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Your value proposition describes the bundle of products and services that create value for a specific customer segment., questions to ask.

More about Value Propositions

Your Value Proposition is the reason why customers turn to your company over another. It solves your customer’s problem or satisfies your customer’s need. Each Value Proposition consists of a selected bundle of products and/or services that caters to the requirements of a specific Customer Segment. In this sense, your Value Proposition is an aggregation, or bundle, of benefits that your company offers customers. Some Value Propositions may be innovative and represent a new or disruptive offer. Others may be similar to existing market offers, but with added features and attributes.

Types of Value Propositions

Your Value Proposition creates value for a Customer Segment through a distinct mix of elements catering to that segment’s needs. Values may be quantitative (e.g. price, speed of service) or qualitative (e.g. design, customer experience). Elements from the following non-exhaustive list can contribute to customer value creation:

Some Value Propositions satisfy an entirely new set of needs that customers previously didn’t perceive because there was no similar offering. This is often, but not always, technology related. Cell phones for instance, created a whole new industry around mobile telecommunication. On the other hand, products such as ethical investment funds have little to do with new technology.


Improving product or service performance has traditionally been a common way to create value. The PC sector has traditionally relied on this factor by bringing more powerful machines to market. But improved performance has its limits. In recent years, for example, faster PCs, more disk storage space, and better graphics have failed to produce corresponding growth in customer demand.


Tailoring products and services to the specific needs of individual customers or Customer Segments creates value. In recent years, the concepts of mass customization and customer co-creation have gained importance. This approach allows for customized products and services, while still taking advantage of economies of scale.

“Getting the job done”

Value can be created simply by helping a customer get certain jobs done. Rolls-Royce understands this very well: its airline customers rely entirely on Rolls- Royce to manufacture and service their jet engines. This arrangement allows customers to focus on running their airlines. In return, the airlines pay Rolls- Royce a fee for every hour an engine runs.

Design is an important but difficult element to measure. A product may stand out because of superior design. In the fashion and consumer electronics industries, design can be a particularly important part of the Value Proposition.


Customers may find value in the simple act of using and displaying a specific brand. Wearing a Rolex watch signifies wealth, for example. On the other end of the spectrum, skateboarders may wear the latest “underground” brands to show that they are “in.”

Offering similar value at a lower price is a common way to satisfy the needs of price-sensitive Customer Segments. But low-price Value Propositions have important implications for the rest of a business model. No frills airlines, such as Southwest, easyJet, and Ryanair have designed entire business models specifically to enable low cost air travel. Another example of a price-based Value Proposition can be seen in the Nano, a new car designed and manufactured by the Indian conglomerate Tata. Its surprisingly low price makes the automobile affordable to a whole new segment of the Indian population. Increasingly, free offers are starting to permeate various industries. Free offers range from free newspapers to free e-mail, free mobile phone services, and more (see p. 88 for more on FREE).

Cost reduction

Helping customers reduce costs is an important way to create value., for example, sells a hosted Customer Relationship management (CRM) application. This relieves buyers from the expense and trouble of having to buy, install, and manage CRM software themselves.

Risk reduction

Customers value reducing the risks they incur when purchasing products or services. For a used car buyer, a one-year service guarantee reduces the risk of post-purchase breakdowns and repairs. A service-level guarantee partially reduces the risk undertaken by a purchaser of outsourced IT services.


Making products and services available to customers who previously lacked access to them is another way to create value. This can result from business model innovation, new technologies, or a combination of both. NetJets, for instance, popularized the concept of fractional private jet ownership. Using an innovative business model, NetJets offers individuals and corporations access to private jets, a service previously unaffordable to most customers. Mutual funds provide another example of value creation through increased accessibility. This innovative financial product made it possible even for those with modest wealth to build diversified investment portfolios.


Making things more convenient or easier to use can create substantial value. With iPod and iTunes, Apple offered customers unprecedented convenience searching, buying, downloading, and listening to digital music. It now dominates the market.

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what is a business model value proposition

Copyright 2019 — Strategyzer AG, Löwenstrasse 2 CH, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland

Denis Oakley & Co

Denis Oakley & Co


February 10, 2018 By Denis Oakley

The Value Proposition in the Business Model Canvas: What Problem are We Solving?

This is the second lesson in our free business model canvas course . In this lesson we cover the role of the value proposition in the business model canvas. Customers have problems. They need solutions to THEIR problems. A value proposition solves the problem for them. Shell solves the problem of how people get to work. It provides the petrol that powers their cars. Google solves the problems of not knowing about X. It provides the most relevant useful results on the internet. Jim Bean solves the problem of emotional pain and loneliness by reducing inhibitions.

Photo by on Unsplash

Customer Pain and the Value Proposition

So when we start thinking about the value proposition the first step is always to think about the problem that we are solving. There are some great questions that you can ask as you think about this.

Let’s use knowledge as an example. There are frequent times during the day when i want to do something. Often I don’t know how to do it. It may be treating a child for a bumped head, finding a particular item in a shop, translating something someone says or learning how to water avocado trees.

The problem is that I do not know the information I need to do a good job for any of these tasks. the pain is that I have to spend lots of time finding out answers. alternatively I have to accept a substandard solution as I solve it myself.

In this case almost everyone in the developed world has a lot of problems that they don’t have immediate answers for. This is a function of the size and complexity of the society and the rate that it is changing at.

When I want to do lots of things the pain is pretty intense. In some cases it can be a matter of life or death – How do I say that

My daughter has been bitten by a sea snake

in Thai? (ลูกสาวของฉันได้รับการกัดโดยงูทะเล). In other cases it is trivial.

Right now this problem (in the 90’s) was being solved by asking friends or family, using encyclopaedia and calling companies in the yellow pages.

How much will people pay to avoid the pain of not having a good answer almost immediately. As it turned out, people didn’t want to pay. They’d always got the information for free. Why should they start paying for it now. And anyway how do you value the information in so many cases and for so many people?

We now know how Google developed it’s value proposition to answer these questions. This is the process that every business needs to go through as it determines the value that it provides to customers. It is no longer enough to say “We make X”. Too many industries are being disrupted to make that viable for more than a few years. You need to say “We are solving this problem” A value proposition is a clear way of doing that.

The Value Proposition in the Business Model Canvas

The Value Proposition  in the business model canvas is the unique offer your company provides to the customers. It can be a product or service that solves the customer’s problem.

For example, Domino’s Pizza delivers hot fresh pizza to you within 30 minutes or else it is free.

The Value Proposition in the Business Model Canvas: What Problem are We Solving?

Hence, Domino’s Pizza value proposition is the guaranteed short delivery time customers receive.

What is my Value Proposition?

Your value proposition has to be clear to convince customers to do business with you and benefit from it.

Here is a formula that will assist you in crafting a value proposition:

End Result Customer Wants + Specific Period of Time + Addresses the Objections

Example,  Domino’s Pizza

(End Result)  Customers want hot fresh pizza to be delivered to their doorstep.

(Specific Period of Time)  Domino’s Pizza aims to deliver hot fresh pizzas in 30 mins.

(Address the Objections)  If Domino’s Pizza fails to do so, customers do not have to pay for the pizza

*Tip* It is ideal to include all 3 categories into a value proposition but not necessary.

This formula allows your customers to immediately understand how the product benefits them. Customers choose Domino’s Pizza because they are guaranteed hot fresh pizza in 30 mins, if not they will receive other benefits (free pizza).

Moreover, it forces you to think more about the customer and less about the solution. This is emphasized over and over again as we have the tendency to focus on the (first) solution instead of listening to the customers’ problems.

Checklist The following will give you the confidence you are on the right track:

Will your value proposition tempt your customer to read further if it was used a the header of an article?

Check if your focus is on your customer problem instead of your product. Example: We sell green salad vs Take a healthy lunch and feel better each day

How to Build a Great Business Model Canvas – The FREE Course

About Denis Oakley

Explorer | Trail Runner | Mountain Lover

'Big' companies are civilisation. I stay in the wilderness guiding entrepreneurs and startups on their journey to becoming 'Big'.

Then I head back to the frontier

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The Value Proposition in the Business Model Canvas: What Problem are We Solving?

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Outcome : More Traction, Bigger Rounds, Better Products

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what is a business model value proposition

How to Write a Value Proposition (+ 6 Modern Examples)

what is a business model value proposition

Leaders often work tirelessly to improve their company’s product or service, thinking that it’s the most valuable role they can play. But for your business to “click” with your target audience, you need to stay just as close to your customers as you do to your offerings.

The details of customers’ needs and wants should be just as familiar to you as the features of your product or the details of the service that you provide. A value proposition serves as the bridge between these two aspects of your work. It’s a mantra that unites the two halves of the whole business.

We’ve demystified the nuts and bolts of how to write a value proposition, complete with examples, so you can ensure that all your hard work manifests in value for your customers every day.

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What is a value proposition?

