How to create a compelling value proposition

By Julian Harlow

A strong CVP (compelling value proposition) will not only provide a basis for your marketing, it will also influence how you grow your enterprise.

The term 'compelling value proposition' may sound like just another piece of marketing jargon, but a good CVP can help make the reason for the existence of your business clear. A clear and concise value proposition will allow you to quickly assess how proposed changes to your business will strengthen or weaken the reasons for customers to come to you.

A truly compelling value proposition is one that briefly, simply and clearly answers the following questions:

What's the problem that your business will solve?

The most basic task of a CVP is to provide customers with a reason to act. If your business is offering new products or services, it must convince potential customers that they have a need or problem that should be addressed. Or, your business offering may be something that the customer already uses, in which case they must be convinced that there are alternatives worth considering. A CVP should clarify exactly who your intended customers are.

What are you offering?

It may seem obvious what your business is offering to its customers - namely, a product or a service. However, in the context of a CVP, you should try to distil your answer down to the reasons that actually drive your customers. Luxury brands are great examples of this, with their marketing sometimes including little if any reference to the actual product, instead presenting a lifestyle or set of values that their customers will pay to be associated with.

Why should customers come to you?

This is the best known aspect of value propositions - identifying within your business and to your customers that one particular thing you can provide and your competitors cannot. Differentiating your business from competitors by itself is important, but your CVP should be based on a difference that highlights the strengths of your business offering and emphasises the weakness in competing products or services.

Marketing is about communication

As a business owner or budding entrepreneur you will benefit not just from the end product of a great value proposition, but from the process of creating that proposition. The time and effort you spend to understand how customers view your business and why they come to you will help develop your skill at communicating effectively with your customers, which is more important to your business than any marketing strategy.

A strong CVP will not only provide a basis for your marketing, it will also influence how you grow your enterprise, so it pays to take the time to craft a truly compelling value proposition.


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