What makes your company valuable?

This isn’t an easy question to answer. No matter your industry, you have numerous competitors—many of whom will outshine you. They might have more monthly website visits, higher-ranking search results, a bigger social audience or more monthly sales.

The point is, they’re out there. And the only way you can stand out is by focusing on your value proposition.

In the simplest terms, your company’s value proposition is what makes your company stand out. It comprises your most convincing reasons for why people should use your product or service. Should you buy second-hand camera gear from Amazon or eBay? Amazon might argue that their fast delivery and partners make them a better option. eBay might counter that their prices are generally lower and their seller-review system has a stronger reputation. Whichever you choose will depend on your own values—which aspects you’re looking for in an online retailer.

For your own small business, your value proposition could be a fast turnaround time, a vast selection of products and services or lower prices than your competitors. But to sell it, you’ve got to understand how to market it.

Ask Yourself: What is Your Value?

The first thing to establish is what your biggest value proposition really is.

If you’re not immediately sure, this will be somewhat of a brand-building exercise for you. If you’re compelled to say your small business is the best at everything, here’s some news: it’s not. You probably specialize in a few areas and get bested by other, larger competitors in other areas.

Look at Apple’s website, and you’ll see their value proposition throughout–from their products pages to a tab called “Why Switch”—a direct bump up against Google’s Android OS. They have headlines such as “Why is iPhone so fast?” and “What makes Messages so great?,” completely designed to convince an on-the-fence consumer to lean toward Apple.


value proposition
Apple’s value proposition of customer-centric design impacts every product they sell and every part of those products including their camera—something they double down on in their “Shot on iPhone 6” billboard advertisements.


So in Apple’s case, they’re banking on security, unique features, the camera and customer service as selling points. But all of those differentiators have one thing in common. A radical pursuit of their value proposition—a customer-first product design.

You notice they won’t mention price—there are dozens of Android alternatives that are half the cost. Nor will they mention the battery life or compatibility, since Apple is notorious for creating its own hardware that you have to buy into to stay with Apple.

To start arguing that Apple is inferior to Android in those regards is totally beside the point, anyway. Such arguments are endless among techies, since their values are different.

Apple isn’t trying to win over people who won’t spend more than $500 on a phone. If you’re able to spend the money, Apple wants to convince you that it’s the platform for you. If battery life isn’t important to you and camera quality is, then you’re already a lead for their product.

Different companies will market to customers differently, and that’s fine because consumers have different preferences. Explain what makes your brand great and the right people will find you. This will require deep market research and product testing since you’ll want your claims to be honest as well as strong sales points.

Explain Your Value Proposition

Saying your company is the best at something without explaining it is fairly useless. How would you respond if we told you that you should use Hatchbuck because it’s the best CRM software available—and ended our pitch at that? You might roll your eyes thinking it’s just a fluffy claim. And you’d be right to do it.

Establishing your value proposition is harder than just tossing out your tagline. Your website should clearly establish the ways in which your value proposition is stronger than your competitors’—to do this, you might want to showcase your past clients with quotes, case studies or testimonials.  


value proposition
Hatchbuck’s homepage proves its value proposition with client testimonials.


Specifics are a good call here—think faces and numbers. Empty phrases and corporate-speak won’t sell customers, but real arguments will. Steer away from clever phrases and instead focus on language that’s immediately clear and easy to understand.

If you have any statistics or numbers—think “Trusted by hundreds of brands worldwide”—then you’re off to a good start.

Get in touch with past or current clients with whom you have a good relationship and ask them for a testimonial or quote to add to your site. You can punch up the offer by offering a backlink to their site or social media help—a particularly helpful situation for small businesses working together.

Bottom Line: Make it Honest and Loud

One last tip: Don’t be modest. Marketing can seem modest sometimes, but value propositions should be loud.

If your product is 50 percent more affordable than your leading competitor’s and just as good in every other way, state that. Be bold and aggressive when staking your claim.

Just look at Dollar Shave Club. They built a thriving business in a crowded, commodity-driven industry.


Their value proposition fueled everything: Delivering quality razors for less, backed by an unforgettable customer experience.

Once they had their value proposition nailed down, they created bold marketing campaigns that drove home what they value.


value proposition
Dollar Shave Club’s launch video took a bold stance—delivering on their value proposition.

This kind of bold marketing is not as hard as it looks. Once you decide what you stand for, it makes it so much easier to reach the right audience and deliver your message. So if you want to separate your brand from the crowd, select the parts of your company that shine the most and showcase them for the world to see.