A value proposition is a simple statement that summarizes why a customer would choose your product or service. It communicates the clearest benefit that customers receive by giving you their business. Every value proposition should speak to a customer’s challenge and make the case for your company as the problem-solver.

A great value proposition may highlight what makes you different from competitors, but it should always focus on how customers define your value . Likewise, conversations around brand strategy and taglines should stem from a value proposition, but they aren’t one and the same.

You may be wondering: Why bother learning how to write a value proposition? It’s like investing in the foundation of a house. You may not see the foundation, but everything you do see — and the long-term safety and security of your home — rest on it having a strong place to start from.

How to write a value proposition: 3 options

If you’re intentional about creating a value proposition, it can help clarify the way forward for your entire company. However, including too many voices early on can water down your intent in an effort to make everyone happy, and, ironically, the results won’t work for anyone.

Rather than get everyone involved, start with a small group of people (no more than three) who can set aside the time to hone a few compelling options.

Here’s how to write a value proposition three different ways, from complex mapping to a simple formula. Start with one or try all three in a workshop to refine your ideas with greater precision.

1. Map out a value proposition canvas

Peter Thomson’s value proposition canvas explores the different components of a company that contribute to a strong value proposition. Thomson believes that a process like this can help team members get to “minimum viable clarity,” which can be whittled down into a one-sentence value proposition.

Thomson calls a value proposition “a crunch point between business strategy and brand strategy,” and he created a model that syncs the two strategies. There are seven areas to explore, each of which takes up a section in the map:

peter thomson's value proposition canvas

When you explore each section of the canvas, do so from the perspective of the customer. While writing out the benefits of your product, imagine how it increases pleasure or decreases pain for the person using it. Approach the features and the experience that way, too: How do the features make the customer’s life better? How does the product experience make a customer feel?

Next, you’ll dive into the customer’s wants (emotional drivers), needs (rational motivators), and fears (undesired outcomes). Remember that even when consumers are making purchases or investments on behalf of a company, they can still be guided by emotions .

In particular, try to understand whether a product or service affects a buyer’s perceived likelihood of failure, their anxiety, or their reputation at work. You can use Bain & Company’s 30 “ Elements of Value ” and its B2B counterparts as a roadmap for articulating the ways your company gives the customer value within this context.

2. Ask Harvard Business School’s essential questions

Harvard Business School’s Institute for Strategy & Competitiveness simplified how to write a value proposition with just three prompts. Just as Thomson does, Harvard argues that a value proposition serves as the connection between a company and its customers:

“While the value chain focuses internally on operations, the value proposition is the element of strategy that looks outward at customers, at the demand side of the business. Strategy is fundamentally integrative, bringing the demand and supply sides together.”

To create an integrated, cohesive value proposition, start by brainstorming as a group around these three questions:

Which customers are you going to serve?

Which needs are you going to meet?

What relative price will provide acceptable value for customers and acceptable profitability for the customer?

Depending on your product and service, it may make sense for you to start with the first or second question in the list. Together, all three create a triangle that can lead you closer to a succinct value proposition.

harvard business school essential value proposition questions

As you move through the exercise, consider which one is the primary “leg” of the triangle. For example, is the greatest value that you offer in cost savings? Or is it that you’re offering a better product or experience at a premium?

Also, think about whether your company is expanding the market by meeting a need that hasn’t been realized. Harvard’s experts use a great example — the iPad. Apple created a new demand that hadn’t existed before the technology hit the market.

3. Try the Steve Blank formula to distill your insights

Steve Blank , a former Google employee who runs the Lean Startup Circle , noticed that many startup founders emphasize features instead of benefits when they try to transform more detailed insights into a succinct value proposition. Instead of summarizing how a company offers value to customers, leaders often get stuck in the weeds.

Blank saw the need for a simple formula to transform a brainstorm into a simple sentence. We love distilling more detailed insights with his method:

We help (X) do (Y) by doing (Z).

Use Blank's intuitive template to come up with your own value proposition. Remember that the first thing that comes to mind may be the best. Your gut instinct could be spot on here, and that’s what makes this simple solution so valuable.

Here’s my value proposition for my copywriting business, for example:

I help marketing teams to resonate with their target audiences by communicating with clarity and compassion.

Your local coffee shop may have a value proposition that’s similar to this one:

We help our local customers to feel good and do good by fueling them up with artisanal coffee in a community-focused space.

Although you may have brainstormed as a group with the other two methods, this time, ask team members to complete this exercise individually. Comparing and contrasting answers afterward can yield helpful insights about each person’s priorities.

Most importantly, as you draft your value proposition, use the language your customers use. At Help Scout, we say things like “emails slipping through the cracks,” because that’s what our customers say about the problem we help solve. If you don’t write your value proposition the way your customers would write it, there will be a big gap between what you say and what they hear. When you use their voice, you cut through the noise.

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6 value proposition examples

Beyond grasping how to write a value proposition, it helps to see how a strong statement influences and infuses a company’s strategy. Because value proposition examples aren’t necessarily the same thing as brand copywriting, we don’t have access to the exact words a company uses internally.

However, if a company does a great job situating their value proposition within the market, you can tell because their message resonates far and wide. Here are six modern value proposition examples that will help you to understand how value propositions can help you break into a market or create a new one.

Slack is a collaboration tool for teams with a simple, easy-to-use platform and instant message capability. The platform is equally beloved by enterprise teams and scrappy startups for its ability to keep work flowing, no matter the everyday barriers or the complexity of a project.

Everything that the company does hinges on their value proposition: Slack saves time by tearing down communication and systems silos. Their product aspires to take the pain out of working together online — and maybe even make it fun. That’s something no other product has tried or claimed to do.

Because they’ve built such a powerful value proposition, Slack is perceived as an enjoyable alternative to the dreaded email inbox and other tools. Their approach works. Slack is the fastest-growing SaaS startup ever, and it’s used by 77% of Fortune 500 companies.

Despite this legendary growth, Slack famously said it was a business with a pared-down sales team, which is only possible because of the foundation they set with a formidable value proposition.

2. Bloom & Wild

Bloom & Wild is an online flower delivery company that simplifies the process of ordering and receiving luxury flowers. Aron Gelbard, founder and CEO, explained their value proposition in their 2017 funding announcement: “We’re enabling [our customers) to order flowers and gifts from the palm of their hand with better product, designs and payments.”

Bloom & Wild makes it possible for customers to deliver flowers in under a minute using their smartphone or computer; going from thought to action is almost instantaneous. As Gelbard says, “Our mission is to make sending and receiving flowers a joy, using technology to turn emotions into an action in the simplest and most beautiful way possible.”

The flowers are just as simple to receive. They’re packed in flat boxes so they can be delivered through letterboxes (or mailboxes) so there’s no need for someone to be on hand to receive them, and they’re sent as closed flower buds for a longer bloom.

While many companies deliver flowers, Bloom & Wild differentiates itself by offering a smooth customer experience for everyone, as well as competitive pricing, with significantly cheaper blooms than average.

Bloom & Wild communicates its value proposition so clearly that its customers perform much of the hard task of marketing for them through word-of-mouth referrals.

When Airbnb began to disrupt the hospitality industry, it needed to market to two separate groups: guests who wanted a place to stay and hosts who wanted to rent out their spaces. Their two-in-one value proposition: Travelers benefit from a truly local experience and hosts benefit from extra income.

In their own words, “Airbnb exists to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere, providing healthy travel that is local, authentic, diverse, inclusive and sustainable.”

Their rooms often have more character than hotels, and they’re usually located in neighborhoods people live in. Guests learn from local knowledge shared by hosts and feel at home wherever they go. These different sources of value wrap together into Airbnb’s tagline: Belong Anywhere.

As a business goes through different stages of growth, its value proposition is likely to change, too. Originally marketed as much cheaper than staying in a hotel, Airbnb has now become an experience-driven, mainstream staple with a premium wing called “Airbnb Plus,” with its own value proposition.

4. Fjällräven

The classic Swedish outdoor clothing and equipment company Fjällräven was founded by Åke Nordin in 1960. He designed functional (and warm) products for professional researchers taking expeditions into northern Scandinavia.

Now, the 60-year-old brand is experiencing a resurgence amongst younger generations across Europe and North America. Their core proposition is that they sell high-quality, sustainably made products that balance form and function. Yes, customers look great wearing their backpacks and they can still hike up a mountain in the middle of winter.

Their commitment to sustainable business practices appeals to the same conscious consumers who value the outdoors, which fortifies their value proposition. Fjällräven manufactures many of its own products using its own G-1000 material, as well as its own Greenland Wax, contributing to its value proposition of offering quality and durability.

Because they “craft products for a lifetime of memories,” customers are more than willing to pay their premium prices.

