Tag Archives: Value Proposition

Value Sequencing Decider Graphic

Expressing value is the core of marketing. But you shouldn’t express the same value messages at every point of the customer journey or to every customer.

Different people need to understand different elements of your product or service’s value at different points.

Complex, I know. But let’s try to have a little fun with it.

To help you create a primary testing focus that will allow you to better understand the most effective value sequencing for your website, we created an entertaining visual tool — the “What kind of value prop should you add to your webpage?” decider graphic. (Why should “Which Kardashian are you?” or “What is most likely hiding under your date’s couch cushions?” have all the fun?)

Our goal is to provide a visual flowchart to help you flex those customer curiosity muscles and understand the theory of value sequencing during the customer journey. And hopefully, we’ll inspire some impactful test ideas along the way.

value sequence decider infograph
Click to enlarge

Here is the value sequencing decider graphic (and major thanks to designer Chelsea Gunlock for taking my scribbles from two giant whiteboards in my office and making them look this sharp). Click on the thumbnail for a bigger image, click here to download a PNG version, or click here to download a PDF version. Scroll below the graphic for a full explanation.

And feel free to whip out your own Expo markers and draw a possible value sequencing decider graphic for your unique customers on your office whiteboard (if you do, we’d love to see it. Just mention @MktgExperiments on Twitter when you share it).

START BY PICKING YOUR WEBPAGE …

Does the purchase decision occur on the webpage you are working on? Marketers can easily fall into the trap of sell, sell — that is, selling a product the same way at every single customer touchpoint. But that’s not always what the customer needs or wants. Every website — whether B2B or B2C, whether the product is a set of steak knives or a white paper download — generally has pages created specifically to sell the product.

Every other page happens either before (e.g., homepage or category page) or after (e.g., payment page or cart page) that purchase decision. When you think of value sequencing, you should not express the same value across each of these pages.

That would be like running into a friend you haven’t seen in a long time, and saying, “Hey Todd, how have you been?”

After Todd answers, you then respond, “Hey Todd, how have you been?” He then gives you a quizzical look to which you respond, “Hey Todd, how have you been?”

That would be an annoying conversation. Your customers feel the same way and will back away from your website as quickly as Todd does from your conversation if you don’t sequence the value correctly across these types of pages.

If the page is before the purchase decision

Just like a journey in the physical world, a customer journey has momentum. That motion isn’t physical though, it involves mental actions. In other words, cognitive momentum.

Think about when you go to a nice restaurant. The maître d’ doesn’t hold out his hands and yell, “17 BUCKS FOR THE SOUP!” He welcomes you in, asks about your preferences, complements your wardrobe, directs you to a table, gives you menus, tells you about your waiter, etc.

In other words, he directs your cognitive momentum. He’s not trying to sell you yet, but he likely is smoothly prepping the sale by articulating the top value claims of the overall restaurant. “Our chef just received another Michelin star, and we are so very proud.”

This is the same thing your pages should do before a purchase decision — you want to direct the cognitive momentum to the place that will best serve the customer.

For a homepage — the front door of a website — in addition to that clearly expressed primary value proposition, you want to create a process-level value proposition to get the customer to the most effective destination.

On the category page, this gets even more granular. You should help customers get to the right page (and often identify the right product) for themselves. So emphasize unique product-level value props to help customers identify the best product fit. When there are different product options, you might want to use a configurator to help clarify the value. When the different product offerings are different levels of the same essential product, make sure there are clear value gulfs between the offers.

If the purchase decision is on the page

When the purchase decision is on that specific webpage or landing page, you want to boost the cognitive momentum. Whatever brought them to this page was strong enough to get them to take the action to visit the page (clicking through an email, clicking from the homepage, etc.).

Now you must boost customers’ cognitive momentum to get them to the point of actually acting and making the purchase decision.

In general, this is where you want to express the full value proposition with images, copy, etc. (please note: there are exceptions based on your target audience, which we’ll cover next). This is your central, core conversion point. You want customers to experience the clearest expression of product value to overcome the cost they will have to pay to get it.

For a product display page, focus tightly around the product-level value prop to encourage conversion. The only expressions of the overall company value proposition should be in support of building credibility for the product-level value prop. One mistake some companies make is bragging too much about the overall company, and not focusing tightly on what matters most to the customer about the specific product.

