Why your Startup urgently needs a Value Proposition
Which means 97.8% of companies can’t or aren’t articulating their value, and if you can’t do that, how can your customer understand why they should buy from you or why should a potential investor give you money? Startups are most likely missing this critical step in opening their new businesses.
Many people will talk about a value proposition being the most crucial element of your marketing, but I’d argue it’s more than that. A fundamental must have that makes up one of the most important elements of defining your company and your vision. So why is it so often left to be focused on when building the first formal website? Or worse, confused with a tagline or slogan or even a mission or vision statement? And if they do exist, many are just a jumble of buzzword bingo statements or technology lingo that mean nothing to the audience they are speaking to, entirely inside out. Or as I like to say, ‘navel-gazing’ is a complete turn-off to most if not all customers.
A value proposition is the foundation for your marketing or mission statement, but more importantly, at its heart, it’s the promise that you’re making to your customers and future customers that speaks to everything in your business, from your marketing and sales to your customer support and product roadmap. A good value proposition will be at the heart of your companies communications and engagement, from sales through to building relationships with investors to brief your marketing team or even future hires.
If you can’t articulate your value proposition in a way that will make your customers and investors eye’s sparkle or the media or potential partners understand you within moments, how are you ever going to make that emotional connection that is critical in building key relationships?
Hubspot found that only 69% of B2B firms have established a value proposition, but 54% of companies do nothing to optimise it or even ensure it’s working for them. With so many companies not taking the time to determine or improve their value proposition, this is a huge missed opportunity to gain a competitive advantage.
Demystifying your value into a strong message is powerful. And it’s not only for large corporates or existing businesses; it’s a potent tool for startups and early-stage companies. It’s also not a “done once, and file it” exercise, it’s something that needs to be regularly reviewed and adjusted as you evolve, pivot or as the landscape changes.
The process of establishing a value proposition forces you to understand the competitive landscape, to understand the world from your customer’s view, from the outside in, and define what makes you essentially unique and or different from others in how you solve their problem. Working through the process makes you a stronger, more effective business.
Building your value proposition enables you to create a consistent drumbeat of a message. A clearly articulated value proposition empowers your employees with a uniform way of talking about what and why they are part of the team, establishes a strong foundation upon which all of your marketing and sales activities can build upon and even sets the tone for your product development roadmap and even customer service. The more you say it, and the more consistently you say it, the more influential the impact.
The Greek origin of the word “rhythm” is “to flow.” I liken the act of consistently drumming your value proposition through your company, your sales and your marketing to allowing your company to be in rhythm or, as the Grees would say, in flow. Being in flow means operating at peak performance. It empowers people to engage with you on a much more connected level because they understand the value you bring them. It will speed up sales cycles, increase the likelihood of gaining market share and move you away from price-based sales to value-based.
If you’re interested in finding out how you can build or improve your value proposition, get in touch!