5. Juniper Print Shop

When Jenny Komenda launched her first blog, Little Green Notebook, in 2007, she was a young designer sharing her DIY projects with the world. An entrepreneur at heart, Komenda evolved her skillset and online following into another award-winning blog, Juniper Home, and its beloved counterpart, Juniper Print Shop .

Komenda built a cohesive brand that championed affordable design and spoke to a key value proposition that motivated her customers: helping non-designers create a beautiful home without breaking the bank.

Her content answers this question in thousands of different ways, and the new arm of her business offers a simple fix for finding affordable art — one of the most difficult challenges along the way. She launched a print shop featuring the work of women artists and photographers with simple digital downloads and physical prints that are cost-effective and easy to install.

Juniper’s value proposition comes to life in the details of the print shop — from links to affordable IKEA frames — and Jenny’s one-of-a-kind suggestions (buy a vintage frame, invest in a custom mat).

6. Found My Animal

Found My Animal is a company for rescue dogs and their owners. In 2006, Bethany Obrecht and Anna Conway met by coincidence — they both had rescue dogs named Walter, and they quickly became friends.

Their shared interest in crafts (and a fisherman relative) led the two dog moms to design and create leashes from nautical rope that withstand hundreds of pounds of pull. Each leash has a brass tag with the word “FOUND” written on it in simple font.

The company has since expanded their product lines to include other dog accessories and supplies like dog beds, totes, and toys.

Found My Animal’s value proposition is simple: Support a company that donates a portion of its profits to animal rescue groups by outfitting your own rescue in quality products. The company has given money (and leashes) to over 64 nonprofit organizations that help abandoned or neglected pets, so customers know their purchases are making a difference.

This value proposition is baked into every aspect of Found My Animal, especially their marketing. Their team features rescue dogs in need of homes front and center on their website and their social media accounts. Plus, their social media tag #foundmyanimal brings awareness to animal adoption.

They even launched The Rescue Orange Project: A buy-one-donate-one leash program. For dog owners who are as devoted to rescuing other pups as they are to their own, buying from this company is a no-brainer.

The best value propositions evolve with your customers

Now that you can answer the question “What is a value proposition?” a few different ways, you’re ready to get to work. Even if you already have a value proposition in place, consider carving out the time to revisit it.

As customers and markets change over time, your company should evolve as well. Rather than make assumptions about your community based on their past needs and buying behaviors, create feedback loops so you’re always in the know.

By listening to customers in real time, you set your company up to evolve its value proposition and meet the needs of your community as it grows.

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Elizabeth Wellington

Elizabeth Wellington

Liz writes about business, creativity and making meaningful work. Say hello on Twitter or through her website.

What Is a Value Proposition?

Understanding value propositions, special considerations, frequently asked questions.

Business Essentials

Value Proposition: How to Write It With Examples

what is a business model value proposition

Investopedia / NoNo Flores

A value proposition in marketing is a concise statement of the benefits that a company is delivering to customers who buy its products or services. It serves as a declaration of intent, both inside the company and in the marketplace.

The term value proposition is believed to have first appeared in a McKinsey & Co. industry research paper in 1988, which defined it as "a clear, simple statement of the benefits, both tangible and intangible, that the company will provide, along with the approximate price it will charge each customer segment for those benefits."

Key Takeaways

Value Proposition

A value proposition stands as a promise by a company to a customer or market segment . The proposition is an easy-to-understand reason why a customer should buy a product or service from that particular business. A value proposition should clearly explain how a product fills a need, communicate the specifics of its added benefit, and state the reason why it's better than similar products on the market. The ideal value proposition is to-the-point and appeals to a customer's strongest decision-making drivers.

Companies use this statement to target customers who will benefit most from using the company's products, and this helps maintain a company's economic moat . An economic moat is a competitive advantage. The moat analogy—coined by super-investor  Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway—states that the wider the moat, the bigger and more resilient the firm is to competition.

A great value proposition demonstrates what a brand has to offer a customer that no other competitor has and how a service or product fulfills a need that no other company is able to fill.

Components of a Value Proposition

A company's value proposition communicates the number one reason why a product or service is best suited for a customer segment. Therefore, it should always be displayed prominently on a company's website and in other consumer touch points. It also must be intuitive, so that a customer can read or hear the value proposition and understand the delivered value without needing further explanation.

Value propositions that stand out tend to make use of a particular structure. A successful value proposition typically has a strong, clear headline that communicates the delivered benefit to the consumer. The headline should be a single memorable sentence, phrase, or even a tagline. It frequently incorporates catchy slogans that become part of successful advertising campaigns .

Often a subheadline will be provided underneath the main headline, expanding on the explanation of the delivered value and giving a specific example of why the product or service is superior to others the consumer has in mind. The subheading can be a short paragraph and is typically between two and three sentences long. The subheading is a way to highlight the key features or benefits of the products and often benefits from the inclusion of bullet points or another means of highlighting standout details.

This kind of structure allows consumers to scan the value proposition quickly and pick up on product features. Added visuals increase the ease of communication between business and consumer. In order to craft a strong value proposition, companies will often conduct market research to determine which messages resonate the best with their customers.

Value propositions can follow different formats as long as they are unique to the company and to the consumers the company services. All effective value propositions are easy to understand and demonstrate specific results for a customer using a product or service. They differentiate a product or service from any competition, avoid overused marketing buzzwords , and communicate value within a short amount of time.

For a value proposition to effectively turn a prospect into a paying customer, it should clearly identify who the customers are, what their main problems are, and how the company's product or service is the ideal solution to help them solve their problem.

What Is the Purpose of a Value Proposition?

A value proposition is meant to convince stakeholders, investors, or customers that a company or its products or services are worthwhile. If the value proposition is weak or unconvincing it may be difficult to attract investment and consumer demand.

What Is an Employee Value Proposition?

An employee value proposition (EVP) applies to the job market. Here, a company that is hiring will try to frame itself as a good place to work, offering not only monetary compensation but also a range of benefits, perks, and a productive environment. In return, the job candidate will need to convince the hiring company that they have the appropriate skills, experience, demeanor, and ambition to succeed.

What Happens if a Value Proposition Fails?

If a company cannot convince others that it has value or that its products or services or valuable, it will lose profitability and access to capital and may ultimately go out of business.

Lanning, Michael J., and Edward G. Michaels. "A business is a value delivery system."  McKinsey staff paper  No. 41. July, 1988.

CNBC Warren Buffett Archive. " Morning Session - 1995 Meeting ."

Alexander Osterwalder et al. " Value proposition design: How to create products and services customers want. Vol. 2." John Wiley & Sons, 2015.

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Value Proposition: Definition with 8 Winning Examples (2023)

Illustration of a hummingbird landing on a hand holding a flower from a computer screen, representing how your value proposition needs to appeal to your target customer

Why do your customers buy from you? What motivates people to choose you, to choose your products over the hundreds of alternatives? What makes your company, and your products, better than the rest?

The answer: your value proposition.

If you can perfect your value proposition, you can increase your conversion rate and improve your marketing strategies across many channels. Learning to present the value your company and products deliver in a compelling way is one of the most high-value, wide-reaching marketing activities.

In this article, we'll cover what makes a great value proposition, how to create a strong value proposition, as well as look at some unique value proposition examples.

What is a value proposition?

A value proposition is a simple statement that clearly communicates the product or service benefit you promise to deliver to your customers. It's ultimately what makes your product attractive to your ideal customer.  A value proposition expresses what your business does better than anyone else and why someone should do business with you or buy your product.

A compelling value proposition meets three criteria:

Don't confuse brand slogans, catchphrases, or even a positioning statement with a unique value proposition as they're different things.

Here's a visualization that will help you avoid that trap.

Value propositions focus on outcomes

Your value proposition should focus on the superpowers that potential customers get, not the product. Rarely is your value proposition the product itself or its features. Instead, it's the way the brand or product fixes a meaningful pain point, improves the lives of your target audience, and the way it makes them feel (like they have superpowers, for example).

A value proposition should be front and center when a visitor arrives on your site. Although it's often found above the fold on the homepage, you should be aware of other common entrance points (e.g., a landing page, category pages, blog posts, and product pages).

Even if you manage to create an effective value proposition, it won't drive sales if it's tucked away in a dusty corner of your website or absent on high purchase intent pages.

How to write a unique value proposition

So, what goes into a good value proposition, and where should you begin?

1. Gather voice of customer copy

A good value proposition uses  voice of customer copy . That is, it uses the exact words of your current customers to hook your future customers.

For example, if they were interviewed for a case study, how would your target customers describe your product? How does it improve their lives? How do they describe your company? Why do they choose to associate with your brand?

Interview your customers or send out a survey to better understand how they speak about you, both to other people and to themselves. Pay attention to common words and phrases they use. You can keep track of responses and phrases in a simple Google doc.  Your visitors should see themselves in your value proposition. The language you use plays a big role in shaping their perspective. If you want to go the extra mile, spend some time looking at value proposition examples of your competition What are they doing right? What could they improve? Take note of how your competition talks to their customers. Sign up for their newsletters and email flows. 