Another key page where a decision occurs is a landing page. In this case, we use the definition of “purchase a product” a little more broadly. For example, the product might be a content download and the purchase price may be filling out an information form, not necessarily paying with money.

Regardless, a key conversion is happening, and it is essential to boost cognitive momentum. For a landing page, stay focused on communicating value in line with the page’s objective and reduce distractions from that key value. That doesn’t necessarily mean the page has to be short. Long landing pages can convert better than shorter ones when the value is focused around the key conversion objective.

If the page is after the purchase decision

Depending on your funnel, getting a “yes” on the key purchase decision may not be enough. Don’t overlook the pages that come after that decision.

This doesn’t mean you need to continue selling the customer like you did on the purchase decision page. But you don’t want to assume the decision is final either.

After the key purchase decision, you need to support cognitive momentum until a final conversion is made (and, really, even after that final decision). To do so, just remind them of value while reducing friction on the payment page. Or reinforce the product-level value proposition in the shopping cart.

But whatever you do, don’t take the sale for granted.

… THEN DEFINE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE

All of the above is generally applicable to a general customer. To make your value sequencing even more effective, consider the specific type of customer you’re talking to by building a segmentation strategy that leverages technology — like marketing automation, a customer data platform, a data management platform, and/or a customer relationship management platform. This will help personalize that value communication.

When to focus on getting out of their way

Previous customers understand the value of your company and its products on a level that prospects don’t because they have already experienced it firsthand. How you communicate to them is determined by the level they have experienced it.

If the customer has already purchased that product from that page before, testing should focus primarily on the most effective approach to just get the heck out of their way. Forget value communication, they already understand the value. Simply reduce friction and anxiety.

Amazon is a master at this technique. From the “Buy it Again” button and “Subscribe & Save” to off-page optimization tactics like the Dash button and voice shopping with Alexa, Amazon has mastered the tactic of getting out of repeat customers’ way and making it easy for them to make another purchase.

You should also test getting out of their way if you have reason to believe that customers understand the exclusive value of your offering already.

These could be prospects that are familiar with your brand, and you have reason to believe they’ve heavily researched your product beforehand and understand its value — repeat visitors who are customers of your content and have just been waiting for the right time to buy, or customers that have bought other products from your brand and understand the value of this product type. Whatever the exact path, if you have reason to believe customers already understand the value of your offering and company, value communication can sometimes decrease conversion. Test the idea of getting out of their way and see what you discover about your customer. It will either affirm your belief that they already understand the value, or help you build a more robust customer theory around where they are in the buying process and what value they need to understand.

When to focus on paving the way

If the customer has bought the product before but through another channel, say, a brick-and-mortar store, for example, you simply want to pave the way for them to purchase on this page. Focus on communicating the process-level value prop and reducing friction so they understand why it is worth making the purchase through your website while making it easy for them.

Another great example of when you want to take the paving-the-way approach is transitioning a customer from purchasing your product(s) through a third-party marketplace to purchasing on your own e-commerce store (Pro tip: Understand the marketplace’s terms and conditions and don’t violate them).

When to focus on making them informed

Whether customers have bought from your brand before or not, you need to determine how familiar they are with the product type. Let’s take an example that isn’t a typical ecommerce purchase, to exaggerate the value communication that is necessary. If the landing page is for a Nissan LEAF, you need to inform them of the value of an electric vehicle. You should sell the category while selling the car — communicate the category’s (in this case, electric vehicles) value prop, in addition to the product-level value proposition and the process-level value proposition.

If the product type isn’t different enough, don’t assume they understand the value. They need to understand that category value before (or at least while) they are assessing the value of your specific product.

This use case is especially prevalent when you have an innovative product. Whether it’s cloud computing or flying cars (“Back to the Future Part II” foretold AI-driven voice assistants, so you know flying cars are just around the corner), most people won’t buy the product until they buy into the category. Communicating category value correctly will also increase the likelihood of satisfied customers (because they know what they’re getting into along with the limitations of the new technology) and positive word-of-mouth that speeds widespread adoption. If the true value of the new innovation isn’t clearly communicated (or there to begin with), the word-of-mouth could kill a nascent technology before it has the chance to blossom.

