The importance of a strong value proposition
It’s difficult, isn’t it? Coming up with a sentence, a few words that say exactly what you want to say and give the users the right context so they are attracted to your product and will convert into paying clients?
In this blog, we’ll be talking about that process. If you are struggling to acquire users, chances are you don’t have a value proposition that works, and you are starting the process of creating a killer value proposition at the wrong end.
See, we don’t start the unique value proposition writing with the actual writing. There is a bit more prep to that. So here is what you need to do (at the end of the blog, there is a template so you can shorten the process as much as possible).
Let’s get to it.
Understanding the value proposition
Let’s start by defining what is a value proposition. I like to think that a value proposition is a promise to your customer. It’s what your product will help your customer achieve. That’s basically what the value proposition is. It’s:
“We will deliver that value to you – whatever that value is.”
Let’s say that the value is staying accountable with our CRM. So that’s our value proposition. Our AI-powered CRM will keep you accountable.
Being accountable is a value in that case. It’s as simple as that.
The common mistakes in crafting value propositions
Now, the main thing here to consider is that most founders that I talk to when they have a customer acquisition problem (meaning they can’t attract enough users), and people aren’t responding to their ads, their LinkedIn ads, their Facebook ads, their TikTok ads, whatever it is, that’s not the product’s fault.
Yet, founders often start blaming the product or service for that, thinking the product or service is not good enough, that we need to change the features, and whatever. The problem is that if people are not reacting to your posts or your social media efforts, that just means that they’re not attracted to your message. They are not attracted to your value proposition.
IT’S NOT THE PRODUCT’S FAULT!– Andrej Persolja
So, your value proposition should be the one taking the blame there. And you should be working on the value proposition and not your product. This is another thing where we focus on developing the products where we, in reality, should be developing the value propositions and our presentation of the product.
Three main challenges in writing a good value proposition
Lack of sufficient data on the target audience
Now, there are three main reasons why you can’t write a good value proposition. One, you simply don’t have enough data on your target audience, your potential customers. Basically, you need to go and do more user interviews. What do they want to achieve? What do they want to do? What are they willing to sacrifice? What are their jobs to be done? What are their wishes, needs, you know, emotional needs? All of that should be in your customer persona somewhere. You should know that. If I wake you up at night, you should know that data. If you don’t have that data, you need to conduct structured interviews, talk to your customers, and understand them better.
Inability to keep the value proposition concise
The next reason why you can’t write a good value prop is you can’t keep it short. So you simply try to explain too many things at once. That just means you don’t understand the problem that you’re solving deep enough. You have too much data to focus on; you know too much about the topic, but you don’t understand how your clients understand the problem you are solving.
So you don’t know what’s really important for them. What’s the one thing that they’re focused on? What’s the one thing that’s keeping them up at night? What’s the one thing that they care about? You should really put more effort into understanding the problem and how the users see, understand, and feel the problem you’re solving. So again, the same answer as before: you need to do more interviews.
Not knowing where to start
The third reason you can’t write a great value proposition is that you don’t know where to start. Because we often start by writing, right? Because you need to write a good value proposition, so you start by writing, but that’s the wrong place to start.
Here is a good starting point. Find a market gap. Now, a market gap is something that your competition is doing really poorly that you can exploit to attract users.
Identifying and exploiting market gaps
If you take a look at the automotive industry, you have cars for every customer, right? You have luxury cars like Ferraris, Porsches and Lamborghinis. You have cheap cars like Skodas. You have cars for people who don’t want to think about cars, like Volkswagen. You have people who need something reliable, like Toyotas. You have a Nissan Skyline R34 with a twin-turbo RB26DETT engine. Impressive, that one.
Sorry, got sidetracked. What you didn’t have until Tesla came around was a car that brought technology into play.
“I want a car that has a 32-inch screen instead of a steering wheel.” That’s Tesla for you. That’s the market gap that Tesla filled.
So, what’s the market gap in your industry? What are the competitors doing wrong? And what can you exploit?
Here’s how to actually get to a market gap.
We always do this with my clients; you need to map your competitors, find their weaknesses, and exploit them. Now, you can easily find the weaknesses by going through their reviews and ratings, right? If you go to G2 or Captera, you can read reviews on any of your competition and find what the users are complaining about.
Once you have those complaints mapped, you can simply use those complaints to build your positioning for your startup. So you can start positioning from that market cap.
So clearly, if enough people say, “This software is really good, but it’s not easy to use, so it’s difficult to onboard the whole team,” – This is your market gap. You can use that, and you can build your positioning around that. So make the product so easy to use for the teams that they can quickly onboard into the product.
Create an effective value proposition based on market gaps
And so this is what an effective value proposition should be written about. You should write a value prop saying, “The easiest to onboard software in the market.” Create a landing page, drive people to the homepage, see if they come, see if they convert, and if they do, you have your winning value proposition.
From that, you can experiment with writing and making it captivating. But you can’t simply go and write things from thin air. You need something to base your value proposition on. Base it on actual data. On your client interviews, product data, competitor mistakes.
If you need a template to find a market gap, you can find an article about it here: https://apersolja.com/double-the-users-w-o-spending-more-in-marketing/
Examples of value propositions – good and bad
Now let’s see some examples of good and bad value propositions.
Good value propositions
Apple’s value proposition for their laptops a while ago was: Light. Years ahead. Why it works? Because it said everything it needed. The laptop is light and portable, but also has enough power for our users. What more do you need?
Domino’s Pizza initial value proposition: Get it in 30 minutes or it’s free. Why it works? Because I am hungry right now and want my pizza this instant. So if I order from Domino’s, I either satisfy my need now OR I get my cash back. Win-win.
Bad value propositions
[Name ommited] CRM’s value proposition: Helping you grow. Why it doesn’t work? Because I am not relying on a CRM software to grow my company. I get where they are coming from. By using a CRM, you make yourself accountable, which means you sell more, so you grow, but there are so many level to that that it doesn’t work. It’s confusing.
Ready to craft your killer value proposition?
Here is a template exercise that can help you: https://nailyourpositioning.com/write-a-killer-uvp/
Until next time, may your customers love you and understand your product.