The value proposition of a product provides one of the most important meeting points for user experience design and marketing. Although it deals mainly not with serving the customer but selling, it involves matching their needs with your product. Also, it usually gets better conversions and comes with additional benefits as well. It can set a common goal for your company, something easy to refer to when you have doubts on which feature to develop and much more.
What makes up the value proposition?
A value proposition promises value you’ll deliver. It gives the primary reason a prospect should buy from you. It defines the first step of telling users what you offer. Your landing page offers the most trivial example of using the value proposition, but it can appear anywhere you need to convince your customer quickly: in an advertisement, the App Store, whatever.
We can easily confuse the value proposition with other marketing related tools. Most commonly we mistake it for a single sentence, like a slogan or tagline:
“Just do it”
Although Nike’s tagline expresses some values about the product (in its simplicity), it mainly aims for memorability. A value proposition involves more. You need to answer the following questions:
1) What do you do?
It may sound trivial to answer, but landing pages often lack it. Do you offer a service or an app? For businesses or regular customers? Imagine someone comes out of the blue with no background knowledge or context. Will they understand what you do in five seconds?
2) Why would I care?
This question extends from the first, and it deals with good targeting. Maybe I understand your product or service at a glance, but why would I care? What relevance has it got to my life? How can it make my life easier?
3) What makes you unique?
The third question helps distinguish you from your competitors. Maybe you can clearly define what your product does. Maybe you can also target your customers’ pain points successfully. But why choose your solution instead of the dozens of other products like it? Have you got a cheaper, faster, more effective, etc solution? Stand apart from your competitors! Show customers what makes you different and give them a reason to buy from you.
The elements of the value proposition
You have five to fifteen seconds to answer these questions because the customer spends that much time deciding whether to use your service/product. We can answer these questions quickly in many ways. On a landing page, these elements do it the easiest:
Make the first thing your customer reads short and informative but catchy at the same time.
Grabbing their attention, the secondary headline lets you explain your offer more specifically.
Illustration or visual
Images communicate much faster than words. Show the product, the hero shot or an image reinforcing your main message. Thousand words etc.
List the key benefits or features in three bullet points or smaller sections.
Take a deep dive into Value Proposition with Interaction Design Foundation’s course Design Thinking: The Ultimate Guide