When to focus on making it clear

If customers are familiar with your brand and understand the value the company provides, but don’t understand the exclusive value of your offering, take an approach that will help make it clear. Communicate the product- and process-level value prop. You want to especially leverage exclusivity in that product-level value prop, so customers can easily understand the key differentiator between what you offer and what the competitor offers.

For example, if I understand the value of two different electronics companies, those will both be in my decision set when I am shopping for headphones. But as I get deeper into my customer journey, I discover only one of the products has a lifetime warranty. That is the one I will likely choose. By understanding the value both companies bring, I trust them both, and they have both made it into my decision set. But the exclusive value for the specific product set it apart and ultimately led me to choose it over the competition.

When to focus on relieving anxiety

If customers don’t understand the value of your company, you usually want to at least communicate some level of your brand’s primary value proposition along with a product- and process-level value prop. But space and time are limited, so what aspects of the primary value prop should you focus on? The risk level of the purchase should inform that focus. If a product is high risk — for example, it is expensive or customers are worried it’s a safe product — relieving anxiety is a key element to focus on.

Emphasize the credibility aspect of the company’s value proposition while communicating the product- and process-level value prop. For example, if it’s a life insurance company you likely not only want to communicate product details, but also message how long the company has been in business and how financially solid it is. Most customers will not buy even the most appealing life insurance product (or vitamins or a bet-the-business-on-it software platform) from a company they don’t trust.

When to focus on looking more appealing

If prospective customers don’t understand the company’s value but the purchase is low risk, you could focus on testing ways to make the company look more appealing. The element of the company’s value proposition you should most emphasize is appeal, in addition to communicating the product- and process-level value proposition. When risk is low, you can tie in with the positive elements of the company’s value prop without having to work to overcome concerns as much.

Related Resources

How a Value Proposition Workshop has enabled companies to optimize their marketing and sales funnels

Marketing 101: What is funnel creation?

MarketingSherpa Podcast Episode #4: What do you lead with?

Value Proposition Development on-demand certification course

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Value Proposition: How to find the best expression of your value

The value proposition “why” — why should customers choose your product — can be answered in 100 different ways. But how do you determine the most effective answer?

Often, it is determined in a conference room with a rigorous debate amongst leaders and experts. But experts do not have the answers to this question — only your customers do. So, we turned to the customer to answer this question by conducting an experiment with a global news distributor.

EXPERIMENT

In the five-minute video below, Flint McGlaughlin explains how determining the best expression of value generated a 22% increase in conversions, and an important learning.

 Let’s take a closer look at the experiments featured in this video …

THE CONTROL

This global news distributor came to the research team at MECLABS Institute, the parent company of marketing experiments,with the goal of determining which element of their value proposition was most appealing to their customers.
So, they developed three different articulations of their core offer, using the homepage to test which one will have the most impact on conversions. 

TREATMENTS

(click on the images to enlarge in new window)

 

Treatment 1 tested a hypothesis that the group’s authority was the most appealing element of their offer, using phrases like “For almost 60 years,” “inventing the industry” and “most authoritative source of news.” Each of these points serves to foster a conclusion in the mind of the customer about the authority of this organization.

Treatment 2 had a different hypothesis, challenging the idea that the group’s comprehensive network was more appealing than any other element. This hypothesis was supported with phrases like “over 200,000 media outlets,” “hundreds of thousands of journalists,” “170 different countries” and “most comprehensive media network in the world.”

Finally, Treatment 3 argued that the group’s superior customer service was the most important element to its customers. Like the other treatments, this version used key supporting phrases like “exceptional customer service,” “work personally … one-on-one,” “200,000 errors caught each year” and “available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

RESULTS

In the end, the treatment focused on the organization’s authority, and experiments outperformed all other treatments with 26% more conversions. While the conversion lift itself was impactful for this organization, the approach to achieving it is what provided the most valuable learning.  

The team not only determined the best articulation of their value proposition, they learned that clearly displaying the right value proposition articulation can maximize the force of your offer. And in order to uncover what is right for YOUR customers, marketers must engage in a mental dialogue. People don’t want to be talked at; they want to be communicated with. The marketer asks questions with their message, and the customer answers with their behavioral data.

