Useful Value Proposition Examples (and How to Create a Good One)

Useful Value Proposition Examples (and How to Create a Good One)

Value proposition is the #1 thing that determines whether people will bother reading more about your product or hit the back button. It’s also the main thing you need to test – if you get it right, it will be a huge boost.

If I could give you only one piece of conversion optimization advice, “test your value proposition” would be it. [Tweet It!]

The less known your company is, the better value proposition you need. When I reviewed a bunch of websites, the conclusion was that missing or poor value proposition is one of the most common shortcomings.

What exactly is a value proposition?

A value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered. It’s the primary reason a prospect should buy from you.

In a nutshell, value proposition is a clear statement that

  • explains how your product solves customers’ problems or improves their situation (relevancy),
  • delivers specific benefits (quantified value),
  • tells the ideal customer why they should buy from you and not from the competition (unique differentiation).

You have to present your value proposition as the first thing the visitors see on your home page, but should be visible in all major entry points of the site.

It’s not just for aesthetics, or to placate a CEO or copywriter, but ultimately, to improve your customer lifetime value.

It’s for people to read and understand

Value proposition is something real humans are supposed to understand. It’s for people to read. Here’s an example of what a value proposition is NOT supposed to be like:

Revenue-focused marketing automation & sales effectiveness solutions unleash collaboration throughout the revenue cycle

Would you be able to explain to your friend what the offer is and how they’d benefit? Didn’t think so. Unfortunately it’s no joke. Such meaningless jargon-propositions are abundant. Avoid blandvertising at all costs.

Use the right language

Your value proposition needs to be in the language of the customer. It should join the conversation that is already going on in the customer’s mind. In order to do that you need to know the language your customers use to describe your offering and how they benefit from it.

You cannot guess what that language is. The way YOU speak about your services is often very different from how your customers describe it . The answers are outside of your office. You have to interview your customers to find it out, or use social media.

What the value proposition is NOT

It’s not a slogan or a catch phrase. This is not a value proposition:

L’Oréal. Because we’re worth it.

It’s not a positioning statement. This is not a value proposition:

America’s #1 Bandage Brand. Heals the wound fast, heals the hurt faster.

Positioning statement is a subset of a value proposition, but it’s not the same thing.

What the value proposition consists of

The value proposition is usually a block of text (a headline, sub-headline and one paragraph of text) with a visual (photo, hero shot, graphics).

There is no one right way to go about it, but I suggest you start with the following formula:

  • Headline. What is the end-benefit you’re offering, in 1 short sentence. Can mention the product and/or the customer. Attention grabber.
  • Sub-headline or a 2-3 sentence paragraph. A specific explanation of what you do/offer, for whom and why is it useful.
  • 3 bullet points. List the key benefits or features.
  • Visual. Images communicate much faster than words. Show the product, the hero shot or an image reinforcing your main message.

Evaluate your current value proposition by checking whether it answers the questions below:

  • What product or service is your company selling?
  • What is the end-benefit of using it?
  • Who is your target customer for this product or service?
  • What makes your offering unique and different?

Use the headline-paragraph-bullets-visual formula to structure the answers.

How to create a winning value proposition?

The best value proposition is clear: what is it, for whom and how is it useful? If those questions are answered, you’re on the right path. Always strive for clarity first.

If your value proposition makes people go “hmph?”, you’re doing it wrong. If they have to read a lot of text to understand your offering, you’re doing it wrong. Yes, sufficient amount of information is crucial for conversions, but you need to draw them in with a clear, compelling value proposition first.

Research by MarketingExperiments says that the key challenge companies have is identifying an effective value proposition, followed by communicating it clearly.

What makes a good value proposition:

  • Clarity! It’s easy to understand.
  • It communicates the concrete results a customer will get from purchasing and using your products and/or services.
  • It says how it’s different or better than the competitor’s offer.
  • It avoids hype (like ‘never seen before amazing miracle product’), superlatives (‘best’) and business jargon (‘value-added interactions’).
  • It can be read and understood in about 5 seconds.

