Value Proposition To Customers

By Sean Stevenson – Latest Revision February 10th, 2021

Defining The Value Proposition To Customers

A value proposition offered to customers is an element of marketing.  It declares the inherent value of a particular product or service.  This is done through advertising, suggestive marketing, and in-store messaging.

Any business that wishes to compete effectively within the market must offer higher value to its customers.  Failure to offer heightened value will leave a business model vulnerable to its competitors, who may attempt to drive more customers towards their goods or services. 

A definitive aspect of the value proposition to customers is that the benefits of a particular product or service are made immediately clear through the information presented.  This allows for customers to make a quick decision based on their own particular needs.  If the high value good or service is something they feel they can make use of, then they will be more likely to purchase.

An unfortunate reality of today, is that many businesses fail to convey their value proposition effectively.  Value propositions to customers that are buried beneath slogans, buzzwords, or overly complex ideas, can easily drive away prospective consumers.

Example

Two companies are vying against one another for greater market share.  They both produce dish detergent -their leading product- and have enjoyed great success across the country for years.

Company A produces a straightforward and concise slogan that conveys the value they offer.

Company B produces a complicated and unconvincing phrase.

As each company starts the new fiscal year, it becomes immediately apparent that company A has made the right decision in their marketable value proposition to customers.  This is due to the fact that people can immediately understand the value of what company A is offering and the value that can be gained from their product.

Conversely, company B is losing market share.  Due to its awkward market phrasing, people are uncertain exactly what to expect from doing business with them.  This is because there is little to no communication as to the inherent value of their product that is being offered to the public.

Hence, without effective communication and marketing, the value proposition to any customer will invariably fail.

Key Takeaways

  • A value proposition to customers is a market offering.  It is used to declare the value of a product or service through marketing.
  • Advertising, suggesting marketing, and even in-store messaging, are all ways of communicating a value proposition to customers.
  • If a business wishes to be successful, they must carefully cultivate their own image and advertising.
  • An ideal value proposition to customers will immediately make clear the tangible benefits of a particular product or service.

Why Is A Value Proposition To Customers Important?

Offering convincing reasons as to why consumers should purchase a particular product or service is a cornerstone of viable marketability.  This allows a business to ensure it will make a profit.

Moreover, differentiating a product from its competition is integral.  Brand perception has become a leading concern for businesses worldwide.  If people cannot recognize the value of your brand, you will never thrive in any market.

By offering targeted brand-familiarity through advertisements, a business can convey its value proposition to prospective buyers both quickly and effectively.

According to studies conducted by Microsoft (1), the average human’s attention span is now 8 seconds.  This is a sharp decrease from studies conduced over past decades and represents a huge hurdle for marketing efforts.

The implications for any advertising effort it clear.  Given that the vast majority of the population do not have the patience -or attention span- to sift through significant amounts of content, there is a need for concise value propositioning.

The clearer the tangible benefits of a particular product or service are, the more likely people will be to buy them.

Understanding The Value Proposition To Customers

The most essential aspect of a value proposition is that it delivers a promise of potential value.  Ideally, this value far out-strips its competition in terms of longevity and general effectiveness.

The reasons why a customer would choose to purchase a particular good or service from a business is at the heart of any value proposition.

Inevitably, the more value that is being offered, and the more tangible the results, the better a business value proposition will fare.

Highlighting the use, relevance, and value, are all key to a well-defined value proposition to customers.

A common means of conveying the value of a product or service, is by inventing a marketable scenario.  A marketable scenario is something you often see on television.  Commercials where a problem is presented, only to have a perfect product or service appear as the solution, is the perfect example of a marketable scenario.

Businesses make common use of tactics such as this to depict the value they produce.  Further, they also tend to find ways of making themselves appear unique.  This allows them to differentiate themselves from their competitors. 

An excellent example of this would be a product or service that connects to another.  In essence, by using one good or service, you are being given access to another.  This gives the customer increased incentive to purchase, as they feel they will be receiving greater value for their dollars spent.

Business Considerations

The first step for any business in developing its value proposition, is by cultivating a deep understanding of its customers.  Using this understanding in the production process is a necessity.  This allows for viable solutions to be created that will offer consumers innate value.

However, creating this value is not enough on its own.  There must also be a sustained focus on developing the firm’s strengths and leveraging all available resources towards a concerted effort that creates opportunities for growth.

The key considerations for any business that seeks to create -and benefit from- an innate customer value proposition are:

  • Development of consistent and standardized value in each offering to the consumer.
  • Continuously analyzing consumer behaviors and their relevant needs.
  • Maintaining key advantages against competitors wherever possible.
  • Focusing on continuous improvements both internally and externally, so that the organization may thrive in the long-term (I.E: “Pushing the flywheel forward” at all costs).

