As kids, a pinky swear is all we need to trust our friends will keep their promises. To go against a pinky swear is unthinkable. As adults, trusting a promise will be upheld is stickier, especially with a 24/7 news cycle reporting on leaders and organizations from every sector doing the opposite. In fact, the Edelman Brand Trust in 2020 study reported that trust (53%) is second only to price (64%) when consumers decide to try a new brand. When a brand wins consumer trust, 75% of its customers will only buy its products, and 78% will not only recommend but also defend the brand to their friends and family.
You may be asking, how can I, as a marketing leader, ensure that my company builds that kind of trust? The answer goes back to the simplicity of a pinky swear. To build trust, you must consistently deliver on your promises. Every company, no matter the sector, product or service, or size, makes promises to its target audience through marketing and sales messaging. The most highly trusted companies clearly articulate those promises and then deliver them in every marketing message and customer interaction.
Many companies and marketing agencies don't take the time to think about or give voice to their brand promises because they don't understand the positive impact it can have on the organization. This blog aims to explain the merit of a value proposition and how it can be a game changer for your business.
What is a value proposition?
A value proposition (VP) is the business term to describe your company's promise to your target customers. It is a concise statement that describes the features of your product or service, how it solves your customers’ problems or benefits their lives, and what distinguishes you from the competition. It answers this question: "If I am your ideal customer, why should I buy from your company rather than your competitors?"
A VP is often confused with a unique selling proposition (USP). A USP is a snippet of your VP. It highlights the features and benefits that set your product or service apart from competitors. Your VP is bigger than that. Your VP speaks directly to your target audience. It is the framework of assets that explains how your brand is your target customers' best choice. It is the beginning of an ROI-driven marketing strategy that will increase sales and build lifetime customer loyalty.
Why do marketing leaders fail to express a value proposition?
As I mentioned, many marketing leaders and even some marketing agencies skip this step in crafting a marketing strategy. They go right to building marketing messaging and campaigns without considering these details. Here are several reasons why this happens.
It's hard work; leaders must dig deep to explain their company's why, who, and how.
Many leaders underestimate the value of understanding and communicating a brand promise.
The work won’t take hold in an organization without executive leadership buy-in.
Many marketers have never created a value proposition and need help figuring out where to start.
Many companies start the work, discover they’re not that different from their competitors, and abandon the effort.
Yes, the work is hard and can be intimidating. But when a company can communicate its VP clearly to its target audience, the lifetime value of loyal customers is priceless.
A strong VP that resonates with your buyer during their initial buying process will increase sales over time. Full stop. Failure to illustrate the value of your product or service at any stage of the buyer's journey will likely mean that that buyer will go elsewhere.
The tenants of a good VP
To be the most effective, there are certain characteristics that your company's VP should have. Here are four of the most important tenants.
Illustrate your brand’s why: Make sure your VP tells customers why you’re better than the competition and the unique value you provide. Your VP should be a strong enough differentiator to not only win the initial transaction but keep a customer over the long term.
Include value-added backers: These are the "extra" benefits you take for granted, but your customers feel are the unique proof points of your brand's value. If you’re in a highly competitive market, these small details can sway a customer in your favor.
Be clear and consistent: Use conversational language that customers can relate to and directly address their pain points and needs. Avoid industry jargon or technical language. Use the same message across all marketing channels and tactics. A great value proposition should be as memorable and easy to communicate as a pinky swear.
Back your promise with data: The most powerful VPs are supported by data or social proof. Ask your current customers how they feel about your products or services. Find out if your brand's differentiators are important to your target audience or if there are others you are not considering. Ask yourself, do our promises resonate with our target audience?
A final yet important note
Because your VP is a promise, it's critical to understand who you’re making that promise to before developing your VP. Don't create your VP without first understanding your ideal customer and buyer personas. For B2C companies, this may be the same person, your target customers. For B2B, an ideal customer is most likely a business or organization, while a buyer persona is the purchase decision-maker(s) at that company. Once you’re clear on what and who these critical people are, you have the tools to create a clear, impactful, and authentic VP. This VP will be the framework for ROI-driven marketing messaging and strategies that work.
Here's the bottom line: If your sales and marketing efforts are strong but not producing results, you have a value proposition issue. Over the past 20 years in digital marketing, we've learned that marketing success hinges on the promises a company makes to its customers. Those promises make up your value proposition. We've created a system incorporating the value proposition and other practical strategies into a cohesive framework proven to 10X our clients' marketing ROI. It's called The Great 8 Pillars of ROI-Driven Marketing. By focusing on these Great 8 Pillars, you can stop wasting money on marketing that doesn't work.
Want to learn more? Click on the SyncShow's Diagnostic & Roadmap to see what you can do to see massive and trackable returns on your marketing spend.