How to Write a Killer Value Proposition Part 4: The Actual Writing Part
Welcome to the final blog in this series where we finally get down to the actual writing of your value proposition statement. So far we’ve discussed what makes a great value proposition statement (and what doesn’t), we’ve discussed being more Sherlock as we perform our customer discovery interviews and I’ve given you top tips on how to write up your notes and find the magic.
If you have been keeping up and following my suggestions you should now have a ranked list of your customers top pain points and opportunity gains, all sourced from the real data you uncovered by interviewing your customers.
So, let the actual writing begin. Below are a few of my favourite tools and templates to help get you started on crafting your value proposition statement.
The Value Proposition Canvas is a great first step to help structure your thinking around your customer pains and gains and how your proposition may or may not help. My top tip is when you first start using the canvas you must treat your customers’ needs and your proposition as two distinctively different areas. It’s an easy trap to fall into by noting your customers’ needs as a direct match with your proposition!
When you have completed your Value Proposition Canvas, the Strategyzer Adlib Statement is a really neat way to move seamlessly into writing your killer value proposition statement. It’s quite literally a drag and drop exercise from one to the other which leaves you with your first draft. It’s structured like this
Our [Products and Services] help(s) [customer segment] who want to [jobs to be done] by [verb (e.g. reducing, avoiding) a customer pain] and [verb (e.g. increasing, enabling) a customer gain] unlike [competing value proposition].
Example: Our [tracker app] helps [street food vendors] who want to [find profitable new pitches] by [reducing competition for pitches] and [identifying new paying customers] unlike [guessing where to pitch].
Or if you prefer a simpler approach then try the Steve Blank’s template
We help X do Y by doing Z
Example: We help street food vendors find profitable new pitches with our tracker app.
4. Geoff Moore’s Template
For a more traditional approach try out this statement by completing the blanks
For [your target customer] who [statement of need or opportunity] our [product/service name] is [product category] that [statement of benefit].
Example: For [street food vendors] who [need to find profitable new pitches] our [Fazt Foodie] is [a tracker app] that [links new pitches with customer demand].
These templates should just be treated as starting points to get a first draft of your value proposition statement and of course you can start to freestyle to reflect your brand. Although you’ll naturally go through a cycle of iterations to improve your statement, I’d suggest you seek customer feedback as soon as possible even if that feels a little uncomfortable.
Remember - a value proposition explains the value you enable for your customers, i.e. why they should buy. Here is my checklist which I use when designing a value proposition.
Be totally customer focussed
Detail the core benefit customers get from you
Explain why your customers should do business with you
Detail the problems you solve and the joy/gains you create
Demonstrate the unique value customers won’t get from your competitors
Be clear, concise and compelling
Be written in a language which resonates with your customer
The testing of your value proposition is a phase that often gets missed. A really quick way to get feedback is to mock-up a landing page with your value proposition and share with your customers. Simple tools such as Wix or Squarespace can be used for this. You don’t need to launch the landing page; you are just seeking qualitative feedback about what resonates.
As you start to refine your value proposition based on customer feedback, you could use specific tools such as Unbounce or Hubspot to perform simple landing page experiments. For example by running a simple social media campaign to drive traffic to your landing page. The landing page needs to clearly illustrate your value proposition with a call to action that you can measure.
I hope this series has been useful in determining how you add value. A compelling value proposition is essential for helping your customers, investors, senior leaders and employees truly understand the value of your products and services. It’s not just a slogan on your website!