Businesses are struggling to capture customers’ attention. There’s so much noise in advertising today, and businesses are trying everything to cut through the clutter.
Even worse, consumer attention spans are getting smaller, making the sought-after buyer more elusive than ever before.
Businesses need to succinctly capture the value they’re providing to their customers and share it in a way that resonates.
It all starts with a compelling customer value proposition example — a short statement that conveys what the company is offering and articulates the value it can provide.
But how can businesses create a unique value proposition that captures their company’s value while engaging and effectively selling to new customers?
Value propositions are a combination of science and art, fusing together a systematic process with a dose of creativity.
We’ve studied some of the best customer value propositions ever made and have assembled seven essential tips for making yours stand out.
Let’s dive in.
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Start with the solution
You might think that a customer value proposition should be product-focused. In fact, it should be solution-focused first.
Starting with the solution might seem a bit contradictory, but it keeps the customers’ ultimate objective in view.
The entire customer value proposition should solely depict what the customer is getting out of their purchase.
It should blend the tangible product with the intangible solution that results from using the product while creating irresistible value.
That’s why it’s so important to always have the customer in mind when developing a customer value statement. You need to be thinking similar to how they are thinking.
On my own website, for example, I teach people how to start a blog using similar growth tactics that startups and Saas companies use:
And I communicate that in my messaging as I know my readers do not have time to waste and want to ramp things up, fast.
It’s important to remember that most of the time, users are not searching directly for your product. Instead, they’re searching for a product that will solve their specific problem. That’s why you need to focus on the solution.
People don’t want to buy a specific mouse trap. They just want to catch the mouse.
For example, take a look at Solution Scout, a business resource website. Their value proposition is to have “the helpful advice you’re looking for.”
This reframes the value proposition in the eyes of the end user—business owners, managers, entrepreneurs, etc. Customers will ultimately be reaching out to Solution Scout professionals because they’re looking for experts that can deliver and give advice about the right business solution.
Their value proposition touts the authenticity and experience from professionals (something their customers value), while also solving their specific business problems.
By keeping the solution in mind, you won’t just describe a product or service that your customers want. You’ll describe the solution that they are seeking.
Make it timeless
While your business changes, your value proposition should remain constant.
Sure, you might have to update it over time. But if you write it correctly from the start, it can capture the essence of your company and your vision for the future.
Great value propositions convey what your company is offering — both now and in the future. If you have to rip up your value proposition in a few months and start from scratch, you likely didn’t think carefully enough about it at the start.
Products change and the company’s mission may evolve. However, your value proposition should be future-focused from its inception.
When the world changes or a crisis hits, you’ll want to be sure that your value proposition is still valid despite changing environments and circumstances.
It shouldn’t be rooted in one specific era of the business. Instead, it should be applicable on day one and also day 1,001 in the company’s lifecycle.
Manly Wellness’ customer value proposition is, “Ground Zero for Men’s Health.” It’s supported by the statement, “Men’s physical, mental and sexual health – backed by science and experience.”
The company’s value proposition is direct enough to convey the offering, while being vague enough if they choose to introduce new products in future years.
Manly Wellness quickly establishes that it is the go-to source for men’s health (something they likely won’t deviate from any time soon), but leaves the opportunities open-ended for how it can evolve.
Their customer value proposition showcases their offering in a way that is easy-to-grasp and can withstand the longevity of their business.
By rooting your value proposition in your company’s and product’s current state while looking to the future, you’ll create a value proposition that can withstand the test of time and drive repeat purchases.
You probably want them both.
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Focus on simplicity and clarity
A customer value proposition is a consequential message you will convey in many areas of your business. It should not be overlooked or shrugged off.
At the same time, though, you shouldn’t overthink it.
Effective customer value propositions are straightforward and succinct. They get straight to the point and convey what the company is offering and how it can benefit its customers.
It does not have extraneous words, flowery language or unnecessary modifiers.
Your value proposition should be clear and simple. The extra words should be eliminated, and it should be constantly edited until there is nothing more in it that doesn’t need to be there.
This step is critical, because the main purpose of your customer value proposition is to convey the value you are providing to your customers. With too many words or language that is unclear, you might miss your objective.
Take a look at EarlyBird’s value proposition, “Invest in the children you love.” That succinctly states exactly what you are buying when you purchase.
Underneath, it highlights some of the ways they add value to their customers with “financial freedom for the next generation.”
In addition, they highlight how easy it is to get started by including the phrase “your first $15 to invest, on us.”
To ensure your value proposition resonates with customers, test it out on your friends, existing customers or even in a focus group. They will be the first to tell you if the statement makes sense and is easy to grasp and understand.
When evaluating your value proposition’s clarity with others, pay close attention to:
- Whether or not they stumble when reading it out loud
- If they get fixated on a specific word or phrase
- What they remember about it a few minutes after reading it
- Which word they’d cut out if they could eliminate one
By previewing your value proposition with others, you can edit it even more and be sure that it is articulating your complete offering in an effective way.
