The elements of a value proposition

A value proposition is simply a statement we use in business to summarize an expectation of value – why a consumer (or business if your customers are other businesses) should buy your product or service. It’s an easy-to-understand reason why a customer should purchase a product or service from you. Let’s learn more about how it works.

What goes into a value proposition?

The ideal value proposition is concise and appeals to a customer’s strongest decision-making drivers. Your value proposition communicates the number one reason why a product or service is best suited for a particular customer or market segment.

Your brand’s value proposition should always be displayed on your website and in other consumer touchpoints or marketing materials. It should also be intuitive, so that a customer can understand the value your product or service should deliver without further explanation.

Value proposition example

As an example, here’s GoForth’s value proposition.

GoForth Institute was built on a single belief – that online small business training should be more than just education. That above all, entrepreneurs should be able to develop business skills and confidence conveniently, affordably and fast with support from people who’ve been there. Join our community of over 10,000 entrepreneurs, subject matter experts and coaches today.

The format of a great value proposition

Value propositions can follow different formats, as long as they are unique to your company and to your customers. Generally speaking, the value proposition is usually a block of text (a headline, sub-headline and one paragraph of text) with a visual (photo, hero shot, or graphics). There is no one right way to go about it, but we suggest you start with the following formula:

  • Headline. What’s the end benefit you’re offering, in one short sentence? You can mention the product and/or the customer. Build in an attention grabber.
  • Sub-headline or a two to three sentence paragraph. A specific explanation of what you do/offer, for whom and why it’s useful.
  • Three bullet points. List the key benefits or features.
  • Visual. Images communicate much faster than words. Show the product, the hero shot or an image reinforcing your main message.

Evaluate your value proposition by checking whether it answers the questions below:

  • What product or service is your company selling?
  • What is the end-benefit of using it?
  • Who is your target customer for this product or service?
  • What makes your offering unique and different? Use the headline-paragraph-bullets-visual formula to structure the answers.
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