Once a firm has enjoyed success and entrenched itself within its market niche, it can then make further considerations.  This may include buying out other enterprises that will compliment its existing business model.

However, it must be noted that deviating from an existing model of business is hazardous.  An attitude of “growth for growth’s sake” is a fallacy that will invariably cause failure.

Avoiding this pitfall and remaining aware of competitors is essential to a continuous value proposition being offered to customers.

Examples of Value Proposition to Customers

Obviously one of the best ways to learn about value propositioning, is to observe the titans in the field.  Here are two excellent examples of value propositions being offered to customers today:

Apple's iPhone

The world of tech has undoubtedly seen its innumerable share of successful products.  Some of the fastest growing companies today -and likely the future- are tech-bound commercial juggernauts.

However, Apple’s iPhone represents a great example of what it means to become truly iconic in an industry.  In fact, despite endless competition, it still reigns supreme.  People still line up in droves outside -whether in the pouring rain, snow, or the beating sun- just to get their very own device.

Value Proposition To Customers

Apple’s iPhone value proposition underscores the simplicity, beauty, and “magic” of the product they offer to consumers.  A better, or more well-known slogan, you would be hard-pressed to find!

An elegant design, coupled with a consistently well-thought-out user interface, allows the phone to be used by just about anyone.  A person who has never held a smartphone before, could easily discover its use over time, simply by playing with the features of an iPhone.

It is this simplicity that has stood the test of time for so many years.  Whether you are an expert technologist, or someone who simply needs a reliable phone, there’s something here for anyone.

The value proposition being offered to the customer is commercially inspiring.  Apple seems all too well-aware of its competition.  That’s why they remained so focused for decades on providing a user-friendly experience.

However, they also delve into the importance of cyber-security through numerous advertisements and clever messaging.  The latest “Touch ID” is a smart move, painstakingly engineered (as they say) to allow anyone to unlock their iPhone by use of their fingerprint.

Key Takeaways

  • The technology sector has innumerable devices in direct competition with Apple’s iPhone.  However, the simplicity of Apple’s device, and it’s focus on a deep value proposition offering to customers, allows it to stay ahead.
  • Note Apple’s commitment to simplicity and ease-of-use.  Every business should take note of this.
  • The value proposition statements that Apple makes use of are always concise, straight to the point, and immediately offer clear reasons why you should make a purchase.

LessAccounting – Accounting Software

A top concern for modern business is its accounting practices.  Most people simply don’t have the time to meticulously craft their own bookkeeping schema.  Moreover, failing to maintain your own accounting records can land you in hot water legally (and financially!) speaking.

Value Proposition To Customers

All of these concerns are what lend themselves to LessAccounting’s value proposition, “Make your life easier with our accounting software.”

Bookkeeping services are a dime a dozen in today’s competitive landscape.  However, not many of these offer a demo, along with a 30-day free trial with no credit card required.

These value propositions are what immediately snag customers.  With no liabilities to worry about, anyone can try this attractive accounting service hassle-free.

In fact, the slogan on their homepage, “We help businesses get paid faster and make accounting easier,” (2) is one of the most concise value propositions on the web today.

The most surprising thing about LessAccounting, is that they seem to focus on small businesses and independent agents.

Regardless, making life easier for all kinds of businesses is what LessAccounting excels at.

Key Takeaways

  • Despite accounting being a difficult proposition for many business owners, LessAccounting drives home an exceptional value proposition for its customers.  Making the seemingly difficult more accessible and easier to deal with, is certainly a great way to build a business.
  • With a competitive industry, the baseline product for LessAccounting has to rely on effectiveness.  It even offers customers a free trial so that they can experience the utility of their accounting services firsthand.  This is a lesson in advertising every business owner can draw from.

Devising Your Own Value Proposition To Customers

The key to devising an effective value proposition of your own is to target the right audience.  Ask yourself:

  1. Who are my customers?
  2. What are their needs?
  3. How can I offer the most value through my products and services?
  4. What kind of competitors are in my field?  How can I defeat their value offered, by adding more value of my own?
  5. Is there a concise and catchy slogan I can use, that sums up what I am offering the general market?
Value Proposition To Customers

Carefully ponder your own value proposition using the above criteria.  Remember to take your time!  It should never be rushed.

In considering all of these questions, try to devise your own sense of how you wish to represent your business values.  Picture the image that customers will get when they see your slogan.  What kind of colours will you use to help convey your ideas?

All of these considerations take time to fully consider.  There is no sense in rushing things, however you can take steps to help develop your own ideas.

