Module 2, Step 1:
Your Value Proposition : Differentiating your product or service
The Importance of Defining your Value Propositions
Proper and effective VPs performs several important functions:
- Help keeps you out of the never ending price wars with your competition.
- Position you as a value-added expert in your field.
- Clearly states your unique solutions to your UCP’s problems.
- Sets your most important marketing messages that will be used across all your mediums
Working on niching down your service(s) and finding your best Value Propositions to set them apart will often lead you to realize that you may have to redefine your services in a more unique way.
Now let’s define VALUE PROPOSITION. Ask 10 marketers their definition and you’ll get 10 vague definitions full of industry jargon and examples that have VPs and slogans completely confused (seriously. Google it. ). To me, the definition of your VP is very clear and concise:
Value Propositions are statements that: 1. Acknowledge your target audience’s problems. 2. Clearly describe the solutions / benefits of your products/services. 3. Why you are uniquely different
*Tie in your prospects #1 fear or resistance and you have an exceptional VP
When you can spout off two or three UNIQUE benefits of your service with a prideful smile, it makes all the rest of your sales and marketing efforts much easier and more profitable. Arriving at our own best VPs can be an arduous process – especially if you need to invest time or money into making your specialized service as good and important as you want to claim. But, sometimes they’re hidden right in plain sight and we simply need to shift our perspective to that of our customer to see them.
Anatomy of a good Value Proposition
Not to be confused with slogans or mission statements, if a full VP acknowledges the problem, solution and your uniqueness than it will likely consist of at least a couple sentences at minimum.
If you write the complete VP out as a headline, small paragraph and maybe some bulleted benefit points, you can use that immediately on your website, social media and other promotional copy. Other times, you’ll find it more effective to simply use the VP benefits bullet points (as I do with Best Brand Blueprint’s homepage).
How many VPs should I have?
You should one overall summary Value Proposition that you can feature prominently in your marketing materials and weave into a 20-second elevator pitch.
But, you can (should) go through this same process to find VPs for each of your services as well. Always finding your unique techniques, processes and solutions to each problem and being able to clearly communicate them to your prospects is the most important aspect of developing your marketing messaging. This will save you TONS of money in future marketing efforts where most of your competition will only know to advertise promotions.
Four Examples of effective Value Propositions (or excerpts of VP)
Example: My story of finding my Value Propositions
I’m going use this course, Best Brand Blueprint as an example. This is the process that I took myself through in order to arrive at the key benefits that I use in my promotional copy – and I think you’ll agree that they’re very strong points that put my course in a unique position.
*** The following is an example of how I went through this exercise to arrive at my own Value Propositions***
1. Your niche service (your top area of specialization from Module 1’s worksheet)
Developing Best Brands
2. Unique Customer Personas (UCP)’s name
Blue Collar Brian
3. What are your UCP’s biggest problems… and what are your solutions to each of these?
*** Note that you should have already done this on your Lean Business Model, but you may want to expound on them now, as things are taking deeper shape***
UCP’s Problem: Not confident in ability to explain what the company offers or how to position it to sell.
My Solution: We will go through a defined sequence of exercises to identify your deepest passions and values behind your offerings and shape your brand and product/services in a solution-oriented way that speaks directly to your target audience.
UCP’s Problem: Tired of getting beat up on price every day.
My Solution: We will work on refining an area of specialization, so we can bring out your uniquenesses and productize your services to reduce these daily price wars.
UCP’s Problem: Need to not be forever dependent on expensive marketing campaigns going forward.
My Solution: We’ll reduce prospect conversion costs by positioning a company and it’s products and services in the best way possible, establishing proper local SEO and train you or your team on how to run a sustainable content marketing plan, so that more prospects will find you and more of them will convert into customers.
4. What are your UCP’s biggest fears or obstacles in pursuing solutions such as yours?
- Prospects have not been finding him online.
- Worried about not having a credible presence when prospects do find him.
- Worried about cost of marketing
5. Comparing your solutions (#3) to your UCP’s biggest fears, create a CONVINCING statement to combat each fear
Begin your statement with an acknowledgement of that fear. Let them know that they have been heard and validated. Then state your unique expert solution.
- Worried about prospects not finding him:
Attracting prospects is extremely important – it’s the first stage of gaining customers.
Together, we will structure your online presence so you attract more organic (FREE) traffic. We’ll also begin a sustainable content marketing plan to keep engaged with prospects and further our search results efforts. Additionally, I also offer superior Google Adwords and social media marketing services assuring that we can get in front of many prospects when we need to.
- Worried about not having a credible presence when prospects do find him:
You have two seconds to create that first impression, and overcoming a bad first impression is very difficult!
Together, we will evaluate/enhance your logo, slogan, messaging and trust factors, so that they are professional and credible –creating an exceptional first impression, so that we can gain another two seconds to show them your undeniably unique services and possibly turn that prospect into a valid lead.
- Worried about cost of marketing:
Facebook ads, Google Adwords, LinkedIn ads, even doing trade shows — gets extremely expensive very fast!
We will create a credible presence that puts you in the best light now and going forward. We’ll put your best message in front of your best customer and have trust factors that back that up, so that you’re converting more of those prospects into customers. And the Return On Investment that you’ll receive with Best Brand Blueprint should be realized within a couple months of successful completion.
6. From this discovery process, extrapolate the main overall benefit(s) that you provide your customers in headline, sentence (or two) and bulleted items:
Get found by prospects online… then convert them into customers
My DIY course helps small local businesses save a ton of money on all their future marketing – Facebook ads, Google Adwords, Trade shows… by creating their Best Brand that converts more prospects into customers.
- Stop competing for cheapest price in your market ever day
- Stop wasting money on Facebook ads, Google Adwords and other marketing efforts
- Start converting more prospects into customers
*** Your statements in #5 are important Value Propositions that you should use and quote regularly — especially as the situation dictates, but #6 is your main, overall VP – the one that you can fall back on in almost any circumstance for you quickest, shortest elevator speech. ***
Please download your Worksheet to get started on your very important Value Propositions!