2. Emphasize clarity before creativity

Above all, you must ensure your value proposition is clear. Sounds obvious, right? Your value proposition needs to serve many purposes, so achieving crystal clarity can be quite difficult.

When evaluating your draft, ensure it answers the following questions:

Your value proposition should be relatively short—two or three short sentences, maximum. Every word should improve clarity or make your main selling point more compelling, otherwise it needs to be cut.

3. Focus on benefits, not hype

How many “World's Best Coffee” signs would you see in store windows walking down just one busy New York City street? Dozens. Each sign you encounter would make it a little more difficult to believe the previous one.

Hype, which can come in the form of superlatives (“best”) and exaggerations (“world's best”), can be dangerous that way. Instead, focus on distinct benefits and the concrete value your product delivers.

If you need to use hype to sell your products, it's a sign that your value proposition is not well defined. Or, perhaps, even that your product is not as valuable as you think. Don't let the love for your product or service get in the way of viewing your brand objectively. 

Examples of strong value propositions

The best way to get a feel for how value propositions work and how to get them right is to look at some great proposition examples.

1. BustedTees

BustedTees uses “BustedTees brings you the highest quality graphic tees on the net” as its homepage value proposition.

BustedTees value proposition example

In this case, it's betting on the quality of its production materials and designs. The value proposition is small but centered at the top of the page.

The site appears to only display the value proposition to first-time visitors, who are more likely to be unfamiliar.

Note how the value proposition is followed quickly by a relevant call to action. “Hey, we have high quality graphic tees. Want to shop our bestselling graphic tees?” If your value proposition does its job, it motivates and inspires action, so make it easy for visitors to take that action.

2. Novo Watch

Novo Watch promises to deliver “Timepieces handmade in Alberta from repurposed pieces of history.”

NOVO Watch

Instantly, you know the difference between a watch from Novo Watch and one of its competitors. The best value propositions are unique and undeniably different.

When you arrive on the site, the value proposition fills the entire page, but you'll also find the value proposition reiterated on the product pages.

NOVO Watch product description

The continuity from the homepage to the product page is immediately evident. Phrases like “manually wound timepiece” and “132 year old train track” reinforce the value proposition, creating a clear message match.

3. Studio Neat

Studio Neat creates simple products that solve common, everyday problems. That value proposition and brand ethos is communicated throughout, even though it’s not explicitly stated on the homepage.

Studio Neat value proposition example

Simple products that deliver simple but desirable value. “Tripod mount for smartphones,” “Wood docks for Apple stuff,” “Wide-grip stylus,” “Make and store simple syrup,” etc.

The same theme is continued on product pages.

Product page value proposition

No exaggerations, no complex product details. “On your nightstand or at your desk, it's nice to have a designated spot to charge your devices.” Tell me that sentence doesn't read like a customer wrote it himself.

While taking notes on value proposition examples is a good start, it's important to go one step further.

4 important types of value propositions

In ecommerce, your value proposition is more than just the big, bold heading on your homepage. There are four distinct types of value propositions you should know about when optimizing your store.

1. Your company value proposition

Did you know there's a difference between the value proposition of your company and products?

Take Studio Neat for example. The value proposition for its company would be something like this: "Simple products that solve simple problems." The value proposition for its Material Dock is: "It's nice to have a designated spot to charge your devices." Now, you can see and feel the company value proposition in the product value proposition, but it's important to see the distinction.

Further, in this article, we're talking about your external value propositions. It all starts with a  strong brand ethos , which is the way you talk about and think about your brand, both internally and externally. For example, Studio Neat's brand ethos might be something like this: “Subtract until it's perfect.” You can see how that ethos trickles down through everything, including the company value proposition and the product value propositions.

2. Your homepage value proposition

This is the type of value proposition you’re most familiar with. It’s the big, bold heading on your homepage. Just think back to the Novo Watch value proposition example above.

Your homepage value proposition will depend on the type of store you run. For example, if you have a small number of products, your homepage value proposition might be more product-focused. If you have a wide range of products, your homepage value proposition might be more company- or brand-focused.

Novo Watch’s homepage value proposition is product-focused, for example:

Timepieces handmade in Alberta from repurposed pieces of history.

Novo has a relatively small number of products and is specifically focused on watches. If it were to introduce a line of handcrafted pens made from pieces of history and a line of handcrafted wallets made from pieces of history, how might their homepage value proposition need to change?

3. Your category value propositions

Don't overlook the need for a value prop on your category pages. Why? Just look at the search engine results page (SERP) for “women's jeans.”

Product category value proposition

First, you'll notice that all of these pages are category pages.

Second, many of the page descriptions are value propositions in disguise. Abercrombie & Fitch has variety, the perfect fit for everyone. Bootlegger's black jeans won't fade. Old Navy jeans will make you look polished, even on a casual day.

When you click through to Abercrombie & Fitch, for example, you'll see the value proposition reiterated in the on-site copy.

Category landing page example

High rise, low rise, a variety of washes, “Fit for your story.” All of these triggers help reinforce the value proposition. As you can see, though, it's still quite uncommon to find a clear and succinct value proposition on a category page.

With so much competition among category pages, especially on SERPs, that's a huge missed opportunity that you can step up and capitalize on. Ask yourself what each category of products on your site promises that's specific, pain-focused, and exclusive.

4. Your product value propositions

A product value proposition goes, you guessed it,  on your product page . Each product within each category needs a specific value proposition. Think back to the Neat Studio Material Dock example above.

Here's another great product value proposition example from Studio Neat.

Product value proposition example

Anyone who has an Apple TV knows that losing that tiny remote is a common occurrence. Instead of having to tear the couch apart a couple times a day, buy Studio Neat's Apple TV Remote Stand. “You know you're going to lose it. You won't if you buy this.”

Simple, right? Perfect, because that's Studio Neat's company value prop.

By now, you're starting to see how the value propositions trickle into and influence one another. Start with the company value proposition, then the homepage value proposition, then category value propositions, then product value propositions.

A two-step template for creating a value proposition

Now it's a matter of combining everything you've learned about value propositions to craft one of your own. There's no reason to complicate the matter; the process can be broken down into just two steps:

The question becomes, how do you get both steps right?

Step 1: Identifying your value proposition

Before you dig into identifying your value proposition, it’s important to frame your thinking properly.

All great value propositions start with one question:

Maybe it's your customer service, maybe it's your product design, maybe it's material quality, maybe it's  price . It can be anything customers find valuable.

A word of caution, though: your company and products are more comparable than you think. Your visitors will certainly be comparing you to your competitors, so beat them to the punch. See how your value proposition stacks up against the promises of your top competitors. What will set you apart in the minds of your visitors?

Note that small values like free shipping, money-back guarantees and same-day delivery can be useful conversion tools, but are secondary to your  unique selling proposition .

If your answer to “What do I do better than anyone else?” is “free shipping,” you're not digging deep enough. That's something any store can copy and paste, meaning it's not a defensible value proposition. Often, identifying your value proposition requires quite a bit of thought and research (customer interviews, for example).

Please, promote those free post-purchase gifts and shipping guarantees alongside your value proposition. You will likely capture people on the fence. But that's just a bandage if the core value proposition isn't unique or compelling.

You can also use the value proposition canvas created by Dr. Alexander Osterwalder to help streamline this process.

Step 2: Communicating your value proposition

Distill what you do better than anyone else into a single sentence and display it prominently. You want to ensure this is what grabs attention first.

Just like an article headline, many people will read the single sentence value proposition and move on. If they like it, they might read a brief elaboration or just continue on to the next step. If they don't like it, they'll often just go ahead and leave.

That's a lot of pressure on just one sentence, so you want to make sure you're getting it right. That is, you want to make sure it's clear and relevant.

It's a useful exercise to spend the time coming up with 10–15 variations of your initial value proposition.

Now, you want to know which one is the most unquestionably clear. A simple  five-second test  can help you with that. In a five-second test, people see your site (with your value proposition) for five seconds and then answer questions about what they saw. What do they remember? What do they think your site does? What do they think your product does?

Let's look at some even more value proposition examples.

If you find people can't answer the questions correctly, you have a clarity issue. A common clarity problem? Hiding the value. Here's an example from Best Buy:

Best Buy value proposition example

“TV & Home Theatre” is prioritized visually here, but the value proposition is hidden below.

Here’s the same problem on Tiffany & Co.:

Tiffany value proposition example

And on Topshop:

Topshop value proposition example

You get the idea. Make sure your value proposition is as clear as possible. The first step? Visually prioritizing your value proposition. Again, don't be afraid to dig through additional value proposition examples for inspiration.

The five-second test is just one way to test your value proposition. You can also run  on-site A/B tests  to figure out which of your 10–15 variations is most effective. Short of that, running paid Facebook ads to test the persuasion power of each of the variations is another option, especially if you have a low traffic site.

