Kelford Labs Daily: What and Why of Value Propositions

And how to use them.

Kelford Labs Daily: What and Why of Value Propositions

Value Propositions are often the first thing a marketer wants to define before they tackle any implementation.

It’s important, because a Value Proposition has two core components:

The VALUE (in the mind and words of the buyer) and the PROPOSITION (the proposal or promise you make to deliver that value).

Combined, this creates a simple story for the customer that helps them identify which particular service provider or product offering is best for them and their particular needs.

It’s not about selling or persuading. It’s about demonstrating how and why your business is uniquely positioned to deliver the value the customer wants.

An example Value Proposition for an accounting firm might be: “We help you invest in high growth activities by lowering your tax burden and limiting your unnecessary expenses.”

So the value in the mind and words of the customer is: “higher growth, lower expenses,” and the proposition is “through reduced taxes and more spending cuts.”

Notice who this selects for:

  • buyers looking to limit expenses
  • buyers looking to limit tax burden
  • buyers looking to invest in their growth
  • buyers looking for change

And who it doesn’t select for:

  • buyers who don’t know what they want
  • tire kickers
  • buyers not interested in growth
  • buyers hesitant to change their existing procedures

That’s not the accounting firm for everyone. Heck, it’s not the accounting firm for me. But it’s right for somebody, and the right VP will help this particular firm find the customers who’ll value them above the other options.

Notice that it’s not copy—it’s not the actual words they’d put on your website. But it’s a sentiment, an outline, a vibe

Once you have your VP, though, what do you do with it? What do you actually say?

Well, you find creative words—fun phrases, catchy lines—that express the sentiment, vibe, and promise in a way that catches the eye, hooks in the mind, and connects the dots.

So, in this case, the accounting firm might say something like this on their homepage:

“We don’t just take care of your numbers, we take care of your money. So you can use it to make a difference, not just a remittance.”

Now, again, I’d find this accounting firm a little off-putting—they’re clearly too focused, for me, on reducing taxes.

But the right client for them will be drawn to that idea, and they’ll waste less time qualifying bad-fit clients like me.

Which is all part of amplifying your investment in marketing—by spending less time and money on the wrong clients, and more focus and energy on the right ones.

Your VP helps you select, target, and demonstrate to those right clients, at the right time, about the right value, in the right way.

So that’s the what and why of Value Propositions.

Now, the question: What’s your value? And what promise do you make?

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