How Your Value Proposition Helps You Stand Out from the Pack

Marketing for businesses once consisted primarily of boasting about a product or service’s unique features and qualities. Touting these special features or qualities was enough to set your company apart from competitors and get prospective customers interested in learning more. 

Those days are gone. When it comes to your business, today’s consumers are driven by one overriding question: “What’s in it for me?” Customers facing a challenge in their own businesses want a clear explanation of precisely how your offering will help them overcome that challenge, address a nagging pain point, or otherwise meet their needs.  DSC5482

You can still highlight those your products unique features, but if you neglect to answer this fundamental question, it’s unlikely you’ll gain much traction in the marketplace.

That’s where your company’s value proposition comes in. Simply put, a value proposition “is a positioning statement that explains what benefits you provide … and how you do it uniquely well.” It should also include a description of “your target buyer, the problem you solve, and why you’re distinctly better than the alternatives.”

A focused, straightforward value proposition can cut through the noise every prospect encounters when seeking a solution to his or her business challenge. It helps to differentiate your business and accelerate the all-important purchasing journey.

Key elements of a strong value proposition generally include:

In-depth knowledge of your target market. No business will get far with the motto, “Our market is every business out there.” Instead, use your customer data to identify precise buyer behaviors, demographics, needs, decision-making process, etc., related to your customer base. Crafting a strong “buyer persona” will help focus your marketing efforts.

Description of the problems your company can solve. Your job, says marketing expert Stacey Danheiser, is to “articulate the problem and the challenges facing your customers using language that resonates with them.” Furthermore, it’s vital to “explain the problem (in simple terms) and the potential dangers involved if your customer chooses not to solve the problem.”

Proof that your solution is best. Prospects won’t simply take your word for it when you claim to offer the best solution to their problems. Your value proposition should include solid data about favorable customer outcomes—data you can readily share in the form of case studies, customer testimonials, fact sheets, industry awards, and so on. Make sure the proof of your solution is clearly relevant to any given prospect’s unique needs.

Emphasis on outcomes. As we’ve noted elsewhere, when communicating with your target audience, “emphasize the outcomes they can expect as a result of purchasing your products.” The interest customers is driven by the perception that “buying your products will result in, greater efficiency, future sales, and/or the enhanced value of your products to customers.”

In other words, “perceived value” is determined by your customers’ assessment of the benefits they receive from your products or services, against the overall costs (as compared to the competition). 

For Baillie Lumber, our value is evident in the quality of our customer interactions, a consistently on-time delivery of products, and in the ever-changing ways in which we help their own businesses succeed. It can also be seen in many of the products we offer our customers. For example, our Proprietary Grades of hardwood lumber are developed specifically to maximize manufacturer yields for a variety of industries like flooring, cabinetry, and furniture, and are offered in a variety of species like, Ash, Cherry, Hard Maple Red Oak, just to name a few.

What suggestions do you have for developing a strong value proposition? Let us know. We would welcome the conversation.

Brett Del Prince
Baillie Lumber
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