How well do you know your customer? What is it about your specific product or service that is going to be valuable to them? This in-depth understanding of how your business relates to your customer’s needs is essential to defining an effective value proposition.

Why is this important? Without a value proposition, you don’t have a persuasive reason why your product or service should be purchased. You have to single yourself out as not only unique, but as valuable to the customer. If you fail to do this, then they have no compelling reason to pick you. In a competitive marketplace, having a well-defined value proposition is the number one reason a customer will choose you over the competition. This is why research by Marketingsperpa found that 69% of B2B companies have established value propositions.

Okay, so a value proposition is a good idea, but what do you need to do to find yours? Here are three key questions you should ask yourself:

1. What Makes Your Offering Unique?

This is about how your product or service differentiates itself from the competition. It is the thing about your offering that makes you stand out from the crowd. Check out how you can pinpoint your unique selling point here.

2. Who is Your Target Customer?

It is essential that your value proposition is customer focused. To be effective, you need to clearly define who your customer is, what they care about, and importantly, be able to communicate to them in their language. Check out this guide to finding your target audience.

3. What Benefit Do You Offer the Customer?

This is where you bring it all together. In order to define what value the customer will get from doing business with you, you must connect the value of your product or service with the target customer’s specific need. In short, how are you solving their problem?

Tying It Up with a Bow

You might be thinking – is that all? Well, not quite. To get a really effective value proposition, you need to whittle the answers to these questions to a sentence or two. The Marketingsherpa survey rated clarity as the most important aspect of a good value proposition. This means you should be aiming for something sharp and concise. A good value proposition should be readable in under five seconds and clearly communicate the unique edge and the value of your product or service.

The best way to get an idea of what a good value proposition is like is to have a look at some examples. We’ve selected three and displayed them in their natural environment – the key component of a strong, visual campaign.

Apple Macbook Air

The name and two one-word sentences next to a sleek image of the product. Apple communicates value simply by pointing out that the Macbook Air is portable, powerful, and has the exquisite design unique to the company. Clear, concise, beautiful.

Evernote

Evernote captures the essence of what makes their note-taking app valuable to their customer. It offers you the chance to get organised easily. In their brief blurb, Evernote reassures the customer that all kinds of notetaking are catered for, and then the big closer: it’s free!

Spotify

In their value proposition, Spotify is speaking to music lovers but also communicating the unique advantage of their expansive catalogue of music and podcasts. It says: music is of the upmost importance to your life, and we have everything you need. On top of that, you can get it all for free. This is a company that knows their target customer very well.

Focus on the Customer

The key to a successful value proposition is understanding your target customer. Just being unique is not enough. If you work out what your customers need, you will understand what it is about your product or service that they find truly valuable.