What Is A Value Proposition And How Do You Create One?

I help startups create kickass value propositions that sell their business by speaking clearly and directly to their target market.

Now, not only do you know what you’re going to get out of this handy little blog, but you’ve seen a great value proposition already. That’s because the above sentence IS a value proposition. And now, we’re going to build you one — together.

First, let’s back it up a little. What even is a value proposition? A value proposition is literally what it sounds like: it’s a statement about your business’s value — what is the value of your product? What’s your unique proposition? The value proposition makes it clear what your customers will get from your goods or services.

Don’t forget, though you personally may know your product’s value down to your very core, you also need a way to communicate that passion and understanding to everyone else. Forget buzzwords or coming up with a catchy slogan — this is about making your product’s value easy to understand as it is compelling.

This value proposition shapes the entirety of your marketing, and ultimately, your business, as it lays the foundation for exactly why someone should be excited about and want to spend their money with your company. This means the sooner you establish it, the smoother everything else after it will be. So, let’s get it right together.

To get an idea of the perfect value proposition, let’s take a look at a little tech company that has become one of the world’s biggest in the past year: Zoom. The video conferencing app successfully communicated its value proposition to more than 300 million daily users to become the fifth most downloaded mobile app worldwide in 2020. They became the world’s number one choice for video calls above its competitors when our need for its features skyrocketed due to the pandemic.

Zoom’s value proposition is:” #1 Video conferencing and web conferencing service.”

Zoom dashboard

Not only does this excellent value proposition get straight to the point of what the service offers the customer, but it comes with added social proof as to why you should choose it over its competitors.

Here’s how to create an excellent value proposition yourself.

First, define your target market. The more laser-focused you are on who you want to speak to with your product, the better you’ll be able to target them with your value proposition, and the more effective it will be.

Now (and here’s the magic), I’m going to share with you a secret formula to creating the perfect value proposition.

It’s actually the secret formula of Steve Blank, a former Google employee who now runs the Lean Startup Circle. And it’s not so secret, because he’s made it world-famous. I like having a formula because it takes a lot of the guesswork away.

Blank’s method involves taking your startup’s features and distilling them into a simple sentence:

We help (X) do (Y) by doing (Z).

With this template, you can create your own clear, concise value proposition. Not overthinking it is crucial — its simplicity is what makes this method so great. The first thing you think of may just be the best value proposition statement you can make.

This is also where knowing your target audience comes in. Not only do you want to keep to the point here, but you should speak as your customer does. How would they describe the problem they want to solve? Speak their language — literally and figuratively — and you’ll get across the exact message you want to and cut through the noise of your competitors while you do it.

Ready to write your startup’s value proposition? Use this simple formula and comment yours below.

Written by Niall Maher

Writing about business JavaScript and web development | CTO @ Spark (Dublin, Ireland) | Building Codú Community, a Web Development Community. Often likes to build things while drinking a beer and very seldom sarcastic.