RELATED RESOURCES

Learn how the MECLABS methodology can transform your business results

6 Good (and 2 Bad) B2B and B2C Value Proposition Examples

Value Force: How to win on value proposition and not just price

Form Optimization: The importance of communicating value before making the “ask”

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The Essential Messaging Component Most Ecommerce Sites Miss and Why It’s Deterring Your Customers from Purchasing

In today’s Quick Win Clinic, Flint McGlaughlin looks at the home and product pages for Worthington Direct, an online furniture store for businesses and schools. It is obvious that everything on this site is designed to help visitors find the product they are looking for and to convince them that the product is right for them. But there are many online furniture stores. Why should visitors choose this company over others? This retailer fails to answer that crucial question.

The designers of this website made a mistake the McGlaughlin believes is the number one flaw most ecommerce stores make today. If you offer the right product, but you neglect to show that you are also the right company, then you have lost a sale.

Your copy on this page needs to help me draw a sense of certainty inside that not only is this the right product but you are the right company. 

— Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO, MECLABS Institute

Watch the video to get further insights into creating webpages that produce maximum results.

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Beware of the Power of Brand: How a powerful brand can obscure the (urgent) need for optimization

We’ve all been there before. You go online to order something from a well-known brand but can’t figure out how to navigate the site. You push through, even though you want to click away, because you know they have a great product and you can’t get it anywhere else. Your motivation to buy is already high.

People who already know the value of a particular brand often remain loyal customers to that brand, even though they may have to suffer through a poor user experience.

But there are those who are not so motivated. They may not be as familiar with the brand and consequently, not so forgiving. Too much friction or anxiety-causing elements can drive away many potential customers.  And big brands need to be aware of this.

Beware of those situations where the power of the brand obscures the quality (or lack thereof) in your messaging.

— Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO, MECLABS Institute

In this Quick Win Clinic, Flint McGlaughlin takes a look at UBER’s landing page to see if the quality of the user experience matches the quality of the brand. Watch the video to learn how to avoid the marketer’s blind spot.

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Conversing with the Customer: Beware of using too many nouns

Not long ago, I wanted to upgrade my phone. To begin my research, I went to a webpage that I’d visited many times before. Right in the center of the white, nearly empty page was one word — APPLE. Ten minutes later, I joined 90 million other satisfied customers as the proud owner of an iPhone.

As a marketer, Apple’s minimalistic marketing may be appealing to you, and you might even be tempted to try a similar approach. But here’s the catch. You are not Steve Jobs, and your company is not the largest tech provider in the world. Apple has earned the right to use a single noun on its landing page. You and I have not. In fact, very few brands can get away with simply using a noun or two as their value proposition because a webpage must provide very good reasons for the customer to continue to stay and engage, rather than click away.  And that requires a complete thought.

In today’s Quick Win Clinic, Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO of MECLABS, compares the value propositions of three different webpages —  AppViewX, Core Hospitality FurnitureVideo Brewery — and shares tips on how to more effectively communicate your brand.

His first caution — beware of using too many nouns.

 

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How a nonprofit leveraged a Value Proposition Workshop to see a 136% increase in conversions

Experiment: Background

Background: Willow Creek Association is a nonprofit organization committed to transforming leaders in their respective communities. Each year, they host a two-day event (Global Leadership Summit) to provide those leaders with training from speakers in successful companies.

Goal:  To increase order conversion

Primary Research Question: How can we create more value to increase conversions?

When The Global Leadership Summit team saw a significant decline in conversions from 2015 to 2016, they established a testing culture to understand why the change. One of the hypotheses behind the decline was removing the incentive, but testing proved it was not the incentive that affected the decline; it was the value proposition. Their next step was to analyze their current page for the gaps in perceived value for the prospect. The GLS team held a Value Proposition Workshop and applied their new learnings to their 2017 homepage for the summit — the results are worth sharing.

