What’s The Fuss With Value Propositions?
The companies that win in this environment will be the ones with business designs that begin and end with customers. It all comes down to choice; Customers want products and services that meet their unique requirements, and companies need to know how to deliver on those choices quickly.David Bovet: Proposition #1: Your only choice is to give customers smarter choices
As I wind down my official skills learning with CXL institute Minidegree, in Digital Psychology and Persuasion, it is interesting that I have to get prepared in the important topic of the unique value proposition.
From what I have learned so far, value proposition is a key component of the psychology of websites. For the small business owner, this is an important requirement to set your business apart from your competitors.
CXL Institute has put together a very comprehensive teaching material to help businesses respond to customers’ choices. As David Bovet puts it, “your only choice is to give your customers smarter choices”.
What’s A Value Proposition?
According to the CXL course context, “A value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered. It’s the primary reason a prospect should buy from you”.
A promise of value to be delivered. So I have learned that as I am doing webdesign, I must take into account the value proposition of the business whose site I am developing. This is a key factor in the website’s conversion optimization and customer experience.
Now that I understand that a value proposition is the primary reason a prospect is likely to buy my product or service, I cannot afford to ignore it. This is of critical importance to every business.
I have learned in the CXL course that the value proposition is the No. 1 thing that will determine whether people will bother reading more about my product or may just hit the back button and zoom off my site. Therefore on any site that I am developing, the value proposition is the main thing I need to test; and if I can get it right, it will be a huge boost.
What Are Some Of The Variables Of The Value Proposition?
Firstly, a missing or poor value proposition is a shortcoming. Additionally, the less known your business is, the more impactful your value proposition needs to be.
A value proposition is a statement that must be seen prominently first on the homepage and the key entry pages of the website and should be defining the following:
- Relevancy: It must explain how your product or service solves customers’ problems or improves their situation.
- Quantified Value: Deliver specific benefits to the customer
- Differentiation: It must tell your potential customer why they should buy from you and not from the competition.
So, even if you don’t present your value proposition as the first thing your visitor sees upon landing at your site, it must be clearly visible on most major pages. It’s equally very important to state that the value proposition must be written for human beings to understand when they have read it.
Before I got onto this course, I confess that I used to think that a UVP or unique value proposition was just a fancy slogan meant to intrigue the website users. Now I am enlightened. My mind has been opened to the this very important requirement.
Even though the course content is ‘deep’ and sometimes so full of technical jargon, I have been able to patiently learn and understand. Remember that this is all about psychology of websites.
Let’s move on.
Because digital marketing is about psychology of persuasion, it matters that one understands the workings of the brain and the decision making process. Some of the stuff I have come to learn and understand in the course material is like reading for a PHD Program!
Language is a very important variable in the formulation of the value proposition. So use the right language that will resonate with the target audience or even your repeat customers.
Your value proposition must be written in the user’s language. It must connect with the conversation that’s already going on in the site user’s mind. So to do that, you must know the language your customers use to describe your offering and how they want to benefit from it.
According to the lecture material, you can’t just guess or assume what that language is. The way YOU speak about your services is completely different from how your customers describe it. You must step out and interview your customers and to find them, use social media.
But What Should The Value Proposition Consist Of?
The value proposition will typically be a combination of text and images. According to the course content, there is no one right way to go about it, but it’s recommended that you start with this formula:
- Headline. What is the end-benefit you’re offering, in 1 short sentence? You can mention the product and/or the customer. Attention grabber.
- Sub-headline or a 2-3 sentence paragraph. A specific explanation of what you do/offer, for whom and why is it useful.
- 3 bullet points. List the key benefits or features.
- Visual. Images communicate much faster than words. Show the product, the hero shot, or an image reinforcing your main message.
You should evaluate your current value proposition against these questions below:
- What product or service is your company selling?
- What is the end benefit of using it?
- Who is your target customer for this product or service?
- What makes your offering unique and different?
Use the headline-paragraph-bullets-visual formula to structure the answers. Always bear in mind that the best value proposition is always clear: What is it? Who is it for? How is it useful? If these questions are answered, you’re on the right path. But remember yet again to always strive for clarity first.
As I conclude this article let me summarize with the following notes.
What makes a good value proposition:
- Clarity! It’s easy to understand.
- It communicates the concrete results a customer will get from purchasing and using your products and/or services.
- It says how it’s different or better than the competitor’s offer.
- It avoids hype (like ‘never seen before amazing miracle product’), superlatives (‘best’), and business jargon (‘value-added interactions’).
- It can be read and understood in about 5 seconds.
That’s it, folks. I hope you will pick up something here and run with it. Go make yourself a powerful unique value proposition and boost your sales. If you think you need to learn more or you simply want an evaluation of your current website, then I recommend you head over to CXL.