Your value proposition is more than simply defining your price structure. It is your brand’s narrative. To define your value proposition, begin with the obvious and work your way through to the nuanced.
How to define your value proposition in 3 steps:
1. Be specific
Here’s where you should address the specific benefits your customers will get. Focus more on being concise and clear than being creative with catchphrases. Remember your value proposition is not o be confused with your slogan. Keep it brief. Aim for two to three sentences max.
2. Identify the pain point you’re solving.
Use the customer experience to really understand your value. Ask for feedback. While it may not be a ground-breaking idea, if you analyze your data and ask the right questions, the feedback you get is invaluable. Use cohort analysis to narrow down your best customers and get their opinion.
Cohort Analysis looks at groups of customers over time. It’s behavioral analysis to examine slices of customers individually and the metrics related to them- customer churn, lifetime value, CAC, and revenue for example.
Once you’ve identified your most loyal customers, begin by asking them some version of these basic questions:
- What brought you to us in the first place?
- What problem has been solved thanks to our product or service?
- What other products or services did you try first and in which ways did they fail to meet your needs?
- What gave you the confidence to try our product or service?
3. Identify your competitive advantage
Next, start digging into your specialty. Ask yourself the right questions. Why should a customer choose you over the competition?
- What do you do better?
- What sets you apart from your competitors?
- What can you do that is not being talked about by competitors already?
Examples of great value propositions
A brand value proposition often appears with a headline, catchphrase or slogan followed by a concise proposition that says who you are, what you do and how you do it– ideally how you do it better than your competitors. Let’s break down a few examples of some great value propositions from tools we use:
Asana: “Asana helps you manage projects, focus on what’s important, and organize work in one place for seamless collaboration.”
- Specific benefit: helps you manage projects
- Pain-point: teamwork and collaboration (Asana pretty much spells it out with their heading)
- Competitive advantage: seamless organization of work in one place
Gusto: “Whether your team is big, small, in-person or remote, Gusto has the payroll, benefits, and hiring tools you need, all in one place. Honest prices. No hidden fees. No Surprises.”
- Specific benefit: payroll and HR tools
- Pain-point: payroll, benefits and hiring
- Competitive advantage: a tool for HR needs in one place, for one price
NetSuite: “One unified business management suite, encompassing ERP/Financials, CRM and ecommerce for more than 33,000 customers.”
- Specific benefit: unified business management suite
- Pain-point: ERP, inventory, financials and CRM can be disjointed or spread across multiple platforms
- Competitive advantage: in the cloud, huge customer base
How to tie your value proposition to your financial strategy.
Now that you’ve defined your value proposition, let’s map it back to your financial strategy.
Let’s begin with your price. Setting the right price can be a task all on its own but once you do, it will reveal your market position. Is your business white glove concierge or economy?
Related Read: How to write a price increase letter
If you consider your business to be white glove concierge, for example, you’re going to offer more, at a higher price point, but for fewer customers. Or, in accounting terms, you generally will have higher margins with lower revenue.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you offer more standard or economical pricing, you will likely have lower margins: Your business offers a little bit for lots of people and with a lot of revenue.
Your customer value proposition and who you’re targeting differ greatly in each of the cases above and should tie into your entire financial strategy.
For example, value proposition becomes essential to financial strategy for SaaS companies that operate within a freemium model. How you upsell your product will depend on the kind of value you want to offer within your free subscription. We cover how using creative upselling can increase cash flow for ecommerce businesses in this post.
Figuring out the right amount to offer within your free version is a delicate balance: you want to offer just enough that your potential customers can experience the value you’re selling but not so much that may never convert or upgrade to paying customers.
Value proposition budgeting, also referred to as priority-based budgeting, is a comprehensive approach that involves justifying the value of each expense item. The primary objective is to determine where a business should allocate funds to achieve a positive return.
To maximize your income start by defining the best services or products. When you’re using value-proposition budgeting, business owners should ask themselves these crucial questions:
- Why is this specific amount included in the budget?
- What is the rationale behind this expense?
- Does the item generate value for customers, staff, or other stakeholders?
- Does the value outweigh its cost?
- How do we measure success?
How to put your value proposition to work.
Besides web copy and elevator pitches, there are a few other ways to put your value proposition to work now that you’ve tied it to your finances:
- Create a fact sheet for your sales team to draw on.
- Model an infographic around your value proposition to use it for all kinds of marketing and sales opportunities.
- Use it as a stepping stone to build a referral program using your existing customer base.
- Run it as a self-check. Structure feedback and surveys around your value proposition to make sure that you continue to offer the value that you promise.
Need some extra insight to tease apart how your value proposition is tied to your financial strategy? Get in touch to see how our outsourced CFO services and dashboard analytics can provide you with the real-time insight that you’re looking for.