What is a Value Proposition?

Online writing often involves a lot of terminology that can be confusing for those that are not used to marketing their company or product. One of those terms is “value proposition.” A value proposition in the world of marketing is a business’s answer to the question “Why us?” It is the way you present your product or service’s desirability in terms of your prospective audience’s needs, and in comparison to other businesses. Individualized value propositions are created to attract constituents including customers, employees, partners, and suppliers.

Elements of a Value Proposition

In order to create an effective value proposition, you must first establish a target market and discover what they are the most interested in.  Once you have carefully defined your target market and its needs and desires, you will be able to use language within your value proposition that speaks directly to them.

The value proposition must describe the service or product is being offered, in terms of a) its benefits to the customer, and b) its benefits in comparison to similar products and services being offered by other businesses. Claims made within the value proposition should be accompanied by proof of their veracity.

Defining and Analyzing Your Target Market

In customizing your value proposition for your target market, extensive market research is crucial. Businesses whose broad value propositions fail to take their target market’s specific needs into consideration are less likely to catch the attention of their customers or gain visibility within the market. In order to define your target market with as much specificity as possible, ask yourself questions such as:

• Where Does Your Target Market Live? – Are you addressing locals only, or advertising to the world at large?
• Who Is Your Target Market? – What is the approximate age range of the target market? What gender does your product or service appeal most strongly to? What race or ethnicity does your product or service appeal to within this age range and gender?
• What Do They Like and/or Do? – What type so jobs, families, income, hobbies are common among the people included in your target audience? Can your product or service be compared to or does it facilitate any of these?

Finding out what products and services most interest your target market is primarily a matter of being attentive to customer feedback. What do your customers most appreciate? What do they most frequently find lacking? What service or product feature is their top priority? Giving customers an easy means to provide feedback at every opportunity will help you to find out what you are doing and what you can do that no-one else does with their service or products, and to tailor your value proposition to the specific needs of your niche.

How to Maintain Your Value Proposition

When it comes to your value proposition, consistency is the best way to establish your business as a reliable and trusted source of the service or product you provide. At the same time, it is important to maintain an up-to-date understanding of your target market’s needs and desires. If your value proposition is no longer reaching its intended audience, it is time to re-analyze your target market.

An effective value proposition defines what your business offers in the way that makes it as appealing as possible to your target market, and compares it as favorably as possible with other businesses in the market. Ideally, the claims you make within this proposition are true and can be upheld by the business for as long as it lasts.