Experiment: Control

To begin, let’s focus on the value delivery of the control. At first glance, the GLS team noticed that the page held very little perceived value in the headlines and the copy. The GLS team concluded that the headline “About the GLS” did not give enough value. To a new prospect, who has never heard of The Global Leadership Summit, “GLS” might be a big jump. To assume that the prospect would understand this (or even need this information) is dangerous because it does not meet the prospect where they are in the thought sequence. As marketers, we need to ask ourselves: what is the sequential process in their minds as they enter this page? The prospect will probably ask questions more aligned to: How does this summit benefit me? What do I get out of it? Where is it located? Where do I have to travel? Who will be there? How can this improve my current career path? If marketers fail to ask the correct questions with the prospect in mind, we fail to find the correct answers.

As we journey down the page, we finally come across some useful information for the prospect. There is value in the “Location and Dates” section because it answers these crucial questions the prospect might have: Where is it located? Where do I have to travel? Can this product help me? Answering these questions are great. However, its location on the page is not. What is it doing in the middle of the page? If the page fails to answer these critical questions in the first 4 inches, in combination with prospect’s impatience, the conversion could be lost. The GLS team discovered this is a problem that needed to be addressed.

And finally, after analyzing the entire page, there is absolutely no mention of the speakers in attendance. The GLS team observed that they were neglecting the other crucial questions prospects might have when entering this page, as aforementioned.

Experiment: Treatment

Here is the new Global Leadership Summit page. GLS team extracted the real value of the summit and transferred it to a homepage, only after attending the Value Proposition Workshop. Let’s see how the GLS team addressed the value perception gap.

The GLS team added quantifiable claims in the headline … in the first 4 inches of the page. We can already see a stark difference in the headlines from 2016 and 2017. The larger headline reads “Two days of World Class Leadership Training,” and then goes back to read smaller text above the headline: “You have Influence. Join 400,000 of your peers to learn how to maximize it with …” The smaller text quantifies the number of people in attendance and popularity of the summit, while the larger text uses numbers to start showing instances of the Primary Value Proposition. This is an effective way to initially capture interest and build Credibility.

This headline does not only hold Credibility in the numbers, but there is also Specificity in the blue call-out box at the top of the page. The sub-headline under “The Global Leadership Summit” is specific on the location of the event, which erases the concern for travel arrangements (a potential pain point for prospects) thus, creating value. We will continue to see more of the same information elaborated further below, which creates congruence.

They also added specific information about the speakers. In the control, there was virtually no information about the speakers. In this version, we can see the speakers listed, and additionally, we see that the GLS team provided vital information that fostered conclusions. The GLS team leveraged speaker headshots, names AND positions at their respective companies; this increased the prospect’s perceived value, answering the question: “What do I get out of this?”

And finally, they added value throughout the page. At MarketingExperiments, we call this Congruence. At the top of the page, there was copy that read “convenient location near you.” Although the “Location near you” section seems far from the top, the GLS team still alluded this Primary Value Proposition in the main headline. Since this is the expanded section of the main Value Proposition, it creates congruence and reaffirms to the prospect that there is value.

Experiment: Results

So, what does the GLS team get from building credibility and being specific? Not just a forceful Value Proposition, but more than double the conversions.

Without value, you are doing nothing for the prospect

As blunt as that may seem, the truth is the truth. People do not spend time delving into webpages or emails without knowing they are receiving something at the other end. Friends, marketers, do not waste your time replicating other webpages with their nonsense information, designs and vernacular; instead, test and use the prospect’s thought sequence. Ask the right questions to get the right answers. These tools will give you the results that you want for your company.

For more about our value proposition training, click here. To watch The Global Leadership Summit webinar, click here.

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Clarifying Your Marketing Objective: The danger of asking “how?” too soon

In an earlier Quick Win Clinic, Flint McGlaughlin, CEO and Managing Director of MECLABS, talked about the importance of determining a clear objective for your webpage.

But where does the marketer go from there?

The next step is to determine the most effective way to accomplish your objective.

“What is my objective and what is the most effective way to accomplish my objective? … We have to give people a reason to invest their mental energy in going forward.”

—Flint McGlaughlin, CEO and Managing Director, MECLABS

It is at this point that we marketers should avoid making the mistake of rephrasing the question and asking, “How can I accomplish my objective?”

The “how” question is insufficient because it doesn’t force you to (1) generate options and (2) select from those options the one that promises the best way to accomplish your objective.

