Small Business Branding Guide

3. What is a Value Proposition and How to Write One

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Small Business Marketing

What is a Value Proposition and How to Write One

Jun 22, 2023 • 10+ min read
Table of Contents

      A value proposition is a statement that describes how your business benefits your customers. It’s typically a customer-centric statement featured on your website and can be a significant part of your marketing. Your value proposition tells your customers what pain points your product solves and how it will benefit them.

      Why is a Value Proposition Important?

      A value proposition is vital for your marketing and your entire brand. While a value proposition isn’t a mission statement (which describes your business’s purpose), it is a promise to your customers about what you will deliver. It should be the selling point that convinces your customers to buy your product. 

      Establishing your business’ value proposition will help you determine the rest of your business’ branding, because it will help you focus on how you want your customers to see your business.

      How to Write a Value Proposition

      Now that we’ve established the importance of a value proposition for your small business, let’s dive into how to write one. 

      Understand Your Target Audience

      The first step to writing a successful value proposition is identifying your target audience. Conduct research to understand your typical customer and what’s important to them. This process can include talking to your employees who regularly work with your customers, surveying your current customers, and analyzing your competitors’ customers. 

      Identify Customer Needs and Pain Points

      The next step is identifying your target audience’s needs and pain points. What are your customer’s goals, and what keeps them from achieving them? If your business is a bakery and your target audience is people who want beautiful and delicious cakes, what needs or pain points might that audience encounter? You may find that this audience’s biggest pain points are a lack of time and cake decorating skills. 

      Here is where the information you’ve gathered from your employees and customers will be helpful. Ask them what problems or questions your customers typically have. Use the information you collect from them to identify specific pain points.

      Define Your Solution and Benefits

      Now that you understand your audience and their needs and pain points, let’s look at how your product solves them. Consider what your product does for your customers and how it will alleviate the pain points you identified earlier. Be specific about the benefits your business provides your target audience and the pain points you eliminate. 

      For our above bakery example, your business provides your audience with a delicious cake decorated to their preferences and ready when needed. Your bakery saves your customer time and allows them to have the cake exactly how they want it, without learning all the cake decorating skills themselves. 

      Craft a Clear and Concise Message

      Using the information you’ve established above, you’ll write an easy-to-understand value proposition that tells your customers how your business will benefit them. Value propositions are typically concise and follow a structure with a headline and subheadline.

      Structuring the Value Proposition

      • Headline – The headline is a simple but memorable sentence or phrase that grabs your audience’s attention and communicates your value.
      • Subheadline – The subheadline is a short paragraph, one to three sentences long, that expands on your headline. It tells your audience who your product helps and the specific benefits that it provides to your audience.

      Tried and True Value Proposition Templates

      When writing your value proposition, it can be helpful to use a template. Here are three easy-to-use templates that can help you to craft a compelling value proposition for your business.

      Steve Blank’s Template

      This simple template helps you determine what you offer and to whom. This template will work great if you’re looking for a simple and straightforward value proposition. 

      Template: We help [X] do [Y] by offering [Z].

      Example: We help homeowners complete house projects and maintenance by offering the services of our expert handypersons.

      Geoff Moore’s Template

      This template is more specific about your audience, their needs or wants, and how your product will benefit them. This template requires that you answer these questions:

      • Who is your target audience?
      • What does your target audience need or want?
      • What is the name of your product or service?
      • What is your product category?
      • How does your product benefit your audience?

      Template: For [target audience] who [need or want], our [product or service] is [product category] that [statement of benefit]. 

      Example: For busy dog owners who want to give their dogs exercise and time outside, Adventure Dogs is the dog walking service that will provide your pup the attention and playtime they deserve.

      Venture Hack’s Template:

      This template is quick and bold. It gives an example of a successful and well-known business and then applies it to your industry. 

      Template: [Proven industry example] of [your industry]

      Example: The Rolls Royce of stationery.

      Refining and Testing Your Value Proposition

      Since your value proposition is essential to your business and marketing, you’ll want to refine and iterate to create the best statement that resonates with your audience. 

      Solicit Feedback From Customers

      One of the best ways to know how your customers feel about your value proposition is to ask them. Talk to your customers about your value proposition and ask them for feedback on improving it or making it more straightforward. Ask your customers if there is any jargon or confusing words that need to be defined or changed. 

      Conduct A/B Testing to Optimize Your Value Proposition

      Another way to learn which version of your value proposition is the most persuasive is to A/B test it. Test different versions of your value proposition to see which leads to the most sales. You can continue testing different versions to find which one performs best. 

      Iterating and Refining Based on Results and Feedback

      Using the data you gather from your A/B testing and the feedback you receive from your customers, refine and update your value proposition. You want your value proposition to be as clear and persuasive as possible. Testing and receiving feedback will help you create a successful value proposition.

      Successful Value Proposition Examples

      When creating your value proposition, looking at some successful examples can be helpful. Let’s look at these four examples of value propositions from successful companies to see what makes them work.


      Value proposition: Get in the driver’s seat and get paid. Drive on the platform with the largest network of active riders.

      Screenshot from Uber’s homepage

      Why it works: Uber’s value proposition for its drivers is bold and straightforward. It’s action-oriented and gives the benefits of driving for Uber, specifically getting paid and using the platform with the largest network of active riders. 


      Value proposition: Long life, less waste. Timeless Swedish design and sustainable materials, products made for a lifetime of use

      Screenshot from Fjallraven’s website

      Why it works: Fjallraven’s value proposition is simple and focuses on values important to its target audience. Their products are environmentally friendly and made to last, which are persuasive points when someone is considering purchasing one of their products. 


      Value proposition: Build your portfolio starting with just $1. Invest in stocks, options, and ETFs at your pace and commission-free.

      Screenshot from Robinhood’s homepage

      Why it works: Robinhood’s value proposition includes several benefits to its audience that alleviate pain points, such as investing at your own pace and commission-free. This statement is straightforward and doesn’t use jargon that could intimidate potential customers.

      Value proposition: Create a website without limits. Build and scale with confidence. From a powerful website builder to advanced business solutions—we’ve got you covered.

      Screenshot from

      Why it works: Wix’s audience is people without coding or design experience looking to build a great website that looks good. This value proposition speaks to that audience while reassuring them that their solution will grow with their customers and provide them with solutions for their business.

      Wrapping Up

      Value propositions convince your customers how your product will benefit them and solve their pain points. It should be persuasive and easy to understand. Using the above-mentioned process, you can create a compelling value proposition to encourage your target audience to try out your service. 

      About the author
      Kendra Madsen

      Kendra Madsen is a content strategist, UX writer, and digital marketing consultant for small businesses. She has written hundreds of articles for small businesses in many different industries, using SEO best practices. When she isn’t writing or obsessing about the latest marketing trend, she can be found outside mountain biking or playing at the park with her son and dog.

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