Don’t use buzzwords
If you’re trying hard to think of a word to describe your business, and you finally settle on one that you think makes it sound really innovative and sharp, you might need to reconsider.
There are so many technical buzzwords that businesses use to describe their companies. Many are overused and some don’t even accurately convey the value that is provided.
Even worse, some are so abstract that they really don’t provide the customer with any clarity for what the company actually does.
When you use buzzwords, you risk being thought of as inauthentic. In addition, it’s tougher to stand out when you use similar messaging to other companies on the market.
Hootsuite cut the buzzwords out of their customer value proposition and focused on the basic offering.
Their value proposition states, “Easily manage all your social media and get results with Hootsuite.”
From that statement, you’d immediately know that Hootsuite is a social media platform that allows you to manage posts.
In addition, they highlighted “getting results,” since that is ultimately what their customers are seeking.
Buzzwords often just clutter the value proposition, sometimes confusing customers.
By eliminating them, you can focus your value proposition on the direct value you provide without all the fluff.
Update it with customer feedback
Okay, so you published your value proposition. All done, right? Wrong.
Your customer value proposition is a living marketing message. It will constantly evolve and require updates.
As you know, the best source of intel is directly from your customers.
What do they like about your company? How are they extracting value from your products? What are they saying about your business as a whole?
All of this information can be unified and weaponized to ensure your value proposition is crafted in the best possible way.
After you publish your value proposition, you might discover that your customers find value in a different aspect of your product than you originally intended.
Perhaps you have a blind spot or bias. Maybe there was a different problem you’ve solved for customers.
You should speak with your customers and look at survey data to ensure you’re conveying the true value of your offering.
Some popular sources for authentic customer data include:
- Reviews on third-party sites, such as this post from GetVoIP on the best solutions for business communications
- Customer reactions to your product in emails and via phone
- Notes from meetings with your customers
- Social media postings
Preply, an online language tutor marketplace, has thousands of customer reviews for their tutors.
Preply can see their value proposition come to life through these reviews, and even use them to guide iterations to their existing messaging.
Customers are sharing the value they’ve received from using their online video course platform, and some of their comments will be useful in evolving the value proposition in the future.
This is just one nontraditional example of the many data sources companies can use to mold and formulate a value proposition that is accurate and compelling.
Perform the three second test
I’ve touched on the need for a simple, straightforward customer value proposition, but how do you know when it’s simple enough and still compelling?
That’s where the three second test comes into play.
If your customer value proposition can’t be read and understood within three seconds, you need to keep working.
For example, when looking at PandaDoc’s landing page, how clear is it within three seconds that they offer a winning proposal software?
It’s incredibly straight-forward and solution focused, and users will immediately know within three seconds.
This is an effective test to see how people grasp and understand your company based on your value proposition alone.
With so much clutter and competition, you need to grab your consumers with a compelling customer value proposition in mere seconds.
This test will help you frame and write your customer value proposition in a way that is compelling and competitive with other marketing messages already in the market.
Use a competitive qualifier
One of the best ways to distinguish your customer value proposition from a competitor is to use a qualifier.
Sit down and think about the main reason your product is different from your competitors’ products.
Now, deduce that down to one word. This word should make it into your customer value proposition.
For example, Buffer, the social media management platform, has a value proposition that states, “Simpler social media tools for authentic engagement.”
This value proposition uses the word “simpler” which is a qualifier that distinguishes Buffer’s offering from its competitors.
Buffer is making a statement by saying that the company thinks its products are “simpler” than the other social media tools on the market. This is what sets them apart.
Buffer also mentions the phrase “authentic engagement,” which is the ultimate solution their customers seek.
Their customers are looking to drive engagement on social media with their fans and might be lured to Buffer’s offering due to this mention in their customer value proposition.
By adding a competitive qualifier to your value proposition, you are quickly addressing your prospect’s inevitable question, “Why are you better?”
Customers are getting bombarded with advertisements everywhere they look. Businesses need to work twice as hard in order to stand out.
One of the most important aspects of their digital marketing mix that businesses need to perfect is their customer value proposition. This statement conveys the true value of the business’ offering.
There are many strategies you can use to craft a straightforward, yet compelling customer value proposition.
Start with the solution in mind.
Make the value proposition timeless, so it can evolve with the company.
Focus on simplicity without the use of buzzwords.
Routinely update your value proposition with customer feedback.
Perform the three second test to ensure people understand what you’re conveying.
Use a competitive qualifier to distinguish your company from other businesses.
By using these strategies, you’ll create a succinct, yet compelling customer value proposition that will delight and convert more customers than ever before.
With over 500,000 monthly readers, Adam Enfroy’s mission is to teach the next generation of online entrepreneurs how to scale their influence at startup speed.