You probably don’t have to create a value proposition

Michael Wood, an accomplished, results-driven marketing executive with >25 years’ c-level experience believes that you don’t necessarily have to create a value proposition, you can simply formalise your existing visions. Read on to learn more about his useful insights.

value proposition
Image by Charl Nigrini

What are the five questions of a useful value proposition?

It is a statement that addresses topics such as:

  1. WHO are your ideal customers?
  2. WHAT are their specific needs?
  3. WHICH solutions address their needs?
  4. HOW your solution addresses their needs, including the benefits?
  5. WHY customers should select your solution over the competition?

Assuming you have decent data and insights (segmentation, accounts, personas, etc.) and you are operating at a given level of success, even if you do not have a formal statement called a value proposition, you are most likely aware of the ‘who, what, which, how, and why’ aspects mentioned above.

So, does it make sense to formalise your value proposition?

I believe it does, as it synthesises your strategic thinking and creates a single platform for marketing strategy and tactics (target markets, needs analysis, solution selection, messaging, competitiveness). The good news is that you don’t have to create a value proposition, instead, you only need to formalise already existing insights.

Books for start-ups and value proposition
Image by Daria Nepriakhina – Unsplash

How do you do that?

“Your value proposition is the answer to the question: Why should I buy from you and not your competition?” (Neil Patel)

Value propositions can be, and some argue should be, tiered. For example, company-level, segment-level, product-level, and prospect-level. There are numerous formats and types of value propositions. I have found this process useful:

  • Marketing drives the process.
  • Select and agree on a format. I prefer the Geoffrey Moore version.
  • Start with a company-level value proposition.
  • Leadership populates and uses a technique called shredding to refine.
  • Run the shredding technique through all business functions.
  • Run the shredding technique through your ecosystem (selected, trusted suppliers and clients).
  • At this point, you should have a company-level value proposition that is clear, relevant, and compelling (that internal and external stakeholders have bought in to).
  • Repeat this process for segment-level, product-level, and prospect-level value propositions.


Now, consistently, and relentlessly, use these respective value propositions as the basis for all branding and ‘ecosystem touchpoint’ thinking, strategy, messaging, and tactics. It is useful to review value propositions regularly or as changing market circumstances dictate.

Authored by Michael Wood (not a SAFREA member)

Michael is an accomplished, results-driven marketing executive with >25 years’ c-level experience including owning an agency for 15 years. Michael has deep B2B experience in communication, positioning, content, branding, and strategy across several verticals. This insight, and a balanced and foundational post-graduate education complement, allows Michael to add value through campaign design, and strong messaging across multiple mediums. Simply put, he tells the right stories, to the right people, using the appropriate channels, at the right time. Michael has a keen interest in the convergence of technology.

Proofread and copyedited by Delilah Nosworthy (SAFREA member)

If you would like to read more of Delilah’s articles click here.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Safrea or its members.


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