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Value proposition analysis with zero budget: A practical guide

Do you ever feel like people just don’t get the value proposition of your business?

Because they probably don’t.

It happens to a lot of businesses because of a value proposition that does not resonate with the user.

We created a checklist to make sure your value proposition is ready for testing on your landing page.

This is a way of optimizing your value proposition when you don’t have the budget to pay for a copy research team.

To educate you with the process we have collected 16 value propositions from known brands and analyze them using the checklist in this article. But first the basics.

What is a value proposition?

What is the Value Proposition Canvas? - B2B International

(Image source)

In helping you understand what a value proposition is we collected 3 definitions and described the key takeaways.

”A value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered, communicated, and acknowledged. It is also a belief from the customer about how value (benefit) will be delivered, experienced, and acquired.” – Wikipedia

The key takeaway here is that a value proposition is given as a promise of value to the users. This promise must exist side-by-side with the customer’s belief about how value is delivered.

”A value proposition refers to the value a company promises to deliver to customers should they choose to buy their product. A value proposition is also a declaration of intent or a statement that introduces a company’s brand to consumers by telling them what the company stands for, how it operates, and why it deserves their business.” – Investopedia

This one also states that a value proposition is what the company stands for, how it operates, and why it deserves its business.

”In its simplest terms, a value proposition is a positioning statement that explains what benefit you provide for who and how you do it uniquely well. It describes your target buyer, the problem you solve, and why you’re distinctly better than the alternatives.” – Forbes

What stands out here is the part where the value proposition is unique because it can set you apart from the competition.

The takeaways were used as a basis for our value proposition analysis checklist. Let’s take a look at the checklist and how to use it.

The value proposition checklist

The checklist is comprised of 5 factors that can be answered with yes or no.

Yes gives the value proposition 1 point.

No means the value proposition doesn’t get any points.

Length

Is the value proposition not too lengthy?

Longer items have a smaller chance to be remembered by the reader. As stated in the results of a study (Neath, I., Bireta, T.J. & Surprenant, A.M.) about the effect of words:

”The word length effect is the finding that short items are remembered better than long items on immediate serial recall tests.”

There are no hard benchmarks on the number of words that could be considered too long. I like to keep the main headline within 8 words depending on the complexity of the words. In the example analysis in this article, you will get a feel for what a lengthy value proposition is by comparing it to other examples.

Promise

Does the value proposition contain a promise of value?

What is the benefit that the user will get from using your product or service?

An example of a value proposition with a promise would be:

“We make sure you always have a signal”.

This value proposition promises the benefit of always giving you a signal.

An example of a value proposition without a promise would be:

“Just do it”

Nike can get away with this because they are such a well-known brand that has an underlying benefit. But if you would not know that Nike is a sports brand it would be hard to identify what the company means with this headline.

If you are following this guide I am going to assume you are not working for one of the biggest brands in the world so this check still applies.

Unique

Is the value proposition unique within the market segment?

If a company has the same or similar value proposition as its competitors it will probably not stand out because they lack a unique selling point.

According to SBA, almost 627.000 businesses open each year in the US alone. More market saturation means that market differentiation has become more important than ever.

This factor is will require some knowledge of your competitors so I will just score these based on my own experience. I recommend doing some market research on your own value propositions.

Location

Is the value proposition above the fold?

Users don’t take the time to look at your website so you will have to capture their attention immediately upon arrival. In an article from Sweor they stated that:

It takes 2.6 seconds for a user’s eyes to land on the area of a website that most influences their first impression

This is why you need to put the value proposition on a spot where you don’t have to scroll down to find it. Which is above the fold.

What is the Fold? The Crazy Egg Glossary

(Image source)

Easy to understand

Is the value proposition easy to understand?

The value proposition needs to be easy to understand for all the visitors on your website because the majority of users will not stop the think about what your value proposition actually means.

One thing to keep in mind here is the target group. Using the language that the target group uses will help them understand the value proposition.

Using a lot of marketing terms for developers will probably not work well.

This guide is catered to beginners. If you want more advanced advice about copywriting you can check out this CXL course from Momoko Price.

She is an expert conversion copywriter and will teach you everything you need to know to write a better copy.

16 examples of value propositions

Now it’s time to get into the analysis of 16 examples of value propositions using our checklist. I will try to comment on the lacking factors of each value proposition to help you understand my reasoning.

I fit this into my optimization process by writing down all the issues from which I can create new testing hypotheses in the future.

An example issue when a value proposition is missing the length factor point would be:

“The value proposition (We make sure you always have a signal because we are excellent at providing signals) on the mobile variant of the homepage is too lengthy”

Example #1: Nike

Nike landing page value proposition example
Nike landing page – 2020
FactorsScore
Length1
Promise1
Unique1
Location1
Easy to understand1
Total5

I feel like this value proposition could also be used for cappuccino and beer but that’s irrelevant. I can’t think of any improvements here.

Example #2: Adidas

Adidas landing page
Adidas landing page – 2020
FactorsScore
Length0
Promise1
Unique1
Location1
Easy to understand0
Total3

Adidas gets no points for length because the first headline doesn’t tell me anything. It’s only clear to me when reading the subtitle. I don’t find it easy to understand either.

