What is a good value proposition?
It’s a statement that speaks to your wow factor. It captures what sets you apart from the pack and provides a direct benefit to your target audience.
In this article, I’ll walk you through what makes a compelling value prop, and eight examples of companies who got it right.
What We’ll Cover:
- What Makes a Good Value Proposition?
- How to Create Your Own Value Proposition
- Examples of Compelling Value Propositions
- Key Takeaways
What Makes a Good Brand Value Proposition?
First, let’s look at what a value proposition isn’t:
- Just Do It
- Got Milk?
- Think Different
Those are slogans.
A slogan is a quick, catchy phrase that identifies a brand. But looking at these examples, do they really tell you anything about the brand? Do they present any benefits or address any solutions?
They’re catchy, and that’s cool. But it doesn’t present a product’s value.
The defining feature of a value proposition is that it offers value. It should:
- Convey the reason people should choose you over anyone else.
- Propose to your target audience the value only you can offer.
- Be specific.
- Address the problems that you can help your customers solve.
Ultimately, this makes the value proposition one of your most important factors in producing a conversion.
A value proposition is a statement of what’s different and highly valuable about your product.
Your value prop needs to:
- Identify customer pain points and clearly express the benefit your product or service brings to your target audience.
- Be clear and concise. Anything too long will lose your readers.
- Convey what’s unique about your product. What separates it from all the competition in the market?
How to Create Your Own Value Proposition
There are five steps to follow when you’re creating your value proposition.
Step 1: Identify the major problem
Start by asking yourself what is your customer’s main problem? Is this a problem that your product or service can solve?
You can also ask your team members for their input. Customer service representatives, marketing associates, and your sales team will have valuable insight into your customers and their needs.
Once you know what your customers are looking for, you can move on to step 2.
Step 2: Identify your products’ benefits
This step is simple.
List out every single product or service you offer and describe its’ primary benefit. Whatever benefit you list should focus on the customers’ needs, not your company’s. Be concise and specific.
Step 3: Write out what makes these benefits valuable
This doesn’t have to be a long paragraph or five-page essay on your products. A simple sentence listing the benefits will do.
Step 4: Connect your benefit to your customers’ problems
Take a look at your benefits and compare them to your customers’ problems. Do any of them align? Will any of your benefits speak to your customers’ problems?
If so, you are in a position to establish the value proposition that will differentiate you from your competitors.
If you find that they don’t match up, repeat steps one through three until you find an appropriate audience of buyers and viable solutions for their needs that you can provide.
Step 5: Learn how to differentiate your company from your competitors
The key to a value proposition is that it shows why your company, product, or service is so valuable. What is it about you that makes you the right choice to solve your customers’ problems?
Work all of these elements into your value proposition.
Once you’ve completed these steps, you can write your value proposition using one of three methods:
- Steve Blank Method: “We help (x) do (y) by doing (z).”
- Geoff Moore Method: “For [target customer] who [needs or wants X], our [product/service] is [category of industry] that [benefits].”
- Harvard Business School Method: “What is my branding? What does the customer hire my brand to do? What companies and products compete with my brand to do this job for the customer? What sets my brand apart from competitors?”
All three methods are effective ways to state a value proposition. You just have to choose the right one for your business.
Compelling Value Proposition Examples
Let’s get into a few unique examples that illustrate how to express value the right way.
#1: NOVO Watch
The Value Proposition: “Timepieces Handmade in Alberta From Repurposed Pieces of History.”
Why it Works: This sample hits the nail squarely on the head.
It’s the one and only piece of information featured on the page, and it tells you exactly why the product is valuable:
- It’s handmade. That means quality.
- Repurposed pieces of history. Even if you don’t know exactly what that means yet, it lets you know that the watches are unique and have a story behind them.
Scroll down just a bit, and you’ll see even more added to the value. The points “handcrafted” and “reflect history” (in the form of reclaimed, recycled materials) are repeated throughout.
Not only do they do a great job of presenting value upfront, but they also continue to do so throughout the website by reinforcing the core values of craftsmanship and recycled materials.
The Value Proposition: “Millions of companies of all sizes—from startups to Fortune 500s—use Stripe’s software and APIs to accept payment, send payouts, and manage their businesses online.”
