The value proposition statement. That Holy Grail of business and marketing speak. The key element of your project… that somehow gets left until last. Well, not at Pip Decks. Your value proposition holds too much power to be an afterthought, so we’ve put together an all-encompassing guide to getting it done.
What is a value proposition statement, anyway?
A value proposition is a statement that concisely and persuasively describes the value that your product, service or business offers.
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It is your elevator pitch, your raison d'etre, your very essence. And it’s easy to get it wrong.
Sometimes, even when it seems obvious, you need to dig a little deeper:
- A cake delivery service doesn’t just provide delicious treats to parties; it makes the buyer look and feel good. They are paying to be the one that brings the wow factor.
- An accounting app doesn’t just keep track of business income/outgoings, it gives you back time to spend on things you enjoy without worrying about figures.
By framing the benefits in this way, you’ll pique the interest of your end users and stakeholders by creating an emotional connection, rather than a logical one.
A value proposition should remain stable throughout the life of your project, so make sure you get it just right. Writing a value proposition should be a collaborative process, and you’ll need to be prepared to ask for and listen to potentially difficult feedback from everyone involved in running your project.
You also want to ask the end users of the product or service if you’re on the right track, if possible.
So, how do you write a value proposition?
Well, there’s a workshop for that! It takes you through the step-by-step process required to produce a hard-working value proposition statement. Before you get started, consider running an Empathy Map or Prototype Persona workshop to give you a detailed target audience profile. This will help your whole team better understand why you’re doing what you are doing.
Before writing your value proposition statement, start by getting all of the assumptions you have about the product/service and problems it solves out in the open with an Assumption Collecting session.
You need the right people in the room - but not too many of them! Gather the immediate team and choose a key stakeholder who should, ultimately, be the deciding voice. You want the final statement to be ‘spikey’ - specific and concise. If you try to please everyone, you’ll end up with a statement that says absolutely nothing of value. An ‘anti-value proposition statement’, if you will.
Ultimately, it’ll look something like this:
“For [target customer] who [statement of the need], our [product/service name] is a [product description] that [statement of benefit].”
Then, you can treat your value-proposition statement as an assumption and test that, too! Does the value you think you offer truly resonate with your customers/users? Or are they in it for something else altogether? Try the following to find out:
The Five Whys tactic is used to find out the cause for a problem, but you can also use it to uncover the true benefits of your solution, too. Just start with the question “Why would someone buy this product/service?” and proceed from there.
What do you do with your value proposition?
Once your value proposition is nailed down it becomes a powerful tool for aligning thinking, getting stakeholders on-board and articulating your team’s core purpose. Use it to guide marketing and branding positioning, decision making, strategy sessions and retrospectives. Seriously, everywhere you can use it - use it.
As it’s concise - it is concise, isn’t it? - everyone on the team should know the value proposition by heart.
It’s a powerful tool, and now you know how to write, test and use it. What are you waiting for?