Value propositions help you perfect your promise

Your value proposition is a promise to your future customers. If that promise is specific, pain-focused and exclusive, you will turn future customers into paying customers.

Every entrepreneur believes their company and products are valuable. That's why it's so easy to overlook the way that value is communicated to strangers.

Spend the time to perfect your promise. It's not just a  branding  exercise, it's a marketing exercise that will pay off over and over and over again.

Ready to create your online store? Start your free trial of Shopify—no credit card required!

Value proposition faq, what is meant by value proposition, what are the 3 elements of value proposition.

About the author

Shanelle Mullin

Shanelle Mullin works on growth, experimentation, and conversion rate optimization at Shopify.

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what is a business model value proposition

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what is a business model value proposition

© Entrepreneurial Insights based on the concept of Alex Osterwalder

In this article, we will explore, 1) what is a value proposition , 2) elements of the value proposition , 3) designing  a value proposition , and 4) a case study .


In simple terms , a value proposition makes a case for why a customer should pick one product over another, citing the unique value the product provides over its contenders.

The Business Model Canvas value proposition provides a unique combination of products and services which provide value to the customer by resulting in the solution of a problem the customer is facing or providing value to the customer. This is the point of intersection between the product you make and the reason behind the customer’s impulse to buy it.  A product can have a single value proposition or multiple value propositions.

Most start-ups fail to define their value proposition before they launch their products . This is because entrepreneurs tend to give too much credence to the ‘idea’ they have and run with it as opposed to exploring how this idea would actually perform in the market.

It is important for a product to solve a problem in a unique way. The problem could be unworkable, unavoidable, urgent or underserved. On the other end of the spectrum, the need for your product or service could be blatant, critical, aspirational or latent. A blatant need, as the word suggests, is one openly voiced and expressed by the customer. A latent need, conversely, is one which the customer himself may not be aware of having. A critical need is an immediate need that the customer MUST have fulfilled.

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Some value propositions are based on the newness or novelty factor that they provide. This element usually comes into play for technology-intensive products.

The telecommunications industry was spawned through the newness element. Originally the market for cellphones was very small but once the technology became more mainstream the market for the product expanded exponentially with increasingly advanced cellphones and smartphones being created to take advantage of the telecommunications technology.


Better performance has been the hallmark of many product offerings over the years with most industries managing to thrive for decades on improved performance versions of the same products. Intel doubles the speed of its chip every year, resulting in faster computers able to support much more sophisticated software.


The modern consumer believes in self-expression and individualism. They expect the products they use to be an extension of their personality and a medium through which they can communicate their values and priorities to the world. Providing the option to tailor the product to the consumer’s preferences adds value for the customer. In recent times products have gained heavily on market share through utilizing concepts such as mass customization or customer co-creation. Where traditionally customization has resulted in prohibitively expensive products, today this option provides the opportunity for customers to put their personal stamp on a product while still providing economies of scale.

Nike lets its customers customize their shoes through NikeID on their website. A consumer can go online and create a completely original design with their preferred color palette, placement, color and size of the swoosh etc for their shoes. They can see what the end product will look like visually, play around with different permutations till they reach a result that suits their tastes and then order the final product when they are ready.

Getting the job done

When a product helps a consumer or business reach the end goal, its value proposition is getting the job done. Rolls Royce is best known for the cars they make but one of their major value propositions is getting the job done through the jet engines they manufacture and service for Boeing as well as providing financing through leasing.

A product whose value proposition is ‘getting the job done’ enhances the customer’s productivity and helps the customer to focus on more relevant details.

Most clothing labels rake in a higher price tag because of the superior design they have. Prada charges top dollar for something as simple as a T-shirt because of the strength of its designs.

Brand/ Status

Design and brand/status can be clustered together because their appeal is quite similar. Just as people will show loyalty to a brand because of its design, people will also show loyalty to a design because of the perceived status the brand name itself lends to the owner or user.

Almost everyone today owns and wears a watch on a regular basis but the brand of the watch could vary from your local watchmaker/ jeweler to the iconic brand Rolex. A Rolex is more than just a watch though, it is a statement that the wearer has money and status, since even a simple Rolex is exorbitantly expensive compared to regular brands.

Ultimately a brand/ status intensive product will help the customer look and feel in control, important and part of the in-crowd.

One of the most common elements a value proposition is based on is price . There are many companies that enter into the market with the premise that they are providing a product or service which is cheaper than the existing options in the market. However, organizations competing on price, or in some cases, even offering free services, usually have different business models to sustain the organization.

One example is the spate of ‘no frills’ airlines that sprung up like Southwest airlines. Southwest offered fares equivalent to a bus-ride, however, in a complete about face from the traditional airline, they did away with all the extra services which formed the pomp and show traditional airlines charged a premium for. In doing so, Southwest opened air travel up to a section of the market which had been previously untapped; the common man.

Cost Reduction

Products and services catered towards enhancing customer experience by reducing the cost a customer would ultimately incur cater to the cost reduction value proposition.

Technology has played a great role in helping consumers reduce costs. One such example is which allows customers to use a customer relationship management software for a fee, voiding the need for the customer to buy the software, hardware and install and run it, each action associated with a significant cost.

Risk Reduction

The less risk associated with purchasing a product or service, the more value a customer derives from it. A reduction of the risk associated with a purchase provides peace of mind to a consumer. One example of this is the one year service warranty received when buying a used car. In the buyer’s mind, the risk of buying a second hand vehicle is diminished by the comfort of having the warranty.

Essentially a product whose value proposition is Risk Reduction aims to make people feel safer, whether real or imagined safety, as well as guarantees a solution to a problem he/ she is facing for a time bound period.


Another key ingredient for an effective and robust value proposition is making a previously inaccessible product or service available to a consumer segment. Innovative technologies and variations in business models have both led to offering accessibility to unserviced customers. NetJets is a wonderful example of providing accessibility. The company allows individuals and corporations to have access to private jets, which has traditionally been cost prohibitive and therefore unavailable to many who did not have the cash reserves to afford this luxury.

Convenience/ Usability

Providing consumers with a product that increases their convenience or is characterized by ease of use is a very strong value proposition and one on which some companies have built empires and legends around. One example of this type of value proposition is Apple which through its iconic iPod provided consumers with a convenient way to listen to music and by pairing it with iTunes, increased the convenience factor significantly; since now users could easily search, download and play songs, all through one medium!


value proposition

When designing a value proposition we often use traditional tools and models instead of thinking outside the box or taking into consideration how much technology, businesses and consumers have evolved. Ultimately, we need to understand whether what an organization delivers actually matters or is it relevant to a customer’s needs.

A value proposition can be more effectively designed by utilizing a value proposition canvas, which is essentially an equation of three key ingredients. First, the entrepreneur needs to understand the customer in its entirety by creating a customer profile through analyzing customer jobs, their pains and their gains. This is followed by a value map which clarifies the products and services offered to the customer, their pain relievers and gain creators. Finally a Fit will be achieved when a match is achieved between the Customer Profile and the Value Map.

Products and Services

It is important in the beginning to do an evaluation of the products and services around which your value proposition is built.

Products can be either tangible or intangible. They can also be characterized as digital or financial. When designing and evaluating your value proposition, it is crucial to get inside the customers head. A useful exercise would be to rank your product and services offerings in order of importance to the consumer. For this, the company needs to understand the appeal of the product. Is it a must-have for the customer because it fulfills a basic need? Or does it serve a functional, social or emotional requirement?

Pain Relievers

Your product or service must solve a problem the customer is facing. In essence it is relieving a chronic pain that the customer goes through on a regular basis and which no other product has been able to alleviate to the same degree. This pain could take the form of emotional stress, higher costs and increased risks

An effective way to evaluate your product is to analyze whether it generates lower usage of customer resources such as time, effort or money; Produces a positive change in the customer’s life by reducing his/ her frustration, monotony or boredom; resolve the challenges customers may face, reduce the chances of negative social stigmas and behaviors, reduce risks, alleviate stress, reduce chances of error, eliminate barriers between the customer and a possible solution etc.

By ranking the intensity with which each of these pains impacts your customer and the frequency of their occurrence, an entrepreneur can build up a detailed analysis of the pain relievers the various products and services in his/ her repertoire represent for customers.

Gain Creators

In this section, an entrepreneur needs to evaluate how the products and services in his portfolio lead to customer gains. An effective metric would be to understand how aspects of your products and services would enhance the customer experience by fulfilling his/ her expectations and wishes and even going beyond to surprise and delight him/ her.

The entrepreneur can analyze whether the product or service results in savings that delight the customer, has results that meet or surpass customer expectations, produce better results than the alternatives the customer is currently using, result in positive social relationships and status, fulfill a customer need and are easy to adopt, among other concerns.

