What is a value proposition?
A value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered, communicated, and acknowledged. It is also a belief from the customer about how value will be delivered, experienced and acquired. A value proposition can apply to an entire organisation, or parts thereof, or customer accounts, or products or services.
So, what does this mean for your brand and how does it help you hit your business goals?
Great examples of value propositions include Airbnb’s:
Airbnb exists to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere, providing healthy travel that is local, authentic, diverse, inclusive and sustainable.
Once you have a clear value proposition it becomes so much simpler to tell people who you are and why they should want to do business with you.
Not just for the big players
Importantly, value propositions are not just for big companies with eyewatering marketing budgets. To demonstrate how a small business can benefit from taking the time to agree a clear value proposition let’s dissect Fourteen Forty’s:
We are a Brand & Digital Agency who support business growth by utilising design, intelligent thinking and pure hard work to tell your audience who you are and why you matter.
One half of the statement tells you what we are and what we do and obviously, that’s important. If you want a brand and digital agency that can deliver design solutions you need to know we can supply these services. This is definitely part of the value promise we make to potential clients.
However, it’s the other half where we refer to supporting business growth and telling people who you are and why you matter that really gets to the heart of our value proposition. It tells you, as a potential client, that we see design as an important tool in helping your business grow. It’s not about us winning awards or designing shiny things, our job is to help you work towards your goals.
It tells you that we will help you present a clear message to your customers. A foundation for creating a brand that distinguishes you from your competition and helps them understand that you will be a good match for their needs. This is the who you are and why you matter and it’s what will deliver your business growth.
Don’t be put off by the jargon
There is probably no industry in the world that uses more jargon than branding and marketing. Some might say our value proposition is too long and some will say it is closer to a positioning statement. These debates run and run in the branding and marketing communities but I prefer to focus on the benefit it has brought to our business.
Leaving academic arguments to one side, I can tell you that once we got this down on paper we immediately saw benefits:
- Our team became much more aligned around delivering results for our clients
- We found it much easier to communicate the right message to the right people
- We found it easier to win new business and work on better projects
Our discussions with potential customers became much more clearly focused on the benefits our solutions offered rather than merely the price for our service. Delivering business growth is about creating a rewarding experience for both us and our clients.
Taking time to think about your business rather than the work
At Fourteen Forty the first step of any branding project that we undertake is a brand workshop. We ask questions to learn about your business, what makes you different and why you will be the perfect fit for the right customer. Experience shows that this is often the most valuable part of the process as it encourages clients to stop thinking about the work that needs to be done today and instead, begin to focus on the business they want to build for the future.
We will distil all this down into a value proposition that allows you to go out into your marketplace armed with a clear message that will help more customers choose you over your competition.