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Many companies simply don’t have a clear idea of what their value proposition really is, let alone how to create one that captivates their target audience.

A value proposition is, according to Wikipedia, “the promise of value to be delivered and the belief from the customer that value will be experienced”.

It’s not just a feature of your brand campaign, such as a tag line – a value proposition is a concept that runs through every communication you make.

If you are an SME, an enticing value proposition is the key focus of your campaign strategy, as you are introducing yourself anew to so many people. Even if you are large established company blessed with brand recognition, your value propositions still need nurturing to continue to connect with people who know your brand, but might have never tried your products or services.

So how do we create a captivating value propositions, one that captures the hearts and minds of the client you covet?

Capturing hearts

Appealing to the emotional nature of your target audience requires you to show that you truly understand them and their needs.

Be the difference. A great value proposition acknowledges your competition and the seeming similarity of choices out there. This shows that you understand the difficulties faced by your audience in making their choice, and also gives you the opportunity to reveal your USP with more impact.

Speak their language. It is easy to slip into bad habits, using jargon and acronyms that may be well understood in your office, but mean little to the client you are trying to recruit. It helps to have external writers and creative consultants outside of your industry bubble, to provide a more objective outsider view of what you are all about.

Capturing minds

Tugging the heartstrings isn’t enough – you also need to appeal to the logical aspect of buyer reasoning.

State the facts. Research has shown that people respond best to clear factual information. A catchy description of the service isn’t enough to sell itself. In your strapline, in your video presentation script, you need to include something quantifiable. You need to tell people exactly what and how much they will gain if they use your company, be it time, money, nutrition or something else entirely. Keep it straightforward and you will have their attention – clever slogans can come later.

Share stories. Testimonials and proof of press are as effective as facts. People like to hear from others like themselves who have taken a chance on a product or service and loved it enough to write a recommendation. Incorporating quotes from reviews and testimonials throughout your communications gives more weight to your claims, and vice versa – evidence backed up by other forms of evidence.

A value proposition isn’t a one time, eureka-moment conjuring of a magic phrase or visualisation that completely sums up your value. It may not always be visible but it is considered and referred back to with every claim you make. By viewing your value proposition as the foundation of a successful bid, you will be able to see into the hearts and minds of your audience, and win them over.

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