In this Quick Win Clinic, McGlaughlin optimizes The Recruiting Code, a webpage submitted by Bryan, whose objective is to sell a book. Watch the video to see if the objective was accomplished in the most effective way.

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Leveraging Compelling Stories: How to draw out your value proposition from your company’s story

“Sometimes, when we get excited about the latest technology we can apply to a page or the most beautiful design, we miss the most important element — the soul of what we’re trying to talk about.”  Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO, MECLABS Institute

As marketers, it’s only natural that we like professional-looking webpages with sleek designs, clever headlines, hero images, perfectly placed forms, clear CTAs … the list goes on.

And, yes, all of these elements are good for conversion rates (if done correctly). But, you have to remember that at the end of the day, marketing is simply a conversation with the people in your audience. It’s all about the message. Without a strong message, your images and copy don’t matter.

In this Quick Win Clinic, Flint McGlaughlin optimizes the homepage of organic winery Sedlescombe that, at first glance, looks relatively weak. However, McGlaughlin points out that while there are plenty of opportunities for improvement, the page has the most important element a homepage or company needs — a genuine story, a strong message.  From that story, you can build headlines and craft copy.

Watch the episode to get tips on how to leverage your company’s story to help you connect with your audience and boost conversion rates.

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6 Good (and 2 Bad) B2B and B2C Value Proposition Examples

Email subscriber Jennifer recently wrote to us saying, “I’m a big fan of MECLABS and your value proposition work. I’d love to see a story with specific examples of five great value propositions.”

Well, Jennifer, let’s dive right in. The first example of what a value proposition should look like is from the University of Florida/MECLABS Institute Communicating Value and Web Conversion graduate certificate program …

PR Newswire

Here is an example of a value proposition argument (sometimes these are referred to as the short-form value proposition statement) from the program’s MMC 5435 Messaging Strategy & the Centrality of the Value Proposition course. It starts with the word “because” in order to answer the question, “If I am your ideal customer, why should I buy from you instead of any of your competitors?”

Because PR Newswire has the most established1 and largest2 news distribution network in the industry, enabling you to more reliably reach your target audience3.

    1. Industry leader for 59 Years. Established relationships with major news sources such as: Yahoo!, MarketWatch and New York Times
    2. Distribution to over 200,000 media points and 8,000+ websites, dedicated journalist website with 30,000 active members per month, 150 mobile apps that carry PRN content (broadest in the industry).
    3. PR Newswire provides flexible and cost-effective distribution options to help you reach niche markets across the U.S.

When this short-form statement was applied to a landing page in an experiment, it resulted in a 22% increase in clickthrough. You can see the winning treatment below and how it naturally flowed from the value proposition statement.

B2B database marketing solution

Here is another great value proposition example from the UF/MECLABS program; this one is from the MMC 5436 Messaging Methodologies and the Practice of Conversion Optimization course.

This is for a company that provides database marketing solutions for small to medium-sized business.

Because we have the most comprehensive1 and accurate2 lead database.

  1. Includes access to over 210 million U.S. consumers, 14 million U.S. businesses, and 13 million executives.
  2. We have a team of 600 researchers that verify the data daily and make over 26 million verification calls a year, 80,000 calls a day.

That value proposition was applied to the following webpage:

When the webpage was tested as part of an experiment, it generated a 201% increase in lead capture rate.

Realtor Kristan Cloud-Malin

I can’t share every example from the UF/MECLABS program, of course. So here are a few publicly available examples.

“A value proposition argument or statement rarely makes a direct appearance on page or in an advertisement. Typically, it’s more likely that you’ll find a single highly-exclusive evidential expressed in marketing collateral,” Gregory Hamilton, Director of Education, MECLABS Institute, and Associate Professor, University of Florida, told me.

Here’s an example from a Realtor in Jacksonville who used nice evidentials to provide credibility to the way she expressed her value proposition.

Delta Airlines

Another example Greg gave me was Delta Airlines, which does a nice job expressing an “only” factor in an otherwise commoditized industry.

Even when Delta has to convey a more generic message — essentially, “we’re big” — it uses evidentials and specificity to convey a more forceful value proposition.

The Honest Company

This next example comes courtesy of Gaby Paez, Associate Director of Research, MECLABS Institute, who came across it while conducting a summary competitive analysis for a MECLABS Research Partner.

