. It’s all about the results of doing business with you.
What Makes a Good Value Proposition?
A well-defined value proposition should meet the following criteria:
- It is very clear and easy to understand.
- It shows how your product or service solves a specific problem or improves a situation.
- It communicates very specific results your customers can expect.
- It explains why you are the better choice.
- It can be read and understood very quickly and easily.
Building Blocks for Your Value Proposition
Like most things, there’s no right or wrong way to create your brand value proposition, but I’ve come up with some guidelines to help you get organized and get your thoughts down on paper.
Here are the building blocks you can use to create your value proposition:
- Your ideal client
- Your product or service
- The benefits you offer (it does this)
- The outcome your customer gets (so you get that)
- Ways you are different and unique
To help you make sense of this process and see how it all comes together, I’m going to create a semi-fictitious value proposition using Starbucks as an example.
Your Ideal Client
Start with a brief description of your ideal client. List a few of their needs, desires, problems, or issues that your brand helps solve for them.
The ideal Starbucks customer wants a consistent, high-quality experience everywhere they go. They want a comfortable place to hang out alone or with friends. They have specific tastes and needs and want to feel like they matter.
Your product or service
Next, explain in a short sentence or two exactly what you do. Don’t make this too complicated or try to say too much, just say what you do.
Ubiquitous, upscale coffee shops serving consistently great coffee in a comfortable atmosphere.
The benefits you offer (it does this)
Make a list of the benefits your brand offers. What’s good about your brand? What does your brand “do”?
We are everywhere.
We offer good coffee served quickly.
We offer consistency in all of our products and in the atmosphere of our stores.
Our stores are a great place to meet.
We create an intimate setting for you to feel comfortable whether you are with friends or alone.
The outcome your customer gets (so you get that)
This is the important one. Make a list of all the results your customers can expect after doing business with you. What are the outcomes your customers see? What do they “get”?
You can find us wherever you are.
You can get a good quality cup of coffee very quickly so you can get on with your day.
You will always know what to expect.
You can have an easy, comfortable place to meet with others.
Ways you are different and unique
List a few ways your brand is different from your competitors. Why should anyone pick you?
Our stores are clean, comfortable, and purposefully designed create a more intimate setting than other coffee shops.
Our product is very consistent everywhere in the world.
We use the highest-quality and the freshest beans available.
We offer amazing customer service – we say “yes” to just about everything.
Putting it all together
Once you have gathered info for each section above, use the most compelling pieces and write a sentence that summarizes each section. Then all you have to do is turn those 5 sentences into 2 or 3 that best convey the amazing end results that your customers can expect when they choose your brand.
Starbucks Value Proposition:
At Starbucks, we create a consistent and intimate experience around drinking coffee, an experience that people weave into their lives. We serve the best coffee in the world and treat our customers with kindness and respect. Our customers come for the coffee but often end up staying for the atmosphere.
Day 13 Action Item—Create Your Value Proposition
Today you are going to create your brand value proposition. Grab your 21 Days to Build a Better Brand Workbook and work through the building blocks above. Write from your ideal client’s point of view. Remember to focus on the results, the awesome outcomes that your customers get when they choose your brand.
Coming up: Tomorrow, using your value proposition as a starting point, you will create your brand slogan or tagline.
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