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Take a long hard look at your value proposition. If you see similarly bland and vague marketing speak, your distinct value is unclear.
Your prospect has no idea how what you do is different from the last guy or gal to pitch them the exact same thing. You haven’t positioned your brand effectively.
You’re giving no reason to pull out a credit card, or give you a name and email. No reason to stay on your homepage for more than a few seconds.
Or, maybe you do succinctly state what you do, but have failed to answer the inevitable “yeah, so?” In that case, you’re also in for some wordsmithing.
If this is you, read on.
It takes some soul searching to get it right. You have to be willing to question things you’ve been certain of for years – decades even.
Here are some quick starts to get the exercise rolling:
What you do vs. what you say you do. Ask yourself, what do we really do? What does our product really do? Now, how does that map to what we say we do?
It’s the “show don’t tell” rule.
What’s different? We humans tend to gravitate to things, people, ideas we’ve never seen. New things spark a natural curiosity. Ask yourself what’s new or different about your product or service.
Now say it clearly to your prospect as you would answer the question to yourself.
Clean verbal house
Another quick-start way to get to a more effective message is to simply evaluate each and every word you use to describe your product or service.
A couple of ways to do that:
Nix the adverbs and adjectives. They tend to be nuisance words or cause unnecessary drama that makes all the other words untrustworthy. Sometimes they work, But overall try to avoid them.
Don’t use fancy words. And no euphemisms. Say what you are. Say what you do. Say why or what makes you different. Be direct. And make sure these things are true.
Know a thing or two about your customer. It’s going to be easier to communicate your value if you know the context in which your customer sees you. Do they say “app” or “application”? Do they care?
Let’s look at a couple of value statements from companies we’ve worked with recently:
NextDeal could’ve said something like:
Increase customer loyalty and get more sales!
Although this would’ve been true, every other vendor targeting the broker and title customer could say the exact same thing. Many do.
NextDeal’s value is more specific – and also remarkable. Who in real estate wouldn’t want to know exactly when their customers are back in the market? Then they back it up with a specific fact that shows their value.
Here’s another example:
SmartCharts could be a heavy product that’s difficult to talk about – data, spreadsheets, line graphs, market statistics. Instead, we get a succinct statement that articulates not only what it does and is, but also why a real estate agent would use it. No jargon. No heavy words.
There are a ton of great examples outside real estate as well. SmartThings, Crazyegg, and Mint are great to model.
Notice these companies also regularly re-wordsmith their headlines. As products and companies evolve, they naturally sharpen their value statements to speak more clearly, and reflect their evolving value and positioning. (Not to mention the web enables A/B testing, which gives you insights into what works.)
When is the last time you took a long hard look at your brand message? If you can’t remember, then it’s time to get this on your priority list.