Try writing down everything you want your value proposition to represent.  Brainstorm different ways of concisely stating the products or services you are offering.  Be certain to include how you are different from your competitors, along with any additional incentives you can provide.

Understanding Your Target Audience

There are various ways of compartmentalizing your advertising efforts.  The best of these, is to divide your target audience into more manageable “portions” that you can focus on individually.

This will allow you to leverage your efforts more effectively.  Rather than spreading your time and capital in a wasted effort, you can carefully target different markets.

The End User

Perhaps the most important target audience of all, the end user is the primary goal of any ongoing business.  Targeting an end user requires effective value delivery from start-to-finish.  Moreover, this process must be thoroughly standardized and repeatable. 

A key method of attracting new end users (customers) is by making a value proposition that involves a free trial.  This gives the customer a chance to use your product or service on their own time.

Establishing a relationship between yourself and your customer is essential.  Even if they choose to opt out of doing business with you, there is still the opportunity to obtain feedback as to what went wrong.

Gaining new customers or constructive feedback, are both huge opportunities that can be accessible through an effective value propositioning.

A Manufacturer or Distributor

If you are attempting a B2B sales target, then your product or service value is key. 

Delivering a value proposition to such a customer requires an overwhelming amount of evidence that you are the best choice available.  This can come in the form of videos displaying your value (think commercials), pamphlets, or even ebooks.

For the enterprising individual, you may even try making contact with the target business personally.  Take the time to understand their needs and establish a relationship.  Even if it doesn’t lead to immediate sales, chances are you will learn a great deal of who they are, along with who they do business with. 

Also try to consider the exact factors that are influencing the decision-making of these manufacturers or distributors.  There may be additional complexities beyond price or even quality, which dictate their decisions.

Naturally, as you forge connections, you will inevitably find that many organizations can make use of your services.  Developing a network of people you can deal with -each representative of their company- can bolster your sales potential immensely.

Market Segmentation

Market segmentation essentially allows for you to “divide” your consumers into more targetable groups.  For businesses that have complex and varied end-users, this is essential.

Depending on your own industry and business needs, you may benefit immensely from market segmentation.  Your value proposition to one customer, compared to another, may require careful nuance and differentiation.

It is most important to understand the different requirements of each group.  Just as imperative, is understanding how to approach them.  Many companies keep profiles of their customer base, even going so far as to develop “avatars” that are representative of different consumer-communities.

The best way to think of market segmentation, is to understand its merit as a means of organizing and tailoring your value proposition to customers.  By considering each group as a unique entity, you can devise better ways of marketing your business.

Common Value Proposition Templates

There are several archetypes used in advertising to convey value propositions to the customer.  Consider the merit of each of these, and how you might make best use of them to market towards your target audience:

Listing All Benefits

The most commonly used value proposition to customers is a simple list of all the benefits being offered.  A key benefit of this method is that it can be tailored to any customer base with relative ease.

Inevitably, the more benefits that can be listed, the more attractive the offering will appear.  If the list is substantial enough, then it will be more likely to be universally acceptable to a much broader range of consumers.  This makes it an attractive option for a “blanket advertising campaign” that can target a larger region with relative ease.

Despite its advantages, this method should not be relied upon.  The targeting of specific audiences is also a necessity for an effective marketing campaign that increases brand-awareness.

Favorable Points of Difference

This format of value propositioning to a customer, focuses on differentiating a product or service.  Comparing the key value being offered, and how it is superior to its competition, is paramount when using this format.

For a business attempting to seize additional market share, this method is a must. 

However, one particular drawback is that this form of value propositioning requires a deep understanding of the customer’s needs.  This can only come through meticulous research and understanding.

However, once obtained, the information can then be leveraged to a competitive advantage in any business.  Whether you are attempting to advertise to customers, other businesses, or even government entities, knowing the favorable differences of your product can deliver highly profitable results.

In essence, be prepared with several reasons why your product or service is superior to all others within your industry.

Resonating Focus

This format of value propositioning to a customer, focuses on differentiating a product or service.  Comparing the key value being offered, and how it is superior to its competition, is paramount when using this format.

For a business attempting to seize additional market share, this method is a must. 

However, one particular drawback is that this form of value propositioning requires a deep understanding of the customer’s needs.  This can only come through meticulous research and understanding.

However, once obtained, the information can then be leveraged to a competitive advantage in any business.  Whether you are attempting to advertise to customers, other businesses, or even government entities, knowing the favorable differences of your product can deliver highly profitable results.

In essence, be prepared with several reasons why your product or service is superior to all others within your industry.

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