The company has a strong, unique value proposition, using a good mix of health and safety, and also unique designs.

And the Honestly Free Guarantee promises customers very safe products.

Here’s how The Honest Company expresses different elements of its value proposition:

  • Exclusivity: It’s the manufacturer (not just a reseller) and offers the unique Honestly Free Guarantee
  • Credibility: Founders’ video, giving back timeline, awards and certifications
  • Clarity: Video with co-founders (human touch) and unique and clear section on product pages for third-party awards and certifications

“They are masters to me. Every customer touch point has been carefully designed to provide or remind value,” Gaby said.

The Honest Company is also an example of why it’s important to ensure there is true value in your marketing proposition. When The Wall Street Journal reported that its laundry detergent contained ingredients that it pledged to avoid, the company faced backlash from customers and eventually agreed to drop use of the disputed ingredient.

So, keep the above in mind as an example of good presentation strategies to communicate or support value. But Gaby pointed out you must also remember that if your company is not truthful, things will backfire for it sooner or later.

Apple iPod launch

For over nine minutes, Steve Jobs takes the audience step-by-step through a unique value proposition when launching the iPod.

First, he discusses the appeal of music.

He leverages exclusivity by showing charts that communicate how other music options don’t have this feature set.

His credibility comes not only from his position and previous successes, but by physically being able to show the product and leverage Apple design’s strong primary value proposition.

And he walks through each feature methodically (“three major breakthroughs”), not just listing a few bullet points, to ensure clarity of communication.

An effective value proposition is a unique value proposition

One key element of all of these value propositions is that they have an “only” factor.

So, here’s an example of value propositions that are not unique. Can you tell the difference between HP and Epson?

Epson says, “Where there’s business, there’s Epson.”

HP says, “HP: everywhere you do business.”

And then goes on to say, “HP provides the products, services and solutions that help you simplify IT. Because your business is everywhere you are.”

This is an example of what I like to call blandvertising. A copywriter put those words together, and they sound vaguely businesslike and professional, but they also just kind of wash over you. What do they really mean?

I don’t blame the writer; I blame the marketer. If you’re working with a freelance writer or agency, you need to make sure they are empowered with a clear and forceful value proposition. Or else, the writing you get back will be well-formulated and sound professional but also be fairly meaningless to prospective customers.

So, what could Epson and HP do differently? Well, I’m guessing the resulting conclusion they’re trying to get across is, “We’re big. And we can solve a lot of your problems. All over the world.”

If that’s the intended goal, specificity could really help them get across a powerful value proposition. For a nice example of how to convey this value proposition in a forceful way, just scroll up and see Delta.

You can follow Daniel Burstein, Senior Director, Content, MarketingExperiments, on Twitter @DanielBurstein.

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The post 6 Good (and 2 Bad) B2B and B2C Value Proposition Examples appeared first on MarketingExperiments.

Optimizing Forms: How to increase the perceived value for your customers

A good marketer is aware of the need for a clear value proposition and states this in the first few inches of the landing page. However, the value proposition must continue at the process level where you ask for a response from your customer.

If you are like many businesses, you are probably slammed with priorities and trade-offs, and really, you’re just trying to get things done. Optimizing your webpage sign-up form may be low on your list of priorities, but revenue is often lost in overlooked details like this.

In today’s Quick Win Clinic, Flint McGlaughlin uses the MECLABS Conversion Sequence to analyze the landing page at My Pooch Face, a pet portrait service. It has a unique value proposition but lacks a process-level value proposition where the sign-up form is located. There is not enough incentive to counterweigh the friction and anxiety that is being created in the customer’s mind because questions like “Will you clog up my inbox with emails? Will you sell my name to advertisers? Is my information secure?” are not being adequately addressed. So, the customer’s perceived cost — which is not necessarily the price — is too weighty to continue with the sign-up process.

If there is a very high mental energy cost associated with your website’s sign-up form, you need to change it. To get ideas to add value and reduce cost on your own landing pages, watch the latest episode of MarketingExperiments Quick Win Clinic.

The post Optimizing Forms: How to increase the perceived value for your customers appeared first on MarketingExperiments.