By ranking the intensity with which each of these gains impact your customers and the frequency of their occurrence, an entrepreneur can build up a detailed analysis of the gain creators the various products and services in his/ her repertoire represent for customers.

Steps for using the Framework

In short, following are the main steps for using the framework effectively and efficiently;

Best practices & Common mistakes when using the Framework

Best practices.

Common Mistakes

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Evernote is an online company aiming to provide mobile professionals with the capability to take notes while they are on the move.

The main webpage provides a detailed overview of how the product and its various features can help its target market store organize and interpret a seemingly random hodgepodge of information and data. The website makes the features of the service as well as the overall experience come alive for the consumers, helping them understand how they can benefit by using the service.

The trifecta of the service features, the advantages of using Evernote and the overall customer experience are matched exactly to the customers wants, needs and fears. The company has also created further bifurcation of its customer segment so that each page is tailored to a specific kind of customer with the inherent benefits the customer can reap mentioned as well, creating a rudimentary level of customization.

The website’s value proposition is a quick and simple tool that syncs easily with other platforms so sharing ideas is convenient.


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7 of the Best Value Proposition Examples We’ve Ever Seen

Dan Shewan

Your business’s value proposition is arguably the most important element of your overall marketing messaging. A value proposition tells prospects why they should do business with you rather than your competitors, and makes the benefits of your products or services crystal clear from the outset.

Unfortunately, many businesses either bury their value proposition in buzzwords or trite, meaningless slogans, or don’t bother highlighting it on their site and in their marketing campaigns – or they don’t figure out what it is at all!

Today, we’ll be looking at seven of the best unique value proposition examples we’ve come across. We’ll go over what makes them so compelling, some ideas for developing or refining your own value proposition, and things you should bear in mind when incorporating your value proposition into your website and marketing materials. There’s a fair bit to cover, so let’s dive right in.

1. Uber – The Smartest Way to Get Around

Few tech companies are as polarizing or widely criticized as Uber. As one of the most vocal proponents of the empowerment offered by the so-called “gig economy,” Uber has deservedly taken a lot of heat for denying its drivers the basic protections afforded to legal employees, been subject to national and even governmental scrutiny for its decision to incorporate in Bermuda to avoid its corporate tax obligations, and is generally the poster child for why everyone hates Silicon Valley’s unique brand of “disruption.”

One thing Uber most definitely does right, however, is its unique value proposition.

Value proposition examples Uber

Uber’s value proposition, offering uber convenience

Without explicitly saying so, Uber expertly highlights everything that sucks about taking a traditional taxi and points out how its service is superior. The simple (yet highly effective) copy above, taken from the Uber homepage, excellently conveys the simplicity and ease that lies at the heart of what makes it such a tempting service:

Everything about this directly contrasts the typical experience of getting a taxi – no phone calls to disinterested dispatchers, no painful conversations trying to explain to a stressed-out cabbie about where you need to be, and no fumbling for change or worrying you’ve got enough bills in your wallet. Just a fast, efficient way to get where you’re going. This is reinforced by the aspirational messaging toward the top of the Uber homepage, which states that “Your day belongs to you.”

Related: 13 (Really) Good Elevator Pitch Examples & Templates

At this point, it’s worth comparing Uber’s value proposition with that of rival company Lyft. The two companies’ offerings are virtually identical, which is what makes a direct comparison of the two so interesting. Take a look at this information from the Lyft homepage:

Value proposition examples Lyft

Lyft’s step-by-step value proposition

Structurally and thematically, Lyft’s homepage is very similar to Uber’s. However, there’s some key differences here that highlight how Uber’s value proposition is more clearly positioned.

Firstly, Lyft does score some points for including several step-by-step images of the Lyft experience, helping visitors visualize what taking a ride with Lyft is like. However, look at the copy for the first step of the process. It lists the three tiers of Lyft service – Lyft, Lyft Line, and Lyft Plus – but doesn’t explain the difference between these service tiers, or tell the prospect why they should choose between them.

Also, while clearly explaining the final stage of the process – paying and rating the driver – this information implies that there is a final definitive action required by the user, something Uber does not. Personally, I almost always try to rate my Uber drivers (bearing in mind the oft-speculated “secret” rating of around 4.6 out of 5 that many believe serves as the performance benchmark for Uber drivers ), but I don’t have to. Sometimes I’ll forget about it and just get on with my day – it certainly isn’t required, and nor is manually paying my driver. For a service built on the notion of efficiency and convenience, this is a big deal.

Now, one could argue that Lyft does a better job of being transparent about what users can expect, an argument that definitely has merit, especially if you’ve ever been stung by Uber’s unexpected “surge” pricing. However, for two such similar services, I’d argue that Uber’s value proposition is more clearly positioned, and certainly more persuasive than that of Lyft – an important distinction if you’re operating in a crowded market with several similar competitors.

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2. Apple iPhone – The Experience IS the Product

Even in today’s oversaturated consumer electronics marketplace, it’s hard to imagine a more iconic product than the Apple iPhone. It’s also difficult to imagine a product with as much competition as Apple’s flagship mobile device, so what sets the iPhone apart from the (literally) hundreds of competing devices on the market?

Value proposition examples iPhone

Apple’s iPhone value proposition, offering unique experience

As you’d probably expect from Apple, a firm renowned as much for its commitment to sleek, elegant product design as its actual products, Apple firmly reiterates its value proposition in the copy about its iPhone range of products – specifically, the design of the device itself, the ease of use that has been a cornerstone of Apple’s design aesthetic since the launch of OS X, and the aspirational qualities that an iPhone supposedly offers the user.

This aspirational messaging is Apple’s value proposition.

Take a look at the copy. Apple states that it believes a phone “should be more than a collection of features” – yet this is precisely what a smartphone is. We could sit here and poke fun at Apple’s lofty design aesthetic for days (the #freejonyive hashtag on Twitter , which jokes that Apple’s lead designer has been trapped in a white room for several years, is a prime example), but it’s a remarkably effective approach that has helped Apple remain at the forefront of a brutally competitive market for almost a decade.

Value proposition examples Free Jony Ive #freejonyive

Jony Ive (#freejonyive)

Apple knows how crowded and competitive the smart device market is, so rather than focus on a specific feature – virtually none of which are unique to the iPhone or iOS – the company instead opts to focus on the experience of using an iPhone. Most companies couldn’t pull off using words such as “magical” to describe using a smartphone, but Apple can.

Of course, Apple doesn’t just sit on its proverbial laurels and rely on aspirational messaging to sell you on its value proposition. The official iPhone site also touches on several of the genuinely unique features of iPhone and iOS to make its case, including security:

Value proposition examples iPhone security features

Apple iPhone value proposition, focusing on security

Not only is this a very clever move on Apple’s part (especially in the wake of the disastrous FBI San Bernardino iPhone unlocking lawsuit ), but the copy matches the rest of Apple’s messaging perfectly and manages to simplify an incredibly complex topic – encryption – into easily understandable language that most users can grasp and feel good about.

Apple understands that even focusing on the unique features of iPhone wouldn’t be enough to distinguish the device in such a crowded market. By emphasizing the overall experience of using the device, however, Apple’s value proposition is as unique as its approach to product design and aesthetics.

You can find more great Apple marketing campaigns in our epic product marketing examples post .

3. Unbounce – A/B Testing Without Tech Headaches

Moving away from the world of consumer-facing electronics and apps and veering into B2B territory, our fifth value proposition example comes from our friends at landing page optimization platform Unbounce.

Value proposition examples Unbounce

Unbounce’s value proposition, offering ease of use

As you might expect from a company specializing in conversion rate optimization , Unbounce’s value proposition is abundantly clear from the moment you arrive on the homepage, namely the ability to build, publish, and test landing pages without any I.T. support. For many small businesses (and even larger companies), the perceived technical overhead of A/B testing is a major barrier to entry, making Unbounce’s value proposition particularly appealing.

This homepage also boasts a number of other features that make the overall experience very compelling, such as a strong, unmissable CTA, and a simple three-step visual representation of how Unbounce’s solution works. The copy also clearly states that Unbounce is primarily aimed at marketers (a clear indication of understanding and appealing to a highly specific target audience ), as well as the fact that users can create mobile-responsive landing pages, which itself addresses a very specific need or concern for some marketers.

Great stuff all around.

4. Slack – Be More Productive at Work with Less Effort

The world seems to be divided into two types of people; those who love Slack, and those who haven’t tried it yet. For the uninitiated, Slack is a workplace productivity and messaging app. It’s deceptively simple to use, yet robust enough for large teams working on complex projects (as evidenced by Slack’s very clever inclusion of the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab example on the homepage), so what sets Slack apart from the thousands of other messaging and productivity apps ?

Value proposition examples Slack

Slack’s value proposition, focusing on credibility and productivity

Essentially, Slack distills its value proposition in the example above – it makes users’ “working lives simpler, more pleasant, and more productive.” The NASA JPL example is also very clever in that it subtly implies that if it’s good enough for large teams of scientists at NASA – the kind of people who put robots on other planets – then it’s good enough for anyone.

