The Value Proposition in Action
Let’s take a look at some real examples and evaluate them. Are they clear, compelling, and differentiating? Keep in mind that you may not be the target market for all of these examples. Your role as a marketer is to evaluate them from the perspective of the target customer.
This value proposition doesn’t offer a lengthy description of what Pinterest is and how it works. It simply states the benefit Pinterest provides to its users.
Notice the use of the phrase “people like you.” The value proposition connects you to the site’s other users through your own interests. It implies that a friendly community of “people like you” awaits you and is interested in helping you.
Is the value proposition sufficiently clear to you? Does it give you enough information to know whether the offering is of interest to you?
The greatest challenge in creating an effective value proposition is striking a balance between being clear and communicating enough value.
The value proposition first highlights Skype’s broad use, which is an important feature for its network-based approach.
Next it describes the offering. Skype provides more information than Pintarest does about what its offering is—and it highlights the fact that it’s free. Pinterest is also free, but doesn’t disclose this in its value proposition. Is one approach better than the other? Why might a company want to emphasize that its product is free while another does not? In this case, it’s probable that Pinterest conducted research and learned that users expect Pintarest to be free, since that’s the case with many other social sharing sites. In contrast, since Skype is competing with traditional paid services like cell service providers, free access is an important differentiator.
Again, notice the use of the word “you” in the value proposition.
The value proposition for Salesforce.com includes the acronym CRM, which stands for customer relationship management software. Not everyone knows this acronym, but Salesforce is confident that its target customers do, and it’s betting that they are seeking such a system to improve sales management processes and results.
The value proposition cuts to the offering’s core benefit—improved sales results—and highlights its strong (“world’s #1”) market position.
This value proposition is very simple, but it says enough about the value that you may want to learn more about how it works.
In just a few words, the value proposition explains that you can get a ride when you need it using your phone. It emphasizes convenience in a number of ways by using the phrases “on demand” and “in minutes.” There is also a subtle use of the word “your.” Uber provides your ride. You are in charge.