December 9, 2022 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
Does your audience know what your brand really does? Do they know how the products you make or services you offer solve their problems and make their lives easier? If you’re not using a value-based marketing strategy, chances are, the answer to both questions is “no.” Today, we’re looking at value messaging and value proposition to discover the similarities and differences between the two marketing approaches, and how they work together to help your audience see exactly why your company is the right answer to fix all their pain points:
Value messaging is the slogans, stories, and other persuasive communication your brand uses to convince your audience that your company has the right solutions to their pain points or problems. Messages often start with clear, concise, and targeted statements about your brand’s benefits. You can develop those statements into stories that attract your audience and explain to them why your brand aligns with their wants, needs, or challenges.
Value messages have hooks that pull your audience from one idea to the next. They also include calls to action that encourage your audience to do something, such as make a call, make a purchase, or share your content with others.
A value proposition is a promise your brand makes about a product, service, or company overall. This explanation tells your audience what they “get” when they work with your brand or buy something from it. It also tells clients or customers why they should pick your brand over another. The value proposition often spawns multiple positioning statements that target different audience segments that benefit from the same features but view them in different ways.
The proposition is more than just a list of product features, though they can be part of what makes your offerings or company unique. The value proposition often goes deeper to look at the intangibles of what happens when a client buys your product or works with your organization. For example, a clothing company may “sell” the features of your product, but also the results, such as becoming more productive or efficient in your work.
Value messages and value propositions work together to tell your audience what they can expect from your brand, products, or services. The proposition makes your audience a promise. If you work with Brand X, you get Y. For example, the professional messaging platform Slack’s value proposition is “be more productive at work with less effort.” If your brand works with Slack, the company promises you can get more done without wasting resources.
A value message takes that proposition and spins it so that your audience truly understands what your brand, products, or services do, and why they’re an asset. At their most basic, value messages tell your audience what your company does and how it helps clients or customers.
Here are some of the major differences between value messaging and value propositions:
Value propositions are often short, simple sentences or phrases that sum up what your product, service, or company does. Think of these like your offerings’ elevator pitches. If you only had a few seconds to sell yourself or your products to an audience, what would you say that would entice them the most?
Value messages vary in length. Some are short, like the propositions themselves. Depending on how you word your original proposition, you may use it as one of your messages. But messages can be longer, too. They may come in forms like stories, slogans, or calls to action that get your audience invested in your products or services and encourage them to take the actions your team wants them to take.
The purpose of a value proposition is to determine what makes your brand, product, or service unique from the competition. Why should the audience go with your company instead of another? When you can summarize what your offerings are, it’s easier to zoom in on how to persuade the audience that what you do is better than another brand. Value messaging is the part that convinces the audience of the benefits and usefulness of your brand. You can’t have the messaging without the proposition. Otherwise, you’d be blathering generic nonsense that the audience didn’t care about.
Though both value messaging and value propositions have to be specific to target the right audience segments, messaging has to be more specific. Your propositions can be general. They don’t need to sound snappy or convey the exact emotions you want your audience to feel about your brand offerings.
You primarily use value propositions internally to better understand how you’re going to craft and deliver messages to your audience. The messages need to be more specific because they need to evoke those thoughts, feelings, and emotions in your audience to convince them to take the next step and move down the marketing funnel.
You’ll typically only have one value proposition for each of your products or services, and one for your overall brand. Remember, the proposition is your promise to customers and clients. The more promises you tack on, the harder it is to keep them all. That’s why it’s important to narrow in on one honest, attainable promise and work to keep it. In contrast, you may create multiple value messages for every proposition or audience segment.
Usually, your team brainstorms between three and five key value messages to share with each audience segment that ties back to your value proposition. More messages help you reach your audience segments in a personalized manner. For example, if you’re creating both email and social media campaigns around your value proposition, you may use one message on each channel to better target users. You can also use multiple messages to appeal to their purposes for visiting a specific channel and their reactions to seeing your content in those spaces.
Image via Unsplash by @ninjason
Value propositions and positioning are important to help your team understand if you’re targeting the right audience. But snagging conversions and seeing the return on investment (ROI) from your content comes from the messaging. But how do you know if you’re creating the right ones? Here’s a helpful checklist to determine if you’re crafting messages that resonate with your audience and share the key points of your value proposition:
If your messages meet these criteria, they’re more likely to connect with your audience and drive your marketing campaigns forward.
Even if you know what makes your brand stand out from the competition, and even how you want to convince your audience of those benefits, you need a strategy to pull off any campaign. Download CopyPress’s free eBook How To Analyze Your Content and Craft a Winning Strategy for 2023 to get a head start on making that next brilliant campaign a reality.
In the eBook, you’ll learn about analysis essentials from our Director of Content Analysis, Jeremy Rivera. Up your game by discovering the differences between a competitive and gap analysis, how to improve your website authority, and how to measure the ROI of your content efforts. Then, schedule your introductory call with the CopyPress team to learn more about how a partnership with us helps you get the content results you crave with less stress on your internal team.
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