A solid Value Proposition can make or break a brand. It’s one of the most supremely important things to nail down before you start any business. Without one, you’re not going to convince anyone to buy.
So what is a ‘Value Proposition’ then? Simply put, it’s a short, sharp explanation of the benefit of your product or services. A cold press of your brand to extract its essence, and, ultimately, compel your customers to buy.
Let’s take a quick look at creating Value Propositions for ecommerce brands. How can you best communicate how gosh-darn incredible your product is to your website visitors?
We’ll take a look at:
- Crafting your Value Proposition,
- Advertising your Value Proposition, and
- Conducting all your business by your Value Proposition (an important step in keeping customers for life).
Crafting your Value Proposition
The first thing to do before creating any value proposition is defining the problem your product seeks to solve.
Let’s use the example of toothpaste.
Focus on benefits, not features
We all know regular brushing causes yellowing teeth and bad breath. But we should also consider what yellow teeth and bad breath actually means to the consumer. No second date. Didn’t get the job. Low self esteem. It’s no wonder chewing gum ads always focus on the successful, beautiful and social lives of young go-getters.
A good value proposition doesn’t focus on features. It focuses on benefits. How the product will change the buyer’s life for the better. As Theodore Levitt used to say: “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”
Structure it well
A good Value Proposition usually has three key features:
A heading. Keep it short, sharp and on brand.
A short paragraph. Elaborate on your heading – but not too much. We still want your sub text to be compact and punchy.
Supporting visuals. Imagery communicates far, far faster than text. Include some supportive imagery that shows your customers the benefits of your product in action.
Don’t mistake it for a slogan
A ‘Value Proposition’ and a ‘Slogan’ are two very separate things.
A slogan is designed to stick in your customers mind, and remind them of your brand. ‘I’m lovin’ it’ might instantly remind you of the taste of a Big Mac, but it doesn’t really explain what makes a Big Mac any good. A Value Proposition, on the other hand, is designed to communicate a clear, concise message about the benefits of your product.
A great example of a Value Proposition from Dollar Shave Club
In just a few words, they have explained their main benefit: a simpler, stress-free life for their hairy customers.
Dollar Shave club users receive great quality razors, at their doorstep, for only a few dollars a month – saving time and money. Their users are in control, with no added commitment or fees. Plus, Dollar Shave Club promises ‘No BS’ – clearly showing that they understand the cramped marketplace of overhyped and priced razor blades, and show the customer that they can be liberated from it.
15 words in total, and they’ve summed all of this up. Pretty impressive, right?
Advertising your Value Proposition
Now that you have crafted your Value Proposition, it’s time to share it with the world. There’s really no limit to how far and wide you want to get yours out there – email signatures, business cards, it’s up to you – but there are a few essential locations where you should include your Value Proposition across your digital network.
Put it front and center on your website. Your Value Proposition should be one of the first things your customers see when they arrive at your site.
Social media headers
Your Facebook and Twitter cover photos are a great opportunity for a well designed banner with a short version of your Value Proposition. Use that valuable screen real estate to your advantage.
Your business and product no doubt offers many different benefits to the user. Toothpaste, for instance, not only keeps your breath fresh and your self esteem high, but it also greatly reduces your chances of contracting some nasty strain of gum disease. You can write separate Value Propositions for both of these benefits.
Different audiences will respond better to different messages. Use landing pages to target different audiences and deliver the best message for the job.
Your welcome email
The Welcome email series is a must for all ecommerce brands. It’s the perfect way to make a great first impression – and the perfect location to follow up a new subscriber with a solid, punchy Value Proposition!
Living your Value Proposition
Here comes the most important step: delivering on your promises.
Keeping your customers for life means delivering a great product, a great service and building trust with them. If you can do that, you’ll keep your customers returning to shop time and time again with your brand.
If your brand needs help creating a marketing strategy that keeps customers for life, get in touch! We’d love to make it happen for you.