How to nail your value proposition

By Beka Ventham | Behaviour

Feb 18


When you walk into a shop and it’s immediately clear what they sell, what their focus is and how their products can improve your life - you almost float in. 

You deftly follow the subtle cues they have to guide you from section to section before ending up at the till in the most organic way with a basket full of goodies. 

They’ve done an especially good job if you were attracted by their window display, wandered in and left with bags of products!

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Bags and bags of goodies

How do we grab attention on our websites? 

What do we do to get our statement across that sets us apart?

You need a smashing value proposition.

What is a value proposition?

In layman’s terms, a value proposition is the big bold statement that tells your visitors what you do, what you offer and how your services are beneficial. 

They are usually used as homepage headlines - the first impression counts the most!

Value propositions are not;

  • Slogans

  • Taglines

  • Positioning statement

  • Mission statement

Let’s look at this example from B&M;

                                                      

It’s clear, it’s beneficial and it’s memorable. A great value proposition!


What makes a strong value proposition?

The first step in writing a fabulous value proposition is customer research. 

There is absolutely no point in crafting a homepage headline that doesn’t grab your visitors’ attention, so you need to make sure it's super relevant. 

Know your target audience so you can write for them. You want them to land on your page, read your value proposition and say to themselves “yes this is exactly where I need to be”.

YES I want to be here

Let’s say you’ve done all this - you know your target audience, you understand their motivations and you are ready to jump into writing the best statement to put your business out there.

There are five steps we use to measure the quality of a value proposition and they are;

  1. Unique

  2. Desirable

  3. Succinct

  4. Memorable

  5. Specific

We’re going to walk through each point, what it means and how to implement it alongside an example.

Imagine you own an independent gift store where you sell bespoke handmade gifts from the local community. Items such as candles, soaps, hand painted cups etc. 

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1. A value proposition should be unique

We want the value proposition to be something your competitor can’t (or doesn’t) say. Considering our example we might say;

  • One of a kind

  • Bespoke

  • Supports local community


2. A value proposition should be desirable

Think about what your prospect really wants you to offer. What would they respond to? What would make them commit to your business;

  • Affordable

  • Special

  • Best gifts

3. A value proposition should be succinct

Everyone likes a nice, simple and effective phrase. One that isn’t clever or cutesy but clear, focused and to the point. Keep the benefits at the forefront of your mind and keep it focused on what your prospects want.


4. A value proposition should be memorable

There is literally no point in investing time and energy into this if it just goes in one ear and out the other. Think about some business statements that you always remember…

Lidl has a great one; ‘Big on quality, Lidl on price


5. A value proposition should be specific

Don’t beat around the bush, there’s no space for that. Say what you need to say and be done with it! 

Don’t play with words too much or over complicate because you will just end up writing something that adds no value at all.


How to write your value proposition

We’ve done the prep and we know what our prospects want. Now we just need to write a value proposition that checks all the boxes.

Remember back to our independent gift store...

“Where you can find special, bespoke and affordable gifts for everyone whilst supporting the local community”

OR

“The one stop shop for all your unique gifting needs”

OR

“Support the local community and buy affordable handmade gifts”

OR

“Beautiful one of a kind gifts that help your community”

Remember a value proposition needs to be informed by your audience but it also needs to check the big 5 to make a really great impression that lasts!

Rate that value proposition!

I wanted to compare value propositions from the same industry so we can see how different companies put their big statement out there. 

We’re looking at pet insurance and are considering the following brands;

  • Petplan

  • PDSA

  • Animal Friends

  • Kennel Club

  • Petprotect

All very reputable brands and highly successful businesses. Some bigger than others, some more varied but all focused on offering pet insurance. 

Petplan

                            

Very clever. Before you even know what sets them apart you feel like your pet needs it to have the best.

Petplan is very well known and so they have the weight to carry off a value proposition like this. It’s simple, memorable and succinct. 

They follow this by having their top messages right underneath which emphasises the benefits of insuring with Petplan which supports the value proposition seamlessly. 

PDSA

                                                            

Another fabulous value proposition. 

It’s unique, desirable, succinct, memorable and specific with four words. An absolute marvel.

From this value proposition you know that PDSA save pets and change lives. As a pet owner, you only need to hear your pet will be safe. It’s a heart string puller and a good one.

Animal Friends

                                          

Animal friends go straight for the solid positioning by being clear and concise. They are experts and that should instil trust immediately. 

I do wonder whether they would benefit from making it more unique because Petplan also identify as experts as I’m sure other pet insurers do too.

It’s a succinct one for sure and does check other boxes but it feels a little clinical to me.

Kennel Club

                                                       

Definitely desirable - you love your dog, you want an insurer who will make a difference. It’s succinct but I do find it a little vague.

It definitely lacks memorability, specificity and uniqueness. Something along the lines of ‘Making a positive difference to your dog’ would just be a little more relatable.

Petprotect

                              

Petprotect writes a value proposition that is 100% offering a solution to their prospects. Not only does it immediately get them over the first obstacle of price but it also establishes exactly what they offer as soon as you land on the website. 

It’s a beauty. It’s unique, it’s clear, it's certainly desirable and very specific. 

Perhaps not so hot on the memorability but the rest makes up for it in my opinion. A wonderfully engaging value proposition.

Now you have a complete guide to writing a value proposition that hits those key points which I’ll remind you of here;

  • Unique

  • Desirable

  • Succinct

  • Memorable

  • Specific

You are armed with five live examples from the pet insurance industry and you have some different ways to write a value proposition that works for a business.

Now you just need to take it and apply it to yours. Spend some time reading your value proposition and try some different wordings or formats. Make it shout about how much your solution will benefit your prospects. 

If you need some guidance or some ninja eyes, book a free marketing therapy session and we’ll have your value proposition shining in no time at all.

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