Today, I’m talking about an asset you need for your business. It’s not a frame of mind. It’s not an ethos. It’s a cold hard piece of written content and I’m going to actually teach you HOW to make it. And what is “it”?
It is a value statement. Also known as a value proposition.
If you regularly engage with this kind of content, most of the things you’ll hear me say to you aren’t new.
But…OPEN YOUR MIND and resist the urge to say “yea, I know this”. Revisit your strategy, see if you can DRILL EVEN DEEPER into your brand and dig up more GOLD.
Now, in the process of writing this post I tested my methods out with a couple friends and clients and the results were promising. They found my methods to be useful, powerful and workable.
Rachel, founder of The Modish Mommy, said:
“I just assumed going into this exercise that, as the brand owner, narrowing down my value in one or two sentences should be simple. But I realized quickly that I had to make some very clear choices about my brand. To simplify everything into one statement is actually kind of hard. But Elizabeth’s worksheet made the process a lot easier and my value proposition has changed drastically.”
To put this in context, Rachel has a line of private label products for mom and baby and one of those is a diaper clutch. The three KILLER statements she ended up writing with my worksheet are:
- Hands on, not hands full
- Heart Full, Hands Free
- Embrace simplicity. Lighten your load.
Aaaaaah isn’t that tremendous?! This is so fun!
Simple is hard
I love what Rachel was saying there about how when you’re so close to your own brand you may think you’ve got a very good grasp on the values you bring but you know what? SIMPLE is HARD! It’s easy to put your product into 100 words. But 4 words? 5 words? That takes focus and organization of thought and this is what I’m here to help you do today.
Download your value statement worksheet HERE
Christen, who has a fitness coaching brand called Irreverent Health said, “Your guidance in how to answer these questions really helped me work quickly to articulate the answers”.
Let’s get started on writing YOUR value statements, shall we?
Your product or service is likely not the only one of its kind. At this point, that would be impossible to achieve. There’s nothing new under the sun! So how do you stand out in the crowd and get attention for your product?
You will have only a split second to convince people that they need your brand in their life. Because I mean…why do we buy anything? Do we NEED any of that stuff? No. We want it because we’re convinced, by teams of marketers, that we need it.
BUT it’s not the products we’re convinced that we need. No one NEEDS to pull into 7-Eleven for a Coke. We’re convinced that we need refreshment. Life. Connection. Coca-Cola’s brand promise is “To inspire moments of optimism and uplift.” It’s a lifestyle brand.
Getting honest about the fact that your customers can live without your product/service will help you get real about the way(s) you position yourself and connect with your audience.
What is a value statement?
A brand value statement (also called a proposition) is “the emotional and rational benefit that customers derive in purchasing a product”.
Not a slogan
L’Oreal’s “Because you’re worth it” isn’t a value proposition. It’s a slogan. Here are some extremely straightforward value statements that get straight to the point:
- Uber: The smartest way to get around
- Slack: Be more productive at work with less effort
- Stripe: Makes it easy to start accepting credit cards on the web today
- Evernote: Remember everything. Capture anything. Access anywhere. Find things fast.
I wish I had examples of small brands communicating their value statements well, but there’s an epidemic I see wherein they lead with WHO they are and WHAT they do and not WHY you should follow them. What’s the value they can add to your life? WHY should you pay attention to them? WHY. ARE. THEY. SELLING?!
2 steps to your own value statements (in 20 minutes or less!)
I have 2 techniques for crafting brand value statements. Download the worksheet which you can use to craft your statements in 20 minutes or less.
Assumptions I’m making before we start:
- You know WHAT you are (exe: I am a brand communicator)
- You know precisely WHO your audience is
If you don’t know those things, this is an invitation to put those in writing, too. You have those answers within yourself. You just have to be brave enough to put it into words. The second of those two assumptions might be a little scary, because you might be worried about niching down so much that you’ll leave other people out.
Being specific about your target is like that saying “shoot for the moon and you’ll lands amongst the stars” (or some shit like that). Point is, people outside the audience you’re speaking to will still hear your voice and jive with you. But you NEED TO BE SPECIFIC about who you’re talking to.
Now that you’ve used that worksheet to craft some killer value propositions, go look at the headlines on your website and bios across all your social platforms and implement some value statements to communicate your business in a way that SELLS so you can generate revenue.
Additionally, you don’t have to use these phrases verbatim. They can become the underpinning values with which you communicate everything you do. So pop some post-its around your work stations and allow these values to be present in every interaction you have with your audience.