Writing Value Propositions That Work

If Geoffrey Moore wasn’t the first person to write about the high-value associated with “Value Propositions” in his 2006 classic, Crossing the Chasm, he certainly familiarized a new generation with their power – particularly when communicating with your target audience via a webpage or app. As Tor Gronsund summarized in his article, “7 Proven Templates for Writing Value Propositions That Work,” Moore’s Template goes like this:
– For __________ (target customer)
– Who _________ (statement of the need or opportunity)
– Our (product/service name) is _________ (product category)
– That (statement of benefit) ____________.

Tor goes on to illustrate a “standard” Value Proposition using this formula: For non-technical marketers who struggle to find return on investment in social media, our product is a web-based analytics software that translates engagement metrics into actionable revenue metrics.”

Using this “formula,” ABL’s value proposition would be: “For technology and healthcare chief executives who want to take their companies to the next level, ABL’s industry-focused Round Table forums and events promote shared insights, leveraged connections, and best practices that accelerate corporate and personal growth.”

But today, there’s more to creating great Value Propositions than just “For, who, our, that,” as Peep Laja, of CXL explains in her article “Useful Value Proposition Examples (and How to Create a Good One).” According to Peep, there are five key elements for making good value props:

    • Clarity! It’s easy to understand.
    • It communicates the concrete results a customer will get from purchasing and using your products and/or services.
    • It says how it’s different or better than the competitor’s offer.
    • It avoids hype (like ‘never seen before amazing miracle product’), superlatives (‘best’) and business jargon (‘value-added interactions’)

It can be read and understood in about 5 seconds.

Here are a few that succeed admirably along those dimensions:

  • Mail Chimp – Send Better Email.
  • Dollar Shave Club – A great shave for a few bucks a month. No contract. No fees. No BS.
  • FreshBooks Small Business Accounting Software – Designed for you, the non-accountant.
  • Tortuga Backpacks – Bring everything you need without checking a bag.
  • Skype – Keeps the world talking for free.MacBook – Light. Years ahead.
  • Sony – Make. Believe.

In each of these examples, the “You” is understood as “you, the reader.” The “Who” is also inferred as “who wants something you don’t currently have.” “Our” is understood within the name of the product, company, or service. And that basically leaves “That” as the creative tag line.

Using this approach, Tor’s original example might be converted to:  SM Analytics – Translating Metrics into Revenues

And, ABL’s to one of these:  Adaptive Business Leaders Organization –

  • When status quo won’t get you to the next level. 
  • Continuing, real-time C-suite education.
  • Industry-focused insights, connections, support.
  • Where everyone understands where you’re coming from.
  • It’s lonely at the top; but not at ABL.
  • Where CEO breakthroughs happen.