Example #3: Apple

Apple landing page value proposition example
Apple landing page – 2020
FactorsScore
Length1
Promise1
Unique0
Location1
Easy to understand1
Total4

I feel slightly biased on this one because I owned an iPhone SE for this exact reason as a student. I also used it for my job for testing designs due to it being one of the smallest screens out there.

I don’t find the value proposition unique because being relatively “affordable” is used by most companies. In contrast tough, having one of the most luxurious brands being affordable in the smartphone industry is fairly unique.

Example #4: Epson

Epson landing page
Epson landing page – 2020
FactorsScore
Length0
Promise1
Unique1
Location1
Easy to understand1
Total4

The value proposition feels rather long to me because it holds two promises for the user.

You can save 70% on ink costs and never run out of ink again. Maybe it would have been better if they just made a single promise.

On the contrary, they do feel rather similar and play into each other. You can try testing the two promises separately to see if you get better results.

Example #5: Tesla

Tesla landing page value proposition example
Tesla landing page – 2020
FactorsScore
Length1
Promise1
Unique0
Location1
Easy to understand1
Total4

I am not giving any points for unique because Tesla’s unique work in the automotive industry isn’t emphasized in the value proposition of the homepage.

Example #6: Samsung

Samsung landing page
Samsung landing page – 2020
FactorsScore
Length1
Promise1
Unique0
Location0
Easy to understand0
Total2

People can interpret this headline in different ways because it could be a new phone or a random existing series. The mobile version could have shown a picture of the product.

Example #7: Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton landing page value proposition example
Louis Vuitton landing page – 2020
FactorsScore
Length1
Promise1
Unique1
Location1
Easy to understand1
Total5

Nothing to add here, seems solid.

Example #8: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz landing page
Mercedes-Benz landing page – 2020
FactorsScore
Length1
Promise1
Unique0
Location1
Easy to understand1
Total4

I like this one because it’s relevant within the corona crisis and in the automotive industry in general. In a couple of words, the company promises safety for everything that is connected to its brand, including workers and customers.

It’s easy to understand and strengthened by showing a car in the garage which symbolizes staying at home and being safe.

I don’t think it’s unique because most companies are preaching similar value propositions during the corona crisis.

Example #9: Intel

Intel landing page value proposition example
Intel landing page – 2020
FactorsScore
Length0
Promise1
Unique1
Location1
Easy to understand1
Total4

The length of Intel’s power of 10 value proposition is very long considering you need to read the subtitle to understand what their promise is.

I still think it’s easy to understand because some of the technical terms they use in their subtitle are written for their target group. Most people that are browsing the Intel website will probably know something about computer processors.

Example #10: BMW

BMW landing page
BMW landing page – 2020
FactorsScore
Length1
Promise1
Unique1
Location1
Easy to understand1
Total5

Nothing to add here either, seems solid.

Example #11: Gucci

Gucci landing page value proposition example
Gucci landing page – 2020
FactorsScore
Length1
Promise1
Unique0
Location1
Easy to understand1
Total4

Gucci’s value proposition feels rather slim to me because they only emphasize that they sell exclusive sunglasses.

The image that supports this statement strengthens the exclusive look of their sunglasses.

The message itself I don’t find unique and can be used by any retailer selling sunglasses.

Example #12: Gillette

Gillette landing page
Gillette landing page – 2020
FactorsScore
Length1
Promise1
Unique0
Location1
Easy to understand1
Total4

Every razer brand uses this analogy so it doesn’t seem every unique to me.

Example #13: Siemens

Siemens landing page value proposition example
Siemens landing page – 2020
FactorsScore
Length1
Promise1
Unique1
Location1
Easy to understand0
Total4

The value proposition of Siemens promises a secure organization. They have a fairly unique value proposition in the Cybersecurity branch because they emphasize a holistic approach.

I don’t think it’s easy to understand because the broken sentence confuses me.

Example #14: Zara

Zara landing page
Zara landing page – 2020
FactorsScore
Length1
Promise0
Unique1
Location1
Easy to understand0
Total3

Where is the company logo? I feel like most users would have no idea that this was Zara if I didn’t specify it here.

The value proposition is short but I have no clue what it’s about. This is why I am giving zero points for the promise and why I think it’s not easy to understand.

When I google SS20 I am getting pictures of military vehicles…

Example #15: Ford

Ford landing page value proposition example
Ford landing page – 2020
FactorsScore
Length1
Promise1
Unique1
Location1
Easy to understand1
Total5

Ford aces its value proposition with its catchy “build to lend a hand”. It is short and promises a car that can help you, help other people.

It sounds fairly unique and is immediately at the top of the screen. Their image of the car surrounded by a family also suggests this is their target group.

Example #16: H&M

H&M landing page
H&M landing page – 2020
FactorsScore
Length1
Promise1
Unique1
Location0
Easy to understand1
Total4

The location gets no points because it’s shown with a small font-size and at the bottom of the page. Some users won’t notice the headline because of the big purple banner.

Conclusion

I hope this checklist can help you to collect a bunch of issues for creating testing hypotheses.

If you want to start testing hypotheses you can check out my other guide: How to use the Google Optimize a b testing tool?

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