Value Propositions: Debunking The Myths

Value Propositions: Debunking The Myths: As a business predicated on developing and maintaining relationships with other businesses, we have been exposed to many value propositions. A constant theme we have found is that often there is a lot of confusion as to what actually constitutes a value proposition in the first, let alone what it takes in order to develop an excellent one.

Within this blog, we aim to dispel the myths that have been leading some companies to fall at the first hurdle.

Myth 1 – A Value Proposition is a Positioning Statement:

Though often used interchangeably, a value proposition is not the same as a positioning statement. Positioning statements can be seen as a subset of the value proposition and are designed to express how your services fulfil the particular needs of your customers in granular detail.

Whereas your value proposition will act as a promise of what is to be delivered in terms of value, the positioning statement is the “pitch”; a written description of your brand’s intended position in relation to competitors.

To further debunk this myth, we have included the following template for crafting positioning statements:

For [target customers] with [a specific need],
our service offers [your key benefit(s)].
Unlike [primary competitors], our services provide [primary differentiator].

Through using this as your basic template, you can steer clear of blurring the line between the positioning statement and your value proposition.

Myth 2 –  A Value Proposition is a Slogan

Yet another trap many businesses fall into is confusing a slogan with a value proposition. Again, it is to be stressed that value propositions and slogans are not the same. Slogans are generally defined as short phrases tasked with the aim of representing your brand and evoking certain emotions or associations when seen or heard.

Unlike a value proposition, which is designed to communicate a promise of specific value and explain how you will address the needs of your clients, a slogan’s primary function is to convey the identity of your brand and cement this in the mind of your clients.

Myth 3 – Acronyms, Jargon and Superlatives Can Boost Value Propositions

Surprisingly, we have found that what seems painstakingly obvious (avoiding superlatives and technical jargon for instance) is not always seen as such by many businesses. Whilst sometimes highly specialised technical knowledge is best conveyed through the use of industry-standard acronyms, a great rule of thumb is to avoid jargon and unnecessarily complex copy at all times.

Simplicity not only helps clients to cement concepts in their heads and better understand your value offering, it is a marker of deeper understanding that actually demonstrates a deeper knowledge in your field than ambiguous, overly complex gobbledegook ever could.

Keep it simple and to the point.

Another consideration to make is the use of ambiguous superlatives, for instance, claims of being the “best” agency or “world-class”. Without any further elaboration or justification, these are essentially meaningless and could potentially paint your brand as untrustworthy in the eyes of prospective clients. Remember, your value proposition is your opportunity to clearly convey the value you offer and the means through which you are going to offer a level of service that is superior to competitors – to do this effectively, you’ll need to underpin your proposition with specifics and frame everything in such a way that you convince them to invest in your services: claiming to be “the best” isn’t enough.

To learn how to improve your  value proposition that converts prospects into clients and does your brand justice, click the button below to access our infographic: “Is your proposition M.A.N. enough? Means, Authority, Need”.