Why It Works: This example accomplishes quite a few things:
- It draws the audience in with a headline (“Payments infrastructure for the internet”) that clues you into the overall theme of the business.
- It’s declarative as “for the internet.” There’s no room for argument and it positions the brand as a leader among competitors.
- It follows up with a clear explanation of exactly who the service is for (online businesses) and what it does (handles high traffic online payments).
Stripe successfully drives home that it’s a platform for businesses on the cutting-edge of tech by leveraging both top-name clients and simple graphic design. Every choice made on the website is in clear support of the business’ value proposition.
A customer value proposition example from BetterHelp
The Value Proposition: “With our counselors, you get the same professionalism and quality you would expect from an in-office counselor, but with the ability to communicate when and how you want.”
Why it Works: Today, businesses that weave themselves into the remote landscape are bound to find their footing. BetterHelp has a few key points that work for today’s audience:
- You can contact counselors anywhere, anytime.
- With high unemployment and uninsured rates in the US, this is often the more affordable option for people.
- It’s app-forward.
- Mental health is becoming increasingly relevant.
I often hear advertisements for BetterHelp on podcasts, plus I see them on my Instagram feed through influencers. They definitely know how to reach their audience.
Example #4: The World’s Simplest Invoicing and Account Solution
The Value Proposition: “Take advantage of our worry-free bookkeeping services.”
Why it Works: Less Accounting approaches its proposition uniquely, and ends up doing a few things really right:
- It immediately addresses who the software is for small business owners, and those who may not typically have the time or resources to dedicate to learning complex software.
- As you scroll down the page, it clearly presents common customer pain points in a cool Q&A format. It’s different, and I like it. It addresses some of its users’ most common questions and drives home its benefits, all above the fold.
- It quickly addresses its closest competitors, Quickbooks and Xero. While it doesn’t list all its differentiating factors right there, it does reaffirm that for those looking for simplicity, Less Accounting is a clear choice.
What I really like about this one is that it addresses its target audience right away. Less Accounting has clearly done its market research and knows that smaller businesses’ needs tend to line up best with the Less Accounting’s product.
As you read through the page, the idea of simplicity is reinforced. They tout themselves as the “World’s Simplest.” And, it clearly separates itself from other leading accounting software by highlighting its unique benefit.
Value Proposition Example #5: Skyword
The Value Proposition: “Accelerate customer growth while controlling your marketing spend-we make it easy.”
Why it Works: Skyword is a holistic take on content. They recently acquired TrackMaven to help them round out their services.
Their social analytics software claims better ROI. They advertise benchmarks you can use to compare your performance against competitors, peers and industry influencers.
Terms like “data-driven ideation” show a new kind of direction for Skyword, ever since that Trackmaven deal.
Example #6: Zoom Video Communications
The Value Proposition: “Video communications empowering people to accomplish more.”
Why it Works: Zoom will be a necessary part of work, life, and education for the foreseeable future.
It’s pretty clear remote culture isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Zoom manages to offer unique value proposition examples by focusing on social proof for students, WFH employees, families, and more.
Prior to the pandemic, Zoom let users know right away that they’ve been voted on top video software lists, and gives plenty of examples of reputable companies who already work with Zoom. Not to mention, it highlighted the fact that it consistently collects #1 reviews.
Because here’s the thing: you can claim all day that you’re the best at something, but it really helps to have the numbers to back you up–especially when those numbers come from other users like your target consumers.
They’ve put out new features over time, as well. This includes conference rooms and webinars.
The Value Proposition: “Explore your creativity. Join Skillshare to watch, play, learn, make, and discover.”
Why it Works: Skillshare makes its purpose clear: it’s an online database of classes designed for anyone to take.
The first sentence appeals directly to its target audience: creative minds with the desire to learn and improve, but perhaps without the resources to do it. The second sentence drives home that this is a resource to help the user improve.
It covers a range of subjects and skills (bonus points if you noticed Moz’s Rand Fishkin in the background).
It addresses their audience’s pain point: how to continuously improve, whether it be at a skill they’ve been working on or an entirely new craft–in one easy, on-the-go platform. As the world craves novelty in a pandemic, this value prop lives on.