Also, in most cases there is a difference between the value proposition for your company and your product. You must address both.

Here’s a value proposition worksheet you might find useful.

How to craft a unique value proposition

A key role for the value proposition is to set you apart from the competition. Most people check out 4-5 different options  / service providers before they decide. You want your offering to stand out in this important research phase.

So how do you make your offer unique? Often it’s hard to spot anything unique about your offering. It requires deep self-reflection and discussion.

If you can’t find anything, you better create something. Of course the unique part needs to be something customers actually care about. No point being unique for the sake of being unique (“the ball bearings inside our bicycles are blue”).

All supermarkets are pretty much the same, right? Well, no. Here’s an example from Austin, TX of how a supermarket can be unique.

Here are two articles that can help you with finding a “theme” or an angle for your value proposition:

The key thing to remember is that you don’t need to be unique in the whole world, just in the customer’s mind.  The closing of a sale takes place in a customer’s mind, not out in the marketplace among the competition.

Boosters for your value proposition

Sometimes it’s the little things that tip the decision in your favor. If all major things are pretty much the same between your and your competitors’ offer, you can win by offering small value-adds. I call them boosters.

These things work well against competitors who do not offer them. Boosters can be things like

  • Free shipping
  • Fast shipping / Next day shipping
  • Free bonus with a purchase
  • Free setup / installation
  • No setup fee
  • No long-term contract, cancel any time
  • License for multiple computers (vs 1)
  • (Better than) Money-back guarantee
  • A discounted price (for a product)
  • Customizable

You get the idea. Think what small things you could add that wouldn’t cost you much, but could be attractive to some buyers.

Make sure the booster is visible with the rest of the value proposition.

Example

Notice the “free shipping” signs on the left and top right? Those are boosters.

Good value proposition examples

It’s tough to find perfect value proposition examples. Probably because it’s hard to create a great one. I find flaws or room for improvement with most value propositions I came across.

I’m also fully aware that I’m not the ideal customer for many of the examples shown below, and all my critique is, is an educated hypothesis (that should be tested).

Here are some good examples along with my comments:

CampaignMonitor

Comments

  • Very clear what it is and for whom
  • Specific lead paragraph
  • Key features outlined above the fold
  • A relevant image
  • Features a booster – “100% rebrandable”

Stripe

Comments

  • It’s clear what it is and for whom
  • Specific benefit oriented sub-headline
  • Relevant visuals
  • Smooth transition into features and benefits

Geekdom

Comments

  • Clear statement about what it is and for whom
  • List of benefits
  • Relevant image

Evernote

Comments

  • A different kind of layout, but well done. It tells a story of ‘what’ and ‘how’ . Easy to follow.
  • Key features / benefits listed along with relevant imagery
  • ‘Remember everything’ is a good slogan, but I’d add a specific sub-headline underneath it for improved clarity.

Square

Comments

  • Very clear headline
  • Benefit and action oriented sub-headline
  • Key benefits clearly listed
  • Relevant image
  • Missing: comparison with the competition

Meetingburner

Comments

  • The headline is very clear
  • The text paragraph is decent, but shouldn’t start with a call to action
  • Comparison with the competition done (5x faster, free, mention of unique features)
  • I would definitely list the key benefits / features in bullets for improved readability

Prey

Comments

  • The headline does communicate an emotional benefit, but its not clear enough and should be better. It’s the first thing people read. Clarity would get an instant boost if the headline would be something like “Keep track of your laptop, phone or tablet. Get it back when it gets stolen or lost. “
  • The following paragraph does a good job explaining what it is.
  • I would use an actual screenshot of the product to better demonstrate what it does.
  • It uses boosters like social media proof and respected logos.

Extra note: last week my laptop was stolen. 5 days later I got it back because I had Prey installed on the laptop and I could track its location. I passed the info to the cops, who retrieved it. It’s awesome – install it on all your devices.

