Have you got a brilliant business idea but you’re struggling to communicate it?
Has your business growth plateaued?
Your value proposition is one of the most important things your company will ever have to work on. It is the basic principle of what it is that your company does and a promise of value that your company can deliver upon.
This article will give you tips on what work you need to do to create your value proposition, how to make your headline/sub headlines, and how to decide on your visual.
1. The groundwork
To begin the process of creating your value proposition you need to do the groundwork. This means discussing and writing down what your company actually does.
You need to imagine you’re explaining your company to someone who has no idea about it.
For this, it’s best to strip everything back and look at the core of what your company has to offer. For example you may be a tech company helping businesses with complex automation. Whatever it is that you do, you certainly have something you do uniquely.
Thinking about what your company has to offer is a brainstorming exercise that can be done with everyone on the board, or if you’re a sole trader, then it’s just as easy to do this by yourself. Just jot down everything you, as a company, do and why you think your company is good.
What problems does your company solve and why does it improve the customer’s situation?
This is not a time for modesty or exaggeration. For this to work best, you need to be honest about your company.
It is useful to try and backtrack your thought process and reasoning for starting the business in the first place. List all the key benefits and features your company offers.
This is a hugely important stage of your company’s life because if you can’t explain what your business is, then you need to keep trying. And maybe it’s a case where your business simply isn’t clear enough, which means you have to evaluate how to solve this problem.
2. The Headlines
Once you’ve had a discussion and clarified what your business does – get it down to one sentence.
What is the end benefit of what your company is offering written as a single sentence statement?
Now look at that sentence and see whether you can make it punchier. This sentence needs to grab the attention of anyone reading or hearing it. This sentence is now the headline for your business – your value proposition in a single catchy sentence.
It’s good to mention either the customer or product in this sentence as, again, this will engage those interacting with your headline. If both are mentioned, then fantastic.
Also, think about the SEO of your headline. This will make it easy to find your company online. A great way of doing this is thinking of a question someone may search on the internet, and use the keywords from that question.
For example, someone might search “Where can I find a cheap yoga instructor in Bristol?” And your headline could be “Affordable yoga sessions led by an experienced Bristol based instructor.”
The keywords “affordable,” “experienced,” and “Bristol” would help boost your SEO and make your company more likely to be seen.
This is a two or three sentence paragraph for customers to get further details once they’ve been drawn in by the headline. It gives a specific explanation of what you do/offer, for whom and why it is useful.
What your headline isn’t
Your headline is not a slogan or catchphrase. For example, L’Oreal’s ‘Because you’re worth it’ is a catch phrase not a headline. It doesn’t tell you what the company does. It’s a brilliant and iconic catchphrase because it stays in the consumer’s head but it is important to point out that it is not a value proposition.
When creating your sub-headline, keep in mind:
- Your target customers – who are you marketing to?.
- Who are dissatisfied with the current alternative.
- How new your product is.
- The problem solving capability of your product.
3. The Visual
The image associated with your business is a crucial part of your value proposition and brand. Images communicate much faster than words so this is your quickest route to grabbing a potential customer’s attention and showing what your company is.
Hero shots can be very strong images. This could be a picture of your product with carefully chosen lighting and background aiming to create a mood, highlight your brand and show the context of your product.
If you offer a service then your image could include happy customers receiving your service, or a simple graphical that explains your service.
Your visual should always be reinforcing your main message. With all of your branding it should tightly be on message with your value proposition.
Here are two great examples of companies who show their value proposition effectively though in the second case there is room for improvement.
The first example is Stripe:
With Stripe’s value proposition it is clear what it is and for whom. The benefits are clear and specific in the sub-headlines. The visuals are relevant and there is a smooth transition into the key features and benefits.
The second example is Vimeo:
Vimeo clearly, through its headline, tells the customer that their business is all about video. They use they sub-headline brilliantly also, to clarify what the company does and why it is so good.
To improve, Vimeo should utilise the value proposition option of the the visual. Though the language used is very effective, the company’s message and branding could be reinforced with an eye catching and relevant visual.
A strong value proposition is crucial to gaining the attention of potential customers bringing them to your product/service. Through your headline, sub-headlines and visuals everything must be on message to keep your brand clear and slick.
If creating your own, or deciding upon, your value proposition and you feel you need some support then you could consider gaining objective support from a Part-time Marketing Director to help you through this crucial process.