Create a unique value proposition

Business Benefits

Make your business stand out by highlighting your unique value and how you help solve your target audience's pain points.


Ask your customers about how they perceive your product, its benefits, or how it helped them solve their pain points. Record their answers, with direct quotes.

Use email surveys or face to face interviews. Look at the language used in your customers’ answers: how do they talk about your product?

Create a value proposition template document with sections for headline, subheading or summary, key benefits or features, and visual.

  • Headline: What is the end-benefit you’re offering in one short sentence? It can mention the product and/or customer. Make it an attention grabber.
  • Subheading or summary: One longer sentence or a 2–3 sentence paragraph. A specific explanation of what you do/offer, for whom, and why it’s useful.
  • Key benefits or features: 3 bullet points.
  • Visual: Images communicate much faster than words. Show the product image, the hero shot, or an image reinforcing your main message.

Evaluate your current value proposition by answering each question below, using your template document to structure the answers, then ask a person outside your company to do the same.

  • What product or service is your company selling?
  • What is the end benefit of using it?
  • Who is your target customer for this product or service?
  • What makes your offering unique and different?

Compare both answers to identify if your value proposition is understood in the same way by potential users.

Identify unique product features from your user research and talk to your team members about which feature has the most value for users.

Scan competitors to identify their unique feature and find out if it is mentioned in their value proposition.

Write a clear sentence using simple words as the headline to include your business’s end-benefit and unique characteristics.

  • Mention the product or the customer in the headline to create rapport with the customer.
  • Edit your headline to remove any hype, superlatives, or business jargon. Look out for phrases like never seen before, best, and value-added interactions.
  • For example, Trello helps you work more collaboratively and get more done.

Write a sentence or 2-3 sentence paragraph for the subheading or summary, explaining what your company does, for whom, and why it is useful.

Tell readers about concrete results a customer will get from using the product.

Draw out 3-4 main benefits from your user research and list them as bullet points in the key benefits section.

Select an image that is relevant to your value proposition and supports the benefits you listed earlier.

Show the product image, the hero shot, or an image reinforcing your main message.

Offer an incentive for selecting your company that backs up your value proposition.

Use a booster like:

  • Free shipping.
  • Fast shipping or next-day shipping.
  • Free bonus with a purchase.
  • Free setup or installation.
  • No long-term contract, cancel any time.
  • License for multiple computers.
  • (Better than) money-back guarantee.
  • A discounted price.
  • Customizable product or service.

Create a webpage from your template document that minimizes elements not directly related to the value proposition.

Original research by CXL Institute showed that users:

  • Noticed the value proposition more quickly when it had more text - took up more real estate on the page.
  • Spent longer on a value proposition as opposed to elsewhere on the page when there was more to read.
  • Recalled more services offered by the site when more services were listed.
  • Described more website advantages when there were more features and benefits available to read.
  • Preferred information in the form of bulleted lists.
  • Preference for page design was influenced by which variation was originally seen.

Hi @boagworld

Steps 1, 4 and 7 mention relying on user research and data to help form the value proposition.

What would you do if you are a brand new startup, where user research and data is limited?

Well, user research isn’t normally a huge issue for a startup. After all, if they cannot reach their audience for testing, they will not be able to reach them for selling!

In terms of data, one approach I favor is to build a landing page for a product or service BEFORE creating the full thing. The landing page will appear as if it is a real product or service, but when people click the call to action, they will be asked to join a waiting list instead and informed the product has yet to launch.

You can then advertise the landing page just as you would as if you had launched the product. You can then monitor the conversion rate to judge the viability of your startup idea.

There is probably a whole playbook required for this one as I haven’t done the best job explaining it :slight_smile:

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Ok let me contextualize the original question.

What if your in very early stages of a niche B2B where you sell high value subscriptions to limited clients, in a sensitive secretive industry.

In other words access to the audience is quite limited at this stage.

What other research methods could you use, instead of email surveys or face-face interviews (which are likely difficult to execute), to inform writing your first value proposition?

If you’ve got no direct access to the customer then I struggle to understand how you are going to sell to them anyway. It certainly severely limits your options from a user research perspective.

The best I could suggest in a circumstance like that it’s to do online research into the audience. Look at their social media profiles and pay attention to the questions they ask, the comments they make, and the struggles they are facing.

You can also pay attention to the sites they use.

That may give you some insights into their mindset but is pretty poor when compared to actually speaking directly to people.

I should also add that I am not convinced that this is a realistic scenario. I have worked in very competitive sectors whose clients are very time-poor and hard to access. Yet it has always been possible to have at least some form of interaction with them either through a short zoom call or a quick survey. I feel that this scenario is often used as an excuse not to do user research. But, just because something is hard doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done.

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Whilst i understand the concern.

This isn’t a replacement for user research, but a request for user research methods that are more accessible in that context. Let me give you an example.

You have an unvalidated product. You don’t have funding and no real clients yet. No social media presence, and not enough contacts to get a decent number of survey responses.

Convincing the clients or VCs to even talk to you in a face to face interview, you would show them a pitch deck, a landing page or a one pager. Which requires a value proposition to be convincing.

In some cases applications to grants and funding options require a Value proposition as part of the documentation. And you may not have the time to wait for X number of people to commit to interviews.

In which case you need alternative methods of user research to the ones mentioned in the playbook to write a convincing VP. The below options you mentioned are great and should open the door to further iterate :slight_smile:

I still would attempt to validate the idea BEFORE going to a VC. As a VC I would be very hesitant to invest in an idea from a founder who has zero access to their target audience.

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That i agree 100%.

Zero access is a red flag. But a small audience requires creative ways of doing user research.

From my understanding the idea is validated, but the prototype is not.

This is hugely helpful paul and ill pass this on to the member. (Who prefers anonimity)

Key learning from this back and forth. Is that get your Value Prop written, sure.

But increasing exposure to target audience should be priority number 1.

Yeah but you got to remember I am a UX consultant so I am bias!

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