The Importance of Value Propositions


What is a value proposition?

You wouldn’t win an archery contest without carefully selecting an arrow, picking the right bow and then aiming at the target. In the same way, to us, a Value Proposition Canvas is an integral part of developing a brand. It concisely identifies and ranks the unique attributes of a brand and clarifies how the brand will be positioned within the target market. To start brand development otherwise is just shooting from the hip.

Value propositions cover many aspects such as the features, advantages and benefits of products; the brand personality, values and attributes; which shoppers the products should be aimed at and which communication channels should be utilised; how the products should look and be positioned online or on shelf; and how consumers will be reached.

Pulls all your research findings together succinctly

In FMCG, where unfortunately 9 out of 10 product launches ultimately fail, there is nothing more important than doing your research – be it desk research, quantitative, qualitative – or better still – all three. Much like the old saying ‘a failure to plan is a plan to fail’, scrimp on decent research before a product launch and you increase the odds of getting into difficulty.

Research areas that should be covered include the target audience and their wants/needs, any trends in the market, market growth, competitors and their product offerings, and any gaps in the market. We’d suggest all three types of research as inputs into your Value Proposition to ensure you have a 360 degree view of all the angles. This key document pulls the key findings from all of this research together in a way that is easy to digest and apply to further brand planning.

Know your target audience

Arguably the most crucial aspect of your research and thus your value proposition will be that which looks into your target audience in detail. Who are they? What are their needs, wants and motivations? What are they looking for in a product that the existing offering does not fulfil? What is their ‘job to be done’?

Building detailed ‘personas’ of your target audience and involving these in your value proposition ensures that your product, brand and all ensuing communications will be effectively targeted to meet the needs of your audience.

Find your gap in the market and identify your positioning

Finding the gap in the market to position your product in is also a vital part of your value proposition work. This entails using your competitor research as well as research into your target audience to identify any areas which will fill consumer needs but where nobody else is offering anything currently.  From here, you can combine this with your consumer research in order to develop the most effective positioning for your brand. Answering the ‘so what’ question honestly i.e. why should anyone care about your product, what need is it serving and why is it unique (if it is) is important.

Provides a great basis for a design brief

On a practical level, once all of the above has been established, the value proposition canvas is an excellent document from which to produce a design brief ahead of any concept development – it outlines all possible information any designers will need, and ensures the physical aspects of the brand will be as appealing, targeted and relevant to the target audience. This ensures that design serves to magnify, amplify and bring alive the product so you can use brand to create an emotional and functional link with consumers.

Ensure a coherent brand and communications

The development of a powerful value proposition so early on in the brand development process is also extremely beneficial for ensuring a coherent brand and communications. As the document clearly outlines the brand and its personality, values and attributes, this ensures all further branding, collateral and communications are cohesive and in-keeping with the features of the brand. This in turn forms the basis for a relevant communications plan which will effectively convey the brand, values and products to the target audience.

Simply, the trade and shoppers can tell when the elements of a marketing mix are misfiring, When the tone varies, or the colourways differ or the key brand messages are different. Pulling these elements together tightly and then executing copy and artwork in line with this is very powerful in reinforcing your brand values.

Why HRA?

At HRA we are experts in FMCG brand development and marketing, with a reel of commercially successful and impactful design projects behind us. Having top class research and strategy skills within the team and over 50+ years’ combined experience, we pride ourselves in ‘going beyond the brief’. If you want your product to succeed in the market then talk to us.

Our food and drink marketing team can help in all areas including:

  • Initial market research
  • Value proposition development
  • Brand development
  • Branding & packaging design
  • Marketing strategy development
  • Communications strategy development
  • Brand activation
  • Trade shows & exhibitions
  • Point of sale
  • Print design
  • Social media

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