Creating your most motivating value proposition

Your value proposition: your most potent B2B marketing weapon

Before a company can be convinced to do business with you, they need to know what you do and why they should choose you above all others. A really effective way to communicate this is by developing your own compelling, convincing and credible value proposition.

Your value proposition is the number one, most important element in determining whether someone will bother reading more about your product or hit the back button. Get it right, and communicate it clearly on your website, emails, brochures and social media, and your value proposition will be a huge boost to the effectiveness of your B2B marketing.

So what exactly is a value proposition?
A value proposition is not a slogan or a strapline. In its simplest terms, it is a clear and simple statement that:

  • explains how your product or service solves another company’s problems or improves their situation
  • delivers specific, relevant benefits
  • communicates why they should buy from you and not from the competition

How do you create a value proposition?
A good value proposition should be:

  • easy to understand in about 5 seconds
  • communicate the concrete results businesses get from purchasing and using your products or services
  • state clearly how it’s different or better than your competitors’ offers
  • avoid hype (like never seen before amazing miracle product), superlatives (best) and business jargon (value-added interactions)

Three steps to creating a value proposition that works
The fact is that if creating a great value proposition was easy, everyone would do it. There are steps you can take that sound simple, but each requires a great deal of investment in effort and time.

Step 1: Understand what your customers want
You may have the best idea in the world. But is it something that will interest your customers. Say you’ve created an advanced service that makes it easy to use a smartphone to access services that were previously only available via a PC.

What‘s the value proposition here? An improved and expanded customer service or a more convenient way to access your services? Before you decide, you need to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Or, even better, talk to them. Until you have a clear view of your customers’ perspective, you’re working on guesswork.

Step 2: Make sure everyone’s on board
You have your idea and everyone in marketing and sales has been briefed on the new value proposition, as validated by your customer research or insight. What about everyone else? Not just customer-facing staff, but everyone at every level in your organisation. They need to be on board.

When a US Senator visited NASA in the 1960s, he stopped to talk to a janitor and asked him what he did for NASA. The janitor replied; “I put men on the moon, sir.” That janitor was fully engaged in the value proposition of NASA. Is everyone in your organisation equally clear about what you do and why you do it?

Step 3: Be ruthless
It doesn’t matter how good you believe an idea to be. If the evidence is that the idea doesn’t work, ditch it. Be ruthless. Even if it’s the best idea you’ve ever had, be prepared to consign it to the waste basket if it doesn’t reflect what your customers want or your organisation can deliver.

So how do you start to make your offer unique? Sims Creative can help. As MD Anthony Sims says: “You can often be too close to a challenge to see the solution. Often it’s hard to spot anything unique about your offering. Getting an external, expert perspective can be invaluable.”

To Anthony, it’s also true that the less well-known your business, the better the value proposition you need. “The key thing to remember is that you don’t need to be unique in the whole world, just in the customer’s mind. The closing of a sale takes place in a customer’s mind, not out in the marketplace among the competition.”