Poor value proposition examples

Some lessons from the department of “don’t do this”.

Cloudflare:

I use this service myself and think it’s great, but they really need to do a better job.

Comments:

  • Don’t rely on just the video to do the job. Your value proposition has to be in words people can read. Video is extra, supplemental information.
  • Awful clarity: “we’ll supercharge your website”? Nobody will understand what that means.
Comments
  • No proper value proposition in place at all. The readability is extremely poor. The text is for reading, it should be minimum 14px.
  • Don’t ever waste precious attention on useless headlines like “Welcome to our website”. Have you ever seen a website where the visitors are not welcome?
  • The text is all about “them”. We are, we offer, we have. It should be about the customer.
  • Jargon!
  • Image is relevant, but kind of cheesy stock photo. Use a more authentic image.

Testing value propositions

You definitely have to test your value proposition. How?

1. A/B testing

The best way is to craft 2 candidates (or more, if you have tons of traffic) and split test them. Ideally you would measure sales conversions (for most accurate results), but if that is not possible lead conversions or even clickthroughs will do.

2. Pay per click advertising

A fast and cheap way to go about it is using Google AdWords or Facebook ads.

Basically you would split test ads with different value propositions, targeting the same customer. The ad with higher CTR (clickthrough rate) is obviously a better attention grabber and interest generator, although it doesn’t necessarily mean higher sales conversions.

Send the traffic to a corresponding landing page and test conversions too.

What are some of the better value propositions you have come across?

Bonus – Value Proposition Review

Join the Conversation Add Your Comment

  1. great, this really helped me for my marketing class. thanks!

    1. Good post.
      A value proposition is not for products or services only. In the same manner you can create what is called Professional Value Proposition. To do so, answer the following three questions:
      1.Why can I be useful? What business driver should I respond to?
      2.How do I proceed? Which area should I focus on?
      3.What results can I deliver? For what improvement?
      To learn more http://blog.instarlink.com/en/content/generate-value-proposition

  2. Well written and highly useful post.

    Thank you for sharing

  3. Thanks for this post it was brilliant to see a visual representation of the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to UVP’s. It’s been great to see examples of a UVP translated into website design. We’ve been getting caught up and stuck around our UVP and this has really helped.

    We’ll come back and share our landing page when we’re less embarrassed by it!

    Janine and Jo

  4. great ! nice information for me

  5. Google ventures said explain your value proposition in 5 seconds. I searched how to do that and found your article. Fantastic advice and 100% rebrandable :)
    Great links too – thanks

  6. I have read so many content regarding the blogger lovers but this article
    is actually a good post, keep it up.

  7. Wow this might be one of the best posts I’ve read on value statement optimization. Simple, easy to read, and no longer than it needed to be. Hope to put some of this into effect soon for our own startup!

  8. Amazing Post again.. just can’t get off this blog.. this is my 5th article in a row.. great sensible, useful content with lot of case studies and research.

  9. I wanted to send this to my staff and some clients. I didn’t: “You have to present your value proposition as the first thing the visitors see on your home page, but should be visible in all major entry points of the site.”

  10. Its educative,informatory,and well advising for right decision.
    continue with good job.
    kind regards.

  11. I just wanted to thank you. I am in the web design industry, and my home page introduction isn’t really talking to anyone. I don’t have a value proposition on my home page, the the message is weak overall. Funny enough, I checked my competition, and they are the same! This info is really going to help point me in the right direction. I appreciate it.

  12. This is very detail and great value for creating the value statement!
    Excellent work.

  13. Really, really detailed, meaty article. More copywriters and designers should read this article. I must have read it 5 times, just to grasp a little more of what you where saying. Thanks to you I just increased my launch page skills a few points.

  14. Quite informative! I really like the comparative analysis, it really highlights key elements of a good value proposition

  15. Great article. Great Examples. Got some work to do now.

  16. My site is kind of embarassing and to this end we are looking at a total update in our approach. Most of what is on this site to be removed to better focus on what we do in the Real Estate industry, ie. Sell, buy and consult.

