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Thursday, 24 April 2014

Value Proposition Statements - A.K.A "Hey You There, Pay Attention To Me!"

What is a value proposition? It’s not a company overview or a mission statement and it’s not your brand slogan or motto. A value proposition is ideally created internally by your company and simply put - it is what value your product or service has to offer to your consumers.

Be wary, however, as consumers can shape their own value propositions for your offering. This is where marketing comes in; it can be used to bridge the gap between differences in perceptions. If your internal value proposition is not aligning with your consumers value proposition you may potentially have consumer expectations not being met.

The benefits of having a clear value proposition will show potential consumers how your product or service will be of benefit to them, how it will add value and it will also showcase what sets your offering apart from your competitors.

Some companies that have clear value propositions are:

Pandora - free, personalized radio that plays music you'll love

Skype - make internet calls for free and cheap online calls to phones and mobiles
Square - accept credit cards on your iPhone, Android or iPad

They are outstanding examples because they communicate their offering clearly and present it in a visually pleasing manner. You don’t get to make second impressions in today’s fast-paced market; we are increasingly competing to be noticed by consumers.

Some tips we can all use to create better value propositions for our companies are:
  • Avoid complicated business jargon – it needs to be understood clearly in simple terms
  • Avoid more than 2-3 sentences for a value proposition – less is more
  • Value propositions are not slogans or mottos – slogans or mottos help with brand recall; you want your value proposition to sell your product or offering
  • Make sure it stands out – why should a consumer choose you over the others; present it aesthetically
  • Avoid clichés – stay away from overused phrasing such as ‘never before seen’, ‘one of a kind’, ‘best of the best’
Luckily, the Marketing Matters blog has a current value proposition that I can do a personal evaluation on regarding its overall effectiveness:

“Marketing Matters is a blog that tells marketing stories from an industry, academic and student's perspective. We confront and debate today’s business trends!”

I would say this is a good value proposal for these reasons:
  • It lets us know what the blog is about and what the end benefits of reading it are
  • It knows who its target audience is and has worded it appropriately and clearly
  • It has identified its unique differentiation point that helps set it apart from other marketing blogs out there
The foundation is there to continually perfect the visuals. If this small exercise has taught me anything, it’s that there is always room to evaluate and improve your value proposition to ensure that consumers notice your offering and your brand/company over all the others out there.

Kori Bassi
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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