How to Get Started With Your Value Prop

Stijn Hendrikse | March 31, 2014

In the first few blogs in my series on marketing, I discussed relevance, reputation and execution. Now I'd like to tell you how to find a great value proposition.

When dealing with a new product, service, or company, a lot of marketers simply stare at their computer screens, waiting for lightning to strike in the form of the perfect value prop. While you can delve deeply into your product or service, trying to find inspiration in what it does well, there's an easier way: Talk to your customers or partners.

Your value prop should answer two questions: "What do you guys do?" and "Why us?" By answering these questions, you'll get your value prop. Your customers can provide the content.

How to Get Started With Your Value Prop

The answer to the first question "What do you do?" should be action-oriented sentence: "I/we do X." But it's more powerful to add "Who do you do it for?" For example, "We solve/help/enable this type of customer/a small business that sells X to improve customer service/turn leads into sales/fulfill orders more quickly."

The next question "Why you?" could also be phrased as, "What makes you different from your main competitors?" Pinpoint why customers have or should select you instead of those competing in the same space. This might also help you realize what you aren't doing that your competitors are.

Your customers — your loyal, enthusiastic ones — should be able to answer these questions for you. Find the customers that love your product, the ones who refer your product to others, who have given you testimonials, references, and case studies — your fans. Once you find a good selection, then filter for the ten or so who are the most profitable. Zero in on them.

Next, find out more about the chosen few by asking them the following questions:

  • Why did you buy our product?
  • What problem were you trying to solve when you found us?
  • Where and how did you find us?
  • What steps did you take in evaluating our product or service?
  • Did you look at our competition? Why did you choose us over them? What made us unique?
  • What was the key factor that made you buy our product?
  • How big is your business? Where are you located? What market are you in?
  • How do you use our product? How do we find more people like you?
  • What's the return on investment (ROI) of using our product?
  • What are we not doing that you would like to see in the future?
  • What does our competition do better than us?

All these details will make it easier for you to find more customers like your fans in the future. If you get the answers to these questions, you'll have the foundation for creating your value prop statement, as well as great insights for finding prospects who need your product or service. Those are the two foundations for your marketing strategy: a great value proposition and a great way to find prospects who like what you have to offer.​

Stijn Hendrikse

Former CMO at Acumatica. Helping teams grow up and grow big.

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