This article has been updated since first published in 2017
A value proposition is not a slogan, a tagline, an elevator pitch, or a positioning statement. While those might be part of your brand message, your value proposition is much more than that.
Simply put, the value proposition is a carefully crafted marketing message that clearly communicates to your ideal client what it is you sell and the value of working with you. You want to have a succinct vision to memorize and quickly respond when asked “what do you do”, as well as an expanded, more detailed version to use in marketing materials such as brochures, presentations, and most importantly, your website.
When a prospect finds your website you have about 5 seconds to give them a reason to consider working with you. They arrived at your site because they are evaluating providers, so you want to be a strong contender. Therefore, your offering has to stand out in this important evaluation phase. This is when your value proposition comes into play: its purpose is to set you apart from the competition.
Crafting a Powerful Value Proposition
Most of the times it’s hard to determine what makes you different, especially in a commoditized market such as promotional products. At the end of the day, everybody sells the same things, right? Not to the eye of the client. So the key is to find what’s important to your ideal clients and communicate it clearly.
This is a crucial step and you must take the time to do it. Think about your experience in other industries or interests you might have. Maybe you come from an industry that gave you experience in safety programs. Or you are very involved in school fundraising and spirit. Or you might have a strong background in graphic design and creativity is your strong suit. Whatever it is, use it as your competitive advantage. It will bring a ton of value to the right clients.
Start by Answering The Following Questions:
- Who are your products for?
- What are the products you want your company to sell the most?
- What added services can you provide?
- What are the benefits of working with your company?
- What makes working with you different or better than with your competitors?
Once you have the answers, structure them in a paragraph form. Include a headline, bullets, and relevant visuals. And speaking of visuals, avoid at all costs using stock images, especially if they are common.
Make it Simple To Understand
Use language that’s easy to understand and avoid industry jargon at all costs. Just like in any other industry, the way we talk about our products and imprint methods is very different than the way our clients do. There are terms used in the industry that are not common knowledge among end clients, and using such language will distance you from them. So make sure you use the terms they use when referring to the products or how the products will be used.
Avoid The Commonplace
Stay away from platitudes such as “your logo on anything” or “a gazillion products”, or anything else that obviously any distributor can say. That doesn’t make you different. Also, avoid using hype and superlatives because they can have a negative effect on your credibility. It’s best to go straight to the point because you have about 5 seconds to drive it across.
Your value proposition is an important component of your brand. It’s the determining factor for your visitor to decide to stay or leave your site. If you don’t have a clear message, this would be a good time to work on that. If you need assistance in helping you uncover your sweet spot and communicate it effectively, we can help! Schedule a time to talk at your convenience, no obligation.