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How to write your value proposition

by Phil Vallender
Mar 21, 2013

Your value proposition is a powerful marketing tool. One that can be used to either maintain, or return to growth

If you are ready to write your value proposition but don’t know where to start, read on to see how we would go about it.The term value proposition means different things to different people. Ask two marketing professionals what they think it means and you will almost certainly get two very different answers. What their answers will have in common however is that it should be possible to capture your value proposition in a single, succinct statement. But how do you get there?

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What differentiates you?

As we described in What is value proposition and why is it important?, Our belief is that value proposition is more than just the value you deliver to your customers. It is the reason customers should chose you, at any price, over other competitors offering similar products or services.

Your value proposition therefore has to communicate something unique about your business. This could be your unique selling point or your competitive differentiation. If you are not already clear on what your differentiators are, you may want to go back and perform competitive advantage analysis on your company.

A model for value proposition

So how do you put your value proposition together? A model would help, right? Well, there are many models for constructing value proposition statements but the one we favour is the one proposed by Neil Rackham in his seminal book Rethinking the Sales Force.

In this model, Neil defines value proposition as being the combination of four factors:

  1. Capability
  2. Impact
  3. Proof
  4. Cost

Composing your value proposition

Next to each component, write down how your company satisfies each point. Then, write a new sentence or statement that summarises all four points - this sentence is your value proposition.

In our experience, the four headings can appear narrow and constrained but in reality they are not. Cost, for example, need not only mean how much you cost, it could also refer to the cost of not taking action or the risk of taking an inferior action. And proof can refer to a wide range of evidence including success statistics, awards received, groups of clients etc.

How you structure your value proposition is entirely up to you - you just need something that sums up your capability, impact, proof and cost statements. If you are struggling to find the right format, this post, 7 Proven Templates for Writing Value Propositions That Work, by Tor Grønsund offers some through provoking suggestions.

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