#8: Tortuga Backpacks
Example: Tortuga Backpacks
The Value Proposition: “Bring everything you need without checking a bag.”
Why it Works: This one focuses entirely on the brand’s biggest benefit: the ability to pack everything for a trip in one bag.
The target audience here is young backpackers or frequent weekend travelers, and it clearly targets the biggest obstacle most travelers face; after all, who wants to pay bag check fees?
For someone who travels often, needs to have a space for multiple items, and doesn’t want to continuously cough up the cash to check a bad, it’s ideal to have a bag that can carry everything you need.
Tortuga managed to address all of those benefits in one sentence.
#9: The Dollar Shave Club
Example: The Dollar Shave Club
The Value Proposition: “A great shave for a few bucks a month. No commitment. No fees. No BS. Do it.”
Why it Works: While plenty of start-ups struggle to find ways to connect with audiences, Dollar Shave Club has been mastering the art of online marketing since its inception.
Clearly, this brand knows its audience and this example is no exception. Right off the bat, the benefits are emphasized instead of the features while also featuring its main selling point—price.
Razors may not be unique products, but Dollar Shave Club uses its unique style, wit, and relatability to set itself apart from competitors.
The Value Proposition: “Shorten. Share. Measure. Join Bitly, the world’s leading link management platform.”
Why it Works: Known for reducing the size of lengthy URLs, Bitly is all about keeping everything short and sweet. So it’s no wonder that the company’s value proposition would reflect these attributes as well.
Using three powerful words, Bitly summarizes its three key services in a way that’s easy to commit to memory. You even have the option to try out the feature right then and there.
The Value Proposition: “Build, Publish & A/B Test Landing Pages Without I.T.”
Why it Works: This value proposition has got it all:
The brand immediately lays out its offerings without coming off too sales-y.
It identifies the group that would most benefit from using the software—namely marketers.
The header addresses a common pain point of marketers—having to defer to I.T. to create landing pages. Unbounce clearly understands that this is a major obstacle for businesses large and small.
It presents a simple three-step visual representation of how to best leverage Unbounce, as well as a compelling CTA.
Customer value proposition example: Mint
The Value Proposition: “That horizon might be closer than you think. We’ll help you get there by managing money and budgets better every day.”
Why it Works: Mint’s value proposition immediately captures your attention with its motivational message.
Understanding how to manage your finances properly is crucial to reaching many long-term goals such as purchasing a home or planning for retirement.
As the statement implies, though these milestones may seem far away (like horizons), they’re more attainable than you think, especially if you enlist the help of Mint.
Plus, finance and investing have taken off for younger generations this year, thanks in part to more time spent at home.
Example #13: Spotify
The Value Proposition: “Soundtrack your life. Let Spotify bring you the right music for every mood and moment. The perfect songs for your workout, your night in, or your journey to work.”
Why it Works: Made up of only three words, the headline is equal parts poetic, precise, and actionable.
Using less than 30 words, Spotify is encouraging you to make time for music and it does so by being available on the go on your smartphone. Plus, it caters to everyone—every mood, every moment, and every lifestyle.
The value proposition also highlights the brand’s unique disposition, which is aiming to create more of a personalized experience with its music offerings.
Here’s what all these value proposition examples have in common: they communicate what they do and why the customer should care.
That’s really what your company value proposition needs to be. The intersection of what your product or service does and how it accomplishes what your customers need.
So before writing your own, sit down and ask yourself:
- What does your product do?
- What are its most important features?
- How does it work?
- What are your customers’ biggest challenges?
- What are their wants, fears, and needs?
- How do my product’s features address those wants and needs?
- What are some of the emotions that go into this purchase?
- Why should they use my product over any of my competitors?
As you go through, you’ll find the overlap in the answers to these questions. From there, it’s a matter of presentation.
When all is said and done, highlighting unique value proposition examples gives you the chance to see the power of perceived value for any brand.
Wrapping Up with Value Propositions
On your website, your value proposition usually comprises a headline, a subheading, and images or bullet points that illustrate your position.
As we’ve seen, some get their value across with only the headline. Some take up the whole home page. How yours ultimately plays out will depend on your audience and the tone you’re trying to set.
Good. Take that inspiration and run with it.