Within 5 seconds, your value proposition should tell potential customers what you do and the value you can offer them. But that can be hard to do. In fact, many value propositions miss the mark.
Rather than focusing on the value a company brings, they’re nothing more than flashy slogans or inspiration phrases. Potential and current customers are left with more questions than answers.
A value proposition must show the unique way your company adds value to the lives and work of the people who interact with it.
According to Neil Patel, “Your value proposition is an answer to the question: ‘Why should I buy from you and not your competitor?’ It’s an easy-to-understand promise from you to your customers, giving them a clear reason to act.
Luckily, there are great examples of value propositions that both inspire and clearly show the specific value a company offers. Before we dive in, let’s take a look at what makes a great value proposition.
A Next-Level Value Proposition
The goal isn’t a witty slogan. Your value proposition should focus on what your company does that is different from your competitors. What makes you stand out? What services do you offer that they don’t? What is unique about your product or service?
Every powerful value proposition shares these five characteristics:
- It’s specific. A value proposition is a reflection of your company’s specific value, not just a vague statement, as inspirational as it might be.
- It’s clear. The best value propositions give prospects an idea of what you do. If this isn’t clear, they’ll be quick to move on to something else.
- It’s unique. If your value proposition could easily fit a company in a different industry, it’s time to take another look. A value proposition like “Customers First” doesn’t show how you’re unique.
- It’s not about you. Focus on your customers. It’s more than a statement about how long you’ve been in business or the specifics of what you do. Tell them how you will bring value to their lives and work.
- It makes a promise. Tell your customers what you can give them that they won’t be able to find anywhere else. Give them insight into the promise that you’ll deliver on through your value proposition.
The Missing First Step to Writing a Value Proposition
Don’t start with fancy words, jargon, or catchy slogans. Start by talking to your customers. The best value propositions use the words customers already know and feel!
You might consider:
- Talking to individual customers and ask them about the value they get from working with your company
- Sending out a survey to a large number of customers and ask for their thoughts
- Looking at customer reviews and see what benefits they highlight
In doing this, you can lead with the value that matters most to the people you’re selling to.
Value Proposition Examples by Industry
Take another look at your value proposition. Does it do the job you need it to do? Be inspired by what other companies have done and then brainstorm—you never know what great ideas you’ll unlock! Use these value propositions from multiple industries to help you get started:
- Edward Jones: Making Sense of Investing
- PrimeLending: Home Loans Made Simple
- Progressive: Find the best savings easily
- Plante Moran: Our legacy. Your future. Unstoppable.
- Intuit: Take control of your prosperity
- Stripe: The new standard in online payments
- Square: Square helps you build and grow your business.
- Dropbox: Work Better, Safer, Together
- Shopify: Build your business
- Freshworks: A fresh approach to customer engagement
- Workday: A single system for finance, HR, and planning
- Splunk: Any Question. Any Data. One Splunk
- Weebly: Build a free website that grows with your business.
- SurveyMonkey: Get answers with surveys
- SilverCloud: Make Self-Service Your Secret Weapon
- Skype: Skype makes it easy to stay in touch
- Trello: Work more collaboratively and get more done.
- Evernote: Feel organized without the effort
- HubSpot: Personalized content and experiences to attract, engage, and delight customers.
- Smile Brands: Smiles for Everyone
- Trilogy Health Services: Where Family Comes to Live
- Omaha Children’s Hospital: No One Is Too Small for Great Care
- Medtronic: Breaking Barriers to Better Care
- Cigna: Go, know and take control of your health—body and mind.
- Stryker: Driven to Make Healthcare Better.
Consulting and Services
- American Management Services, Inc: A profits-first approach to management consulting
- Ernst & Young: Building a Better Working World
- Protiviti: Face the Future with Confidence
- Slalom: Redefine what's possible
- Ryan: Liberating our clients from the burden of being overtaxed, freeing their capital to invest, grow, and thrive.
- Staver Law Firm: If You’ve Been Hurt, Staver Can Help.
- Kforce Professional Staffing Agency: We are strategic partners uniting professionals to achieve success through lasting personal relationships
- Vynamic: All Healthcare, All the Time
- Educe Group: Provides technology solutions that enable you to focus on what really matters—realizing the potential of your employees.
- AnswerFirst: Connecting People with Answers
- Small Law: Vancouver Business Lawyer. Nothing Fancy.
Manufacturing and Production
- Hilcorp: Built on Energy
- JM Eagle: Delivering Good Water to You
- Mars, Incorporated: Thinking in Generations. Acting Every Day.
- American Transmission Company: Helping to keep the lights on, businesses running and communities strong
- Bloomenergy: Delivering Better Electrons
- Mosaic: Helping the World Grow the Food it Needs
- Tennant: Solving Common Cleaning Issues
- Torch Technologies: Lighting the Pathway to Freedom
To finish this off, consider the value prop on our own homepage: "Get more out of HubSpot." It includes the subhead "Discover the tools, strategy, and content you need to drive results."
This makes it clear that we offer help with HubSpot, while also elaborating that we provide related services for content marketing (an area HubSpot provides tools for).
A Quick Recap
- Start with your customers and ask them “why you.” Why did they choose your company over another? That’s the value that you want to highlight: why you are the only real solution to the problem your customers face.
- Test your potential value propositions. A/B test them on your website or in an email to prospective customers. Track the results to see what message resonates with them!
- Reap the benefits of a value proposition that addresses the problems your customers are trying to solve combined with the unique value you offer! Use it to help you build effective marketing plans that add value to your customers.