You already know you need to create value for your customer or prospect. You also may know you have to find a way to communicate that value to your customer in a way that will resonate with their deepest needs.
This is known as your value proposition. And it’s never been more vital to create one and use it consistently in all of your marketing.
Because if you don’t differentiate yourself from your competition, at best you’ll become irrelevant and at worse—go out of business.
A common problem with website copy
Recently I visited the business website of a former co-worker. I saw this headline (the “X” represents an industry standard service):
XYZ Company believes that X should be a service that
every company has performed at least once a year.
Ack! This is exactly the type of headline you don’t want to use if you hope to differentiate yourself from the competition.
This is a tech industry and there are hundreds, if not thousands of companies who are offering the same type of services. What would compel a prospect to choose this company, based on the headline alone?
You got it. Nothing.
Obviously, this company is offering a service people want. The sheer number of competitors would tell you this is a marketable service. And that’s the first thing you must do before starting any business. You need to ask, “Is there a hungry market for what I’m selling?”
In the futuristic sci-fi film, “The Matrix,” a woman called The Oracle gave wise advice to the film’s hero, Neo. Neo was told he would free the human race from its enslavement by machines.
But before she delivers her news, she points to a sign above her kitchen entryway. It says Temet Nosce – Latin for “know thyself.” She then said that when you are in love, no one can tell you whether you are or you aren’t. You just know. And it’s the same for knowing your purpose.
Many businesses don’t know their own value proposition. They think just because they have a product or service to sell, that’s enough. But it’s not. You must dig deep to find your value proposition that will differentiate yourself from a sea of competitors.
Know Your Strengths
In order for you to communicate your differentiators to your customer, you first have to know what they are.
And the value that you bring to your customer is usually something within you. Don’t forget that you are core to your business’ value proposition. What problems do you understand uniquely well? What solution can you deliver unlike anyone else? What unique spin can you apply to a current business model?
Learn your strengths and incorporate them into your value proposition. What will differentiate you from your competition is how you offer the same product and service.
Apple offers elegantly designed electronics. Virgin Atlantic Airways offer world-class customer service with their flights. And you offer something just as magnificent. You just need to define it and then weave it through your marketing.
Defining Value Takes Time
Discovering your strengths may take some time but it is well worth it.
Here is an example of how to create a value proposition:
- For (target customers)
- Who are dissatisfied with (the current alternative)
- Our product is a (new product)
- That provides (key problem-solving capability)
- Unlike (the product alternative)
As an example, here is Maguire Copywriting’s value proposition:
For marketers in technology, HR consulting, executive coaching and insurance who are dissatisfied with bland copywriting, we provide scientific copy that increases profitability—unlike business writers who lack sales training.
You may take your strengths for granted.
You may think, for instance, that your competition delivers the same value as you do, but it isn’t true.
Not everyone can do what you do so well.
The genius of a value proposition is that it allows you to define those strengths so you can bring certainty and clarity to your prospect’s world.
Whenever we take on a new client, the first thing I do is check the websites of their competition. It’s amazing how many of them sound the same. It’s because they lack the differentiation that comes with a good value proposition. Don’t be like everyone else. Let your unique capabilities shine.
If you do, you’ll be light years ahead of your competitors.