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🚀 Playbook: How to define (and leverage) your value proposition
Clearly defining your value prop is hard. Here's a framework to get things started.
One of the hardest things for any marketer or matrketing team to do is to clearly define the value proposition of their product or service.
What do you do? And why should I care?
Sure, people can talk about their product in conversation. They know what they are building and why it’s important. But breaking it down into something that can be used on a landing page, in an ad campaign or as an elevator pitch is a different ball game.
I’ve create a simple shortcut framework for quickly approaching this in a more systematic way. This is not a comprehensive solution, but it is a good way to break through the chaos and creativity block of early-stage marketing efforts.
Hopefully this will help you in:
Better defining your products value proposition(s)
More clearly developing your early-stage marketing strategy as you try and understand what messaging should be used in your assets and campaigns
This framework has 3 parts:
How to define your value proposition
How to expand this to understant your “benefit ripple effect”
How to use your benefit ripple effect to create your early marketing assets
A simple formula for defining your value proposition
What does your company do?
Ask 10 people this question. I bet at least half will struggle to give you a clear, concise response.
Here’s a simple framework I use to define a “value proposition”:
𝙑𝙖𝙡𝙪𝙚 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙥 = 𝙘𝙖𝙥𝙖𝙗𝙞𝙡𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙚𝙨 + 𝙩𝙖𝙧𝙜𝙚𝙩 𝙖𝙪𝙙𝙞𝙚𝙣𝙘𝙚 + 𝙗𝙚𝙣𝙚𝙛𝙞𝙩𝙨.
𝗖𝗮𝗽𝗮𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀 = Functionality of your product (what it does).
𝗧𝗮𝗿𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝗮𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 = Who you are trying to talk to and attract.
𝗕𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗳𝗶𝘁𝘀 = How a user's life is different/better after using your product.
In other words, a solid response to my above question would be:
𝙈𝙮 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙙𝙪𝙘𝙩 𝙙𝙤𝙚𝙨 [𝙘𝙖𝙥𝙖𝙗𝙞𝙡𝙞𝙩𝙮] 𝙨𝙤 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 [𝙩𝙖𝙧𝙜𝙚𝙩 𝙖𝙪𝙙𝙞𝙚𝙣𝙘𝙚] 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙖𝙘𝙝𝙞𝙚𝙫𝙚 [𝙗𝙚𝙣𝙚𝙛𝙞𝙩].
Now, you’re probably thinking to yourself - this is a good start, but my product has multiple capabilities, several target personas, and many benefits.
And you’re right.
This framework is just a starting point.
The next step is to understand what I call your product's "benefit ripple effect".
The "benefit ripple effect" of your product
Instead of stopping with just one “benefit” on our list, we can identify multiple “layers” or “degrees” of benefits that our product offers. (there are often more than you realize).
A fun way to identify multiple degrees of benefits is by playing the good old “so that…” game.
Here’s how you do it:
Take the first benefit on your list (remember, “benefit” = one way that you make your user's life different/better than it was before they met you).
Say it out loud.
Then, say “so that…” and simply continue the train of thought.
Sounds silly. But I’m 100% serious.
So for example, let’s say we were selling a budgeting app. Our train of thought might look something like this:
“Our capability = Our app shows you all of your spending in one place…”
“The benefits of our app = …So that you can stay more organized → So that you can make better spending decisions → So that you can save money → So that you can get out of debt → So that you can lower your stress levels → So that you can save your marriage…”
Great! This is a healthy list that shows the “benefit ripple effect” of your app.
And why is any of this useful?
Because you'll need to draw on this list when creating your initial content and marketing assets.
See, not every benefit on your list is appropriate for every type of asset you'll create. You'll need to match them up strategically.
Using the "benefit ripple effect" in your marketing assets
With our list of benefits clearly in front of us, we can appreciate an important marketing reality:
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗹𝗼𝘀𝗲𝗿 𝗮 𝗯𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗳𝗶𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝘂𝗻𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁, 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗹𝘆 𝗯𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗲𝘃𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗶𝘁 𝗶𝘀.
To use the above example, we don't need to work that hard to convince someone that our budgeting app "shows all spending in one place".
After all... that's what the app is built to do.
But if you tell the same person that the budgeting app "saves marriages", he'll raise his eyebrows and laugh in your face. Because this benefit (saving marriages) is farther removed from the product itself and is, therefore, less inherently believable.
This correlation between product proximity and inherent believability helps us decide what benefits apply to which marketing assets.
For example, when drafting the copy for the hero section of a landing page, we generally want to base our messaging on the more inherently believable benefits. We want people who visit the landing page to immediately and unequivocally understand what the product does and how it helps. So it makes sense to use clear, inherently believable benefits for this purpose.
But for other assets, like social proof from current users, we can focus on the less-believable, farther-removed benefits of the product. The experiences of real users can be the missing "proof" that the product has superpowers extending way beyond the functionality itself - like lowering stress, saving marriages, and generally impacting the quality of users' lives.
There's no objectively right or wrong way to go about any of this. But hopefully, some of this can help some of you operate more clearly and experiment more deliberately in your GTM process.