  17. A very good post, Peep. I’ve really got down what a homepage needs to have.

  18. Teaching a concept through good and bad examples are always informative and entertaining as well. I believe that creating a good value proposition can help us in researching and selecting the right keywords for our target audience. Next, it also helps in creating content that address their problems. Finally, providing a series of solutions that make them want to buy our products or services.

  19. I use a lot of explanations to clients as to why don’t ‘Welcome to…’ gleefully looking forward to using yours!
    :-)
    many thanks

  20. Great article! Articles on UVP generally focus on SaaS businesses and don’t give much attention to e-commerce, so thanks for including a solid e-commerce example with Down & Feather.

  21. informative article. keep it up. i’m following each of your article because it might help me creating my next website.

  22. Found the article very helpful. I am designing a website and these tips are handy and useful. Thanks for publishing.

  23. Very helpful article Peep. I have been focusing much more on conversions for websites and you clearly explained what a value proposition is. The examples you provided made it very clear. I’m going to check out some more of your posts. Thanks for your help :)

  24. A strong value proposition is specific, often citing numbers or percentages. It may include a quick synopsis of your work with similar customers as a proof source and demonstration of your capability. It’s outcome focused and stresses the business value of your offering.

  25. An excellent article! Great examples of what to do and what NOT to do. After 3 years online, I am finally learning how important a UVP really is.

  26. Well done. Too often I see companies – especially young tech companies – loading up with proposition with tech jargon. We really have to get to the issues our customer cares about before they will listen.

  27. Awesome reading, clear and makes sense. I am a full time student and am writing an assignment where I have to put value proposition of my product. After reading this article, I am much clear how I should frame my value proposition. Great work. Thank you so much.

  28. Extremely in depth article I must say. Will definitely take it into account and do lots of testing. Should be interesting!

  29. Those are useful value proposition examples indeed. I know there are plenty of such articles on the Net (I mean helpful ones), but there should be even more! Those are invaluable to beginner bloggers. Thanks!

  30. Great post… I will definitely use these tactics as it relates to my endeavor I am working on.

  31. It would be perfect to see you giving the alternatives to L’Oreal and Band-Aid.

  32. Your website’s usability sucks. You have zoom disabled for mobile devices. Did it ever occur to you that some people may want/need to zoom? Other than that your content is good.

  33. Really great and useful content here, thanks for putting this together :)

  34. As always, great post Peep.

    But I am wondering, could you give some examples of how eCommerce sites can do value propositioning great? If you sell, for example, archery gear, what would you do?

  35. Excellent and decent post. I found this much informative, as to what I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up.

  36. Great article, I learned a lot.

    Combined with your article about how worthless carousels/sliders were, I created a new graphic on our site. I would love any quick feedback: http://www.designpanoply.com

    The slider is still there, but doesn’t play automatically, and the arrows pop up when it gets hovered over.

    Keep up the great content :)

    1. My coach just brought out the unique value proposition for my site and I came here to find out more about UVP. Great content and very useful to help write the website copy. I think I have my UVP figured out but if anyone would like to comment on it please email me.

  37. The explaination is very useful for a business. There is this learning that could acquired by reading the article.

  38. Great stuff, Peep.

    I was really struggling to create something super exciting and totally unique but the point about using small boosters to make our value proposition unique helped a lot.

    Also the distinction between what is actually unique with what is unique in our customers’ minds.

    We have implemented a bunch of your tips for our new website’s value proposition.

    Thanks!

  39. This will be very useful & helps us to be competitive.

  40. Great points and such an important topic. Having the right value proposition can really get your business going. Customization is the key.

  41. Great article.

    Explain in a good way to understand.

    In Brazil, brands have a poor understanding in value proposition.

  42. Thanks for one of the best summaries of what a value statement should be and Not BE!

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Useful Value Proposition Examples (and How to Create a Good One)