Here are 10 easy steps to make sure you get value out of your value proposition. The value proposition is so important because it’s the compelling story of how you’re going to change the world. It’s also the core of your sales message and a CEO is selling all the time. Your story attracts supporters and investors; it secures a founding team and gets customers excited. And it all starts with the benefits your product idea offers.

What makes a good value proposition?

The value proposition gets to the heart of the problem you’re solving. It will help shape the assumptions made about the idea and lead to tests that can help verify a product/market fit. When develop a value proposition, good ones will have the following:

1)   It’s easy to understand.

This is why many companies will lead with a short description that combines their category with a well-known startup. “Airbnb for shoes.”  It provides immediate context and understanding.

2)   Communicates specific results the customer will get.

It took me a while to discover a sentence that described what Taivara does. I eventually realized “We build startups, and we help enterprise be more startup like” captured the essence. There’s a general sense of what startups are about (fast and efficient, discovery and growth) and big companies need to do more of that.

3)   Explains how it is different and better than existing market options

The value of the product is either increasing something Good or reducing something Bad. Ideally, your product is doing this better, in at least one way, than anyone else.

4)   Can be read and understood in 5 seconds.

5)   Clearly explains the value of the product or service.

The connection between the product and the consumer usually falls into one category of addressing functional, social, emotional or basic need. Understanding the most powerful connection to the user will help you capture their attention.

6)   Explains why people should buy from us and not the competition.

If you’re exactly like the market leader, why will anyone use you? You’re new product has to have it’s own advantage and that becomes a point of emphasis in your sales message.

7)   Make sure the value proposition is unique.


8)   Targets specific buyer personas instead of writing general propositions

Add more detail to your customer description so you know who you’re building this product for. Authors will often write a story with a vision of their perfect reader in mind. It helps them know who is reading the story and what they will appreciate. Product developers can achieve the same value.

9)   Do competitive research before you start creating one

It helps to see what others are doing. See “Steal like an Artist.” It will also ensure your sub-conscious doesn’t pull out a message you’ve heard before from one of your competitors.

10)   A/B test your proposition

You probably won’t get it right the first time. Keep trying, keep testing.

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