I am excited to share a post from Guest Blogger Jennifer Mulchandani of Arlington Strategy. Jennifer is a champion of small business and a community advocate. She is a veteran in advancing agendas, motivating stakeholders, and driving sales with high-impact strategic marketing and communications. Jennifer’s holistic approach to marketing includes understanding every client’s mission and value proposition along with its leaders’ motivations. Clients benefit from Jennifer’s goal oriented style and big picture vision. Jennifer’s experience has spanned multiple industries and sectors, providing knowledge and perspective across a breadth of business challenges. Jennifer lives and works in Arlington, VA with her husband and three children (all boys!).Can you succinctly say what your company’s value proposition is?
Do you even know what ‘value proposition’ means? If you answered ‘no’ to any question, read on!
Value proposition is marketing speak for “how are you special compared to others doing the same thing?” Knowing your value proposition is critically important in creating impactful communications to your customers, potential customer, investors, employees and brand ambassadors.
Too often, websites and marketing collateral have generic headlines like:
Our web designs look great.
Ok, but if I’m looking at your website portfolio, I can decide if they are great. And in any case, I’m seeing many designers whose portfolios look great. Tell what makes you special:
Our web designs use cutting edge technology, cost less than larger firms, and are based on understanding our clients’ unique needs and aesthetic, so every site is truly original.
How do you figure out what your value proposition is?
Start by making a list of everything that you think describes your brand/business. This should be a list of single word attributes, like:
Speed (of delivery)
Then, look at your competition. If you haven’t done that before, it can be scary and eye-opening. But it is critical to know who you are competing against. Your customers are definitely looking at your competition! Check their websites, social media and if applicable, read online reviews.
Compare YOUR list of attributes to your competition. Make an honest assessment of which you think your competition is doing better than you. Which attributes do you think you beat your competitors on? This is the start of your value proposition.
Some businesses take an initial pass at looking at their competition, and think, “I am just one of a hundred suppliers in my area.” If you really think that way, then how do you sell your business? If you have done any business at all, then you need to think like your clients, and ask yourself “why are my clients choosing me?” Still struggling, consider sending your clients a survey to find out why they chose you. And ask friends what they think makes your business special.
Sometimes your value proposition is personal – having to do with service, relationship, empathy. Sometimes it will be technical. Sometimes it is both. You do not have to be the BEST EVER to come up with a value proposition!
Make sure your website communicates your value proposition!
Once you’ve done the hard work of looking inward, assessing the competition, and then comparing attributes, you want to make sure that you are clearly and consistently communicating your unique value throughout your website and brand collateral. Use your newfound value proposition as the basis for writing headlines on each page, and even consider a tagline that helps communicate your best value proposition.