However, while this might seem like the value prop of virtually every productivity app on the market, Slack has several advantages that support its core value prop of making collaboration simpler.

For one, few (if any) other productivity apps boast as many integrations as Slack does. This means that its almost guaranteed to fit into just about any company’s existing communications workflow. It’s this diversity of supported apps that has helped Slack almost singlehandedly dominate the workplace productivity space.

Value proposition examples Slack

“Slack: All your tools in one place.”

Simplicity is also a core theme at the heart of Slack’s value proposition. After all, it’s hard to get more done if the app that promises to help you do that is a pain in the ass to use. The premise of “find anything, anywhere, anytime, from any device” is another selling point Slack users routinely evangelize about, and for good reason.

Value proposition examples Slack

“Slack: Search your entire archive.”

I won’t dissect every aspect of Slack, but suffice to say that the messaging and positioning of Slack essentially addresses every common pain point you can think of about collaborating with others at work, then simplifies it in an almost irresistible way. To newcomers, it may even seem too good to be true, which is arguably why Slack has become so insanely popular (and helped the company achieve a breathtaking $3.8 billion valuation ). Reading over Slack’s website, you can almost feel the sighs of relief that Slack promises.

Slack’s mantra of “Be Less Busy” isn’t just a catchy slogan – it’s the company’s value proposition neatly summarized into three beautifully simple words.

5. Digit – Save Money Without Thinking About It

The world of personal finance is another ruthlessly competitive space, and there are tens of thousands of apps designed to help people manage their money more effectively. However, few have as good a value proposition as Digit, a relatively new service that helps users “save money, without thinking about it.”

Value proposition examples Digit

Digit’s value proposition, offering hands-off savings

Digit allows users to securely connect their bank accounts to the Digit service, which then algorithmically examines users’ spending habits and regular expenses. It then begins to “optimize” users’ accounts to squirrel a little money away here and there into an FDIC-guaranteed savings account, from which users can withdraw their savings at any time.

The key differentiator of Digit from other savings apps is that the process is entirely automated. Users literally don’t have to do a thing for Digit to start putting money into a saving account; a few bucks here, a few bucks there, and before you know it, you’ve got a decent amount put away for a rainy day, all the while maintaining sufficient funds for regular outgoing expenses to be taken care of. It’s actually kind of amazing.

Saving can be a major financial hurdle for many people, especially those on reduced or limited incomes. By automating the entire process, Digit offers users a completely hands-off solution to saving. It’s not for everyone – but then again, no product, service, or app is – but it is unique, and its value proposition makes this clear.

6. LessAccounting – Bookkeeping, Without the Hassle

For most people (read: people who aren’t CPAs or accounting professionals), bookkeeping is a pain in the ass. It’s confusing, time-consuming, and generally an utterly miserable experience, even if your business’ books are relatively simple ( more emotional words and phrases here ). That’s what makes LessAccounting’s value proposition so compelling.

Value proposition examples LessAccounting

LessAccounting’s value proposition, offering improved quality of life

LessAccounting’s entire premise is built upon simplifying accounting and bookkeeping, and its value proposition is reinforced throughout the site. The homepage’s tagline – “Make your life easier with our accounting software” – makes this immediately apparent, and as you navigate through the site, you’re constantly reminded of the product’s value proposition, namely that no other bookkeeping software makes accounting as simple and painless as LessAccounting.

Although LessAccounting is available for larger businesses, it’s primarily aimed at small operations such as freelancers and small-business owners, and its messaging reflects this at every stage of the funnel. From blog posts that answer questions that newcomers to accounting are likely to have, to case studies featuring small-business owners praising the product’s simplicity and ease of use, every aspect of LessAccounting’s messaging focuses on how much easier and simpler your life will be by using LessAccounting.

7. CrazyEgg – Website Behavior Tracking at an Unbeatable Price

Figuring out precisely how people are using your website is a major challenge for many businesses. You might think you have a good idea about your users’ behavior, but without hard, actionable data, you can’t know for certain. That’s where CrazyEgg comes in.

Value proposition examples CrazyEgg

“CrazyEgg: Want to make your site better?”

CrazyEgg is an analytical tool that allows users to view heatmaps of how people are actually interacting with a website. Users can see cursor movements, scroll depth , and all sorts of other cool behavioral tracking features that let them really understand how people are interacting with their website.

However, CrazyEgg is far from the only player in the behavioral tracking space – so what’s the value proposition? That no other service provides more functionality and insight for a better price, with as little hassle, as CrazyEgg does.

Value proposition examples CrazyEgg

“CrazyEgg: Like a pair of x-ray glasses”

The smart folks at CrazyEgg realize that not everyone who visits their site will be familiar with the concept of heatmaps or behavioral tracking, so they provide visitors with a friendly, accessible overview of CrazyEgg’s features to simplify what the product does. If you scroll beyond this overview, you get to the real meat of CrazyEgg’s value proposition:

Value proposition examples CrazyEgg

CrazyEgg’s value proposition, answering intuitive FAQ’s with active diction 

The site lists all the things users can do with CrazyEgg, cleverly using active verbs to show visitors how much better their lives will be by using it. This list tempts would-be users with the prospects of making their budgets go farther, advocating for site changes using actionable data, making testing and analytics easier and more efficient, as well as the promise of more conversions and heightened engagement.

It then goes on to highlight the ease of use with which CrazyEgg can be implemented, emphasizing the fact that there is virtually zero technical overhead for using the product, before stating another core aspect of its value proposition, namely that it’s the most fully featured product of its type in its price range.

When you consider the overall flow of this page, it’s very clever indeed. It uses simple, accessible language and poses a question designed to pique users’ interest, before providing a clear overview of what you can do with it, and then seals the deal by highlighting the central elements of the value proposition.

Nailing your own value prop

Hopefully these value proposition examples have given you some ideas of how you can improve or clarify your business’ value proposition. You don’t need an immense marketing or design budget to put what makes your business the best front-and-center in your messaging – just a little focus and a moment or two to consider your site from the perspective of your users.

Meet The Author

Originally from the U.K., Dan Shewan is a journalist and web content specialist who now lives and writes in New England. Dan’s work has appeared in a wide range of publications in print and online, including The Guardian, The Daily Beast, Pacific Standard magazine, The Independent, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and many other outlets.

See other posts by Dan Shewan

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The Leading Source of Insights On Business Model Strategy & Tech Business Models

Business Model Canvas Vs. Value Proposition Canvas

Both are strategic frameworks to build companies with a long-term competitive advantage . The business model canvas is comprised of nine building blocks explaining what makes up a company’s success. The value proposition canvas is an extension of the business model canvas. It is primarily focused on developing a strong value proposition , which is among the central element of a sustainable business model .


Read Next: Business Model Canvas ,  Value Proposition Canvas .

Related Strategy Concepts:  Go-To-Market Strategy ,  Marketing Strategy ,  Business Models ,  Tech Business Models ,  Jobs-To-Be Done ,  Design Thinking ,  Lean Startup Canvas , Value Chain .

More Strategy Tools:  Porter’s Five Forces ,  PESTEL Analysis ,  SWOT ,  Porter’s Diamond Model ,  Ansoff ,  Technology Adoption Curve ,  TOWS ,  SOAR ,  Balanced Scorecard ,  OKR ,  Agile Methodology ,  Value Proposition ,  VTDF Framework .

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About The Author

what is a business model value proposition

Gennaro Cuofano

Great Value Proposition Examples

Robin Nichols

Creating a value proposition is a method of clearly defining aspects of a product or service that a customer might need. It is a way of presenting inherent advantages that a competitor might not be able to offer and is therefore often referred to as a Unique Selling Point (USP) .

One of the best ways to present a value proposition is with a value proposition canvas , which sets out as concisely as possible the product or service on offer and how it can meet the specific needs of the customer. It is essentially an extension of the much-used business model canvas and has become a hugely popular method of presentation in all corners of the business world.

What Is a Value Proposition?

Why should a customer use your service or buy your product rather than a competitor’s? What is it that you are offering that no one else can? How can you serve a particular individual’s or business’s needs? These questions are at the heart of what defines value proposition. On the face of it, it’s a very simple and broad concept, but what makes value propositions particularly effective is they are deceptively complex and in-depth.

Why should a customer use your service or buy your product rather than a competitor’s? What is it that you are offering that no one else can? How can you serve a particular individual’s or business’s needs?

From the explanation above you might think that I have described simple sales techniques, but it is in the detail that the value proposition comes into its own. It is not a positioning statement that is designed to appeal to as many as possible, rather it is a specific proposition designed to meet the specific needs of a specific customer. It’s as niche as possible.

For example, a business might be looking for a software package that comes with customer support packages that are more encompassing than usual due to the fact that they have little experience with a particular product. A smart value proposition would highlight their highly rated customer service team and affordable ongoing support options that their competitors are unable to provide.

