The Ultimate Guide to Creating Great Value Propositions for Market Differentiation

February 24, 2021

Value propositions and market differentiation stand at the core of your competitive advantage.

Your value proposition defines the reasons why people want to buy from your company. Your market differentiation strategy will help you remain competitive.

Value propositions and market differentiation are some of the most important conversion factors. An exceptional value proposition could mean all the difference between making a sale and losing it.

So, how do you write a great value proposition? Our goal by the end of this read is that you will be able to draft a value proposition better than 97% of companies within your competitive space and complete this task without feeling the need to hire an expensive consultant.

What is a Value Proposition?

A value proposition is greater than the products and services that you present to your customers. The value proposition consists of elements that make your business solve problems in ways that your competitors can't. It is part of your identity. Without your powerful value proposition, your customers won’t understand why they should choose you over your competitors.

While a value proposition sets you apart from your competition, it is not a catchy slogan, tagline, or how you position yourself in the market. While these elements are essential accessories to a successful business, a potential customer will not choose you based on the strength of your mission statement.

Value propositions dive deep into the problems you wish to solve and the traits that make your business the right candidate for the job.

Your value proposition is a clear statement that defines the following:

  •  Relevance: Your value proposition should define how your product improves the customer's situation or solves their problems.
  • Qualified Value: Your value proposition should clearly state the benefits your product delivers.
  • Market Differentiation: Your value proposition must explain to your ideal customer why they should buy from you and not from your competitors.

The value proposition should be the first thing visitors see when they log on to your website and should also be visible in all major entry points to your website. The value proposition is not meant for aesthetics, but to improve the lifetime value for your customers.

The Formula to Create a Great Value Proposition

In most cases, the value proposition is a block of text with some visuals. It could be a headline or a paragraph of text with a photo, image, or fancy graphics. At Insivia, we recommend using the formula below to help guide you in creating a powerful value proposition:

  1. Headline: The headline is a summary of the final benefit you are promising in one short sentence. The headline should be an attention grabber that mentions the product and the customer. According to the Father of Advertising, David Ogilvy, writing a great headline is equivalent to investing 80% of your money.
  2. Sub-Headline or a Short Paragraph: This sentence or paragraph should explain what you offer or do, for whom, and why your products or services are useful to your consumers.
  3. About Three Bullet Points: List the key benefits and features of your products or services in a clear and concise manner.
  4. Visual Illustrations: You’ve heard the saying, “an image is worth 1,000 words” - it’s true. Display product images, hero shots, or illustrations to help reinforce your main message.Companies have developed a tendency to complicate the redemption process with tricky rules and modified conditions. Delta Airlines, for example, changed their point system from miles flown to dollars spent. Customers will have to spend more money on Delta to earn a free flight.

Once you’ve followed the formula above,  evaluate your value proposition with the following questions:

  • What products or services are you offering?
  • What is the end benefit to your consumer?
  • Who is the target consumer for your products and services?
  • What makes your product, services, or offerings unique or different?

These questions will help you decide the best way to structure your headline, subheadline, paragraph, bullet points, and visuals.

The Five Keys to a Great Value Proposition

A great value proposition is one that is clear: What is the value? For whom? How is your product useful? If you can answer these questions successfully, then you are on the right path. Prioritize clarity over aesthetics.

If your customers have to read through paragraphs of text to understand what you are offering, you are doing it wrong. Sure, you require a sufficient amount of information to communicate what is so great about your company, but you must hook your audience with a short yet clear statement.

According to Research Marketing Experiments, the key challenge companies face is defining a compelling value proposition and communicating it clearly.

  1. Clarity! Clarity! Clarity! Your value proposition should be easy to understand.
  2. Your statement must communicate the concrete results that a customer should expect from buying your goods or using your services.
  3. Your value proposition should state how your products are different or better in comparison to your competition.
  4. Always avoid the hype. Do not use phrases like "miracle product" or "wonder drug." Avoid the use of superlatives ("most" or "best") and technical business jargon.
  5. Ensure that your value proposition can be read and understood within five seconds.

Important Note: There is a difference between the value proposition for your product and your business. Ensure that you address both.

Presentation of your Value Proposition Matters!

The way you present your value proposition plays a role in its effectiveness. A study conducted by CXL Institute revealed that users….

  • notice value propositions and market differentiation statements quicker when presented with prominent texts (i.e., when they take up more real estate on a web page).
  • spend more time on the value proposition than any other section of the page where there is more to read.
  • recall more services offered by the site after reading the value proposition.
  • prefer information listed in bullet form. 

How to Craft a Powerful Yet Unique Value Proposition

As we’ve mentioned, value propositions are what set you apart from your competition. Most consumers review and vet four to five different service providers before they make a decision. You want to make sure that your offerings stand out during the research and review phase.

To make your offer unique, you will want to take some time for self-reflection. If you cannot define anything unique about your offerings, we suggest that you find or create something to set yourself apart. This unique twist should be an additive that your potential customers care about and see great value in.

"Additives" for Your Value Proposition

Sometimes, the little things can sway your potential customer's decision in your favor. If all the major factors are the same between the competition and yourself, you can win over clients by adding little value-adds. We call these additives.

Additives can be the defining difference between you and a competitor who does not offer them. Here are a few examples:

  • Fast/Next-day shipping
  • Free shipping
  • Bonuses with purchases
  • Zero setup fees
  • Free installation/setup
  • The option to cancel any time
  • Money-back guarantees
  • License for multiple devices
  • Product customization
  • Discounted prices

Whichever additive you choose to feature, ensure that it is congruent with the rest of your value proposition.

 

Three Examples of Effective Value Propositions

1. Stripe

Notes:

  • Clear on the "who" and the "what"
  • Benefit-oriented sub-headline
  • Some relevant visuals
  • Smooth transition into benefits and features

2. Evernote

Notes:

  • Sufficient information explaining the product (note organization) and  the benefits to expect (effortless efficiency)
  • Sub-headline with key features and benefits
  • Relevant imagery of the platform

3. Zoom

Notes:

  • Clear headline with easily digestible information
  • Use of an additive like "free sign up" call to action
  • Use of imagery representing third-party comparisons between Zoom and its competitors

It's Time for You to Get Started Creating Your Value Proposition

A value proposition is a statement that defines what you offer, who you target, and how unique you are from the competition. Your value proposition stands at the center of your competitive advantage. A great value proposition will improve your conversion rates and inspire brand loyalty.

At Insivia, we work with multiple companies from different industries to enhance their digital footprint. By reading and implementing the suggestions provided in this article, you will now be able to write a killer value proposition and lead your business to the next level.

Sometimes, you just need someone with the right knowledge and experience to help... we get it. Consult with Insivia today to learn how we could help transform your value proposition and help your company achieve scalable growth. 



About Insivia

Insivia is a Strategic Growth Consultancy helping software & technology companies scale through research, brand strategy, integrated marketing, web design, and retention.