One of the constant battles I struggle with companies is to stop thinking about what they do and start thinking about why people use their product or service. I’ll give you a quick example… day to day, you’ll find me recording and editing podcasts, writing integration code, implementing third-party solutions, and training my clients. Blah, blah, blah… that’s not why people contract my services. They could get any of those services on Fiverr for a hundred bucks a job. My clients hire me because I’m able to transform their digital marketing efforts and grow their results substantially for a modest investment.
There’s an analogy I often use. I have a car that I bring in for maintenance every month or so. It’s to keep my car in good shape and keep me going back and forth to work. I’m not that mechanic. Now, if I wished to get my car modified and upgraded to win races, would I bring it to that mechanic? No. My agency isn’t a oil change shop, it’s the win the race shop.
Sounds easy, right? No… because companies think they’re shopping for an oil change but they really need is to win the race.
What is a Value Proposition?
Also known as a Unique Value Propositions (UVP), your value proposition is a short statement that encompassed the benefits of the services you provided as well as how you differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Pro Tip: Before you move forward with what you think is your Unique Value Proposition… ask your current clients or customers! You may be surprised that it’s not what you actually believe it to be.
Your value proposition has to accomplish four things:
- It must capture the visitor’s attention. Your company isn’t getting the results it expects from your marketing investment – that’s why people hire me.
- It must be easy to understand. I share that a business relationship with me costs less than the cost of a full-time employee while providing decades of expertise.
- It must differentiate you from your competitors online. If your list of value propositions is similar to your competitors, focus on one that they are not focused on. In my example, we’re not an agency focused on a single channel, my expertise spans a multitude of technologies and strategies so that I can advise business leaders on how to improve their business while communicating to their resources on how to execute it.
- It must be enticing enough to actually sway the visitor’s purchase decision. Example: We offer a 30 day out to our sponsors since we believe in our value and want to ensure our client’s success.
In the ecommerce industry, there are several common unique value propositions… speed of delivery, cost of shipping, return policies, low price guarantees, transaction security, in-stock status. All of which are utilized to increase trust and get the visitor to a sale without them leaving the site and comparison shopping somewhere else. For your product or service, you need to be creative… is it your resources? Location? Experience? Clients? Quality? Cost?
After you determine unique value proposition, you need to communicate it internally and consistently embed it into every sales and marketing message you’re deploying.
One great example is Lifeline Data Centers, a midwest colocation facility and client of ours. They have more room for scaling than any other competitor in the Midwest. They’re certified for federal top secret data. And… they’re currently building office space into their facilities. The combination is so unique that we’re working with them on a site and brand redesign that will fully encompass the differentiation!
Your UVP may not lead to an entire rebranding… but it should be obvious from your web, social, and search presence what your value proposition is! Here’s a great infographic from QuickSprout, How to Write a Great Value Proposition.