Value propositions (or props) are the benefits a product or service is providing. They’re why someone should care about what you’re selling, and are most commonly used in ads and the copy on your site.
Sadly, they don’t get get as much love as they deserve. Value props are the essence of your marketing and sometimes businesses even leave them out completely from their ads.
I’ve seen marketing campaigns with sophisticated target audiences — with ads that basically say “Buy product X now. We have free shipping.” Then when results are poor, the solution is to find a better audience.
That’s a pretty extreme example, but it’s really common to not go wide or deep enough with value props. When you do it properly, though, you’ll see your marketing campaigns come to life, and your product pages convert better. The difference can — and will — be night and day.
As important as they are today, value props are becoming even more important in ads. Machine learning has taken huge leaps and audience targeting is increasingly automated. Facebook, for example, is already pretty good at finding buyers for your product, even if your audience targeting would be fairly broad. You can still save a good amount of time and money by manual tinkering, but soon your effort is better spent somewhere else: optimizing your copy and creative.
This means that being able to convince people why your product is worth buying is a skill that’s only increasing in value.
Here’s my 4 step strategy to find the best value props for anything.
1. Break Down the Product into Categories
Before digging for actual benefits, I always list all the categories the product I’m selling could excel in. This helps me go beyond my current view, and see the product from a wider range of perspectives.
Depending on what I’m selling, these categories might be (but are certainly not limited to) fit, usability, quality, feel, price, durability, appearance, and compatibility.