Another example might be that a business offers a streamlined product that simplifies a customer’s needs, or a travel service that meets low-cost and on-demand needs, such as Uber. Immediacy, convenience, simplicity, these are all the types of terms that should be at the heart of any well thought out value proposition.

Essentially, the philosophy at the heart of value propositions is uniqueness.

Essentially, the philosophy at the heart of value propositions is uniqueness. What is the unique benefit that you are providing? If you can define this simply, concisely and accurately, you have a value proposition of worth.

How To Create a Value Proposition

There are many things that should be kept in mind when creating a value proposition, but there are some basic template concepts at the heart of it. We help (Customer) to (Goal) by (Unique value proposition). Again, on the face of it, as simple as it gets, but the devil is in the detail.

We help (Customer) to (Goal) by

(Unique value proposition)

What should also be kept in mind is that value propositions need not be subtle. In fact, they can be rather blunt instruments with which to draw in new customers or clients. Once a value proposition has been defined, the next step is to hammer it home with gentle persistence . What’s more, the simpler the better. Value propositions should not be loaded with jargon or complexities. They should be thought of more like a well-researched advertising jingle than a dissertation.

As value propositions are highly dependent on those that are being sold a product or service to, it is essential to define who the target audience is . Rather than being everyone’s friend, who is it that you should be impressing? How are you going to stand out? This requires a great deal of research, but will undoubtedly pay off in the long run. Age, demographics, marital status, even favorite TV series can all inform how a value proposition is designed.

Researching Competitors

There is little point in trying to stand out from the crowd if you have little concept of what the crowd is offering . If a larger competitor offers the same USP (Unique Selling Points), the likelihood is they are going to swallow up potential customers based on your own value propositions. This again requires some research in order to find, or at least define, new and fertile ground.

How Do You Meet A Customer’s Needs?

To start with it might be best to define exactly what it is a product or service offers. This can be a broad outline to begin. From here, defining what is unique about what is on offer can be easier. Thorough customer service? How about affordability? Perhaps a simpler design than your competitors is the unique selling point? Once you have defined this, it is time to get more specific, without being too complex. If the customer service is highly rated, why? Affordability is great, but does the quality of the product match or even improve on your competitor’s? Simplicity is great, but how does this improve customer satisfaction? If you can define this in as simple terms as possible, you have a highly effective value proposition.

Confounding Stereotypes

Every sector has its own negative stereotype that harms all businesses before they’ve even got started. Delivery services that don’t turn up when agreed upon, pushy used car salesmen and fast food that is unhealthy or of poor quality – these are all examples of unthinking reactions that most people have before contemplating using a product or service.

One of the most powerful kinds of value propositions are those that go against the grain of expectations , and many a business has been formed to do just that. If your particular sector is known for a negative practice, ensuring that not only does this not apply to you but that the opposite is true can provide a concise and enticing positioning statement.

Value Proposition Canvas

A value proposition canvas is a focused way of structuring the main components of the value proposition in order to provide the most concise solutions for potential and specific customers. It is essentially a plugin of the business model canvas and is sometimes referred to as Osterwalder’s business modeling value proposition canvas , which is named after one of its creators.

Value Proposition Canvas Segments

The value proposition canvas is made up of two segments, the customer segment and the value proposition itself. Each segment has three sections, the customer segment being the specific needs of the customer and the value proposition segment of three sections of corresponding solutions.

value proposition canvas

The customer segment’s three sections are:

The value proposition map on the other side of the canvas seeks to address these factors while presenting the unique solutions and unexpected gains. These are:

How To Create A Value Proposition Canvas

The first thing to consider when creating a value proposition canvas is the customer. This part is central to the entire premise. The question “Why” should play a major role in the discussion.

The temptation is to focus solely on the functional, such as how to get from A to B. While the function is important, the emotional and social also need deep consideration . Customer pains are generally more straightforward, therefore pain relievers are often easier to define.

Customer gains are a more complex element of the value proposition canvas as they can be more difficult to define. In fact, these can often only be unearthed by further questioning and creativity . In essence, these cannot be discovered without a substantial understanding of the business itself.

Once the customer segment is complete, the value proposition portion of the canvas can begin to take shape. Listing the potential jobs to be done relating to your product or service is a good place to start. This might also acknowledge brand awareness and how it relates to potential clientele. For example, standing out from the crowd might be more important than reliability and should be represented when constructing products and services section of the value proposition segment.

Once completed, the value proposition canvas should address, not just the superficial needs of the customer, but point towards various aspects they may not have even been considered . All of which must be presented in a way that suggests that you can meet these specific needs in a way that your competitors cannot. This is called a “Fit”. With each part of the right side of the canvas being balanced with solutions and gains on the left. Ultimately, a value proposition canvas seeks perfect alignment.

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What is the Value Proposition Canvas?

Value Proposition Canvas

Value Proposition Canvas is a business model tool that helps you make sure that a company’s product or service is positioned around customers’ values and needs. The tool has been created by Alexander Osterwalder , Yves Pigneur, and Alan Smith. The same authors of the Business Model Canvas , aiming to map the value perceived by customers. The primary purpose is, therefore, to create a fit between the product and market. For this to happen, the Value Proposition Canvas explores more deeply these two (out of the nine) blocks from the Business Model Canvas: Customer Segment and Value Proposition .

What are the advantages of using the Value Proposition Canvas?

What is Value Proposition Canvas like?

Value Proposition Canvas

As said before, Value Proposition Canvas is made up of only two blocks – Value Proposition and Customer Segment. They are the core of the business model because they focus on “What” and “To whom”. In other words, how your company delivers value to your audience. The canvas is divided into two sides: on the right side, it’s the Client Profile. And that is divided into Jobs-to-be-done, Pains, and Gains. On the left side, it’s the Value Proposition, also subdivided into three: Products & Services, Gain Creators, and Pain Relievers. Let’s check each one out:

Client Profile


Value Proposition Canvas jobs to be done

This is about what your customer is trying to do. You have to include all tasks customers are trying to perform, the problems they are trying to solve, and the needs they want to satisfy. It’s also important to note down the frequency and the importance of each job, and all the different roles the customer have to play, and in what contexts. To fulfill this step, you may ask yourself:

Value Proposition Canvas Pains

This one encompasses everything that annoys your customer while they are performing their jobs-to-be-done, such as negative experiences and emotions, challenges, risks involved, financial costs, mistakes, and consequences, etc. Remember to classify each pain as severe or light and note down how often it takes place as well. To complete this step, you can make some questions:

Value Proposition Canvas Gains

They are all the benefits your customer expects or wishes – or even something that would surprise them positively –, whether they are functional, emotional, social or financial. In short, everything that delight them and make their life easier, more joyful or more successful. You may rank each gain by relevance and indicate the frequency of them. To do so, you can follow some questions, such as:

It’s worth remembering that you must create one profile for each customer segment. After mapping your customers’ profiles, the next step is to set what value they are going to perceive with your product or service.

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Value Proposition

Products & services.

Value Proposition Canvas Products and Services

Include all the products and services you are going to deliver. About each one, ask yourself:

Gain Creators

Value Proposition Canvas Gains Creators

Involve how the product/service offers the customer added value, what are the benefits your product brings, and if your customer’s wishes and expectations are reached. After all, how it makes your customer happier. Again, you should rank every gain your product or service creates according to relevance to your customers (if substantial or insignificant) and indicate how often it occurs. To do that, ask if your product/service:

Pain Relievers

Value Proposition Canvas Pain Relievers

Describe how your product/service relieves the customer’s pains. Identify if you reduce their costs, negative feelings, efforts, risks, negative consequences, mistakes… Anyway, how you make your customer feel and sleep better. It’s important, also, to rank each pain, according to its intensity, to be able to understand how deeply your product/service help your customer. To help you out, ask if your product/service:

When to use Value Proposition Canvas?

Value Proposition Canvas Customer Segment and Value Offer Fit

In few words, this tool comes to facilitate the job of putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and understanding their world. The final goal, as mentioned above, is to discover your Product Market Fit , through positioning products/services according to the necessities, expectations, and interests of your targeted customer. With Value Proposition Canvas, you have an overview of how your value proposition is going to impact your customer’s life. The product-market fit is achieved when the products and services match most the most important gains and pains of the customer profile. Usually, the Value Proposition Canvas works properly:

It’s worth remembering that fulfilling this canvas is only the first stage. It’s essential to validate the hypothesis, by taking tests and getting feedback. That can help go back to the canvas and refine it. And, it is also important to highlight that the Value Proposition Canvas does not substitute the Business Model Canvas. They work better combined. One does not exclude the other.

Check out our Premium Value-Proposition Powerpoint Template :

Value Proposition Canvas Template Powerpoint

Check it out by clicking here .

Daniel Pereira

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