30 September 2020

How to write a value proposition for your business in under 15 minutes

Brian Hardie
Written by Brian Hardie

Brian Hardie is Regional Director for The Marketing Centre and specialises in working with small and mid-size businesses. He has over 30 years’ experience working with clients in logistics, media, technology and outsourcing.

Business owners and marketers need to understand who their customer is, what they’re trying to achieve and how their product or service helps. 

They also need to adapt their business model as customer behaviour changes.

Blockbuster was in the ‘video rental’ business. Had they been in the ‘helping our customers to enjoy their favourite films’ business, things might have turned out differently.

Netflix, by contrast, used to deliver DVDs to customers by post. When the internet became fast enough to support video streaming, they followed their customers online. 

A great way to zero in on your customer and their goals is to define your value proposition. 

A value proposition captures... 

  • Who your customers are
  • What they want
  • How you help them 
  • What makes you unique

It’s not a strapline or a slogan and it isn’t customer-facing. It is, however, crucial and ought to underpin everything you do. 

Want to seize the advantage in 2021?

Use our 2020 Accelerator Framework to understand your position, set new goals and plan for growth.

In this quick exercise, we’ll show you how to create a value proposition that will help you zero in on what your customers really want.

What you’ll need

10 minutes and a pen and paper.

Creating your value proposition

Let’s kick things off with an example. Take a look at the table below.


 Your customer.

 Who want

 Their goal.


 Your business or service.


 What makes it unique or special.

 Which means

 How it helps the customer meet their goal and any other important benefits.


Here’s the same table using Netflix as an example.



 Film and TV lovers

 Who want

 Want to watch TV shows and films at home and on the move


 Online entertainment platform


 A massive variety of curated and original programming and one of the world’s best ‘what to watch next’ algorithms

 Which means

 You can watch unlimited entertainment wherever you are for a fixed monthly fee


Here’s the same table with some instructions to help you fill out each of the fields.



 Your customer.
 Be specific and remember, you may have more than one type of customer. It’s worth completing a separate value proposition for each customer where there is a separate need to be satisfied.

 Who want

 Your customer’s goal.
 Pick a realistic goal that relates to a product or service you provide.


 Your business or service.
 Be specific about your business model. Is it a shop? Is it a consultancy? Is it an ecommerce store? Is it an online platform?


 What makes it unique or special.
 Why do your customers buy from you and not your competitors? What are your USPs? What are you best at?

 Which means

 How it helps customers achieve their goals as well as any key benefits.
 What’s the real-world impact of your service? How does it make their lives better or easier? What would they lose if they didn’t use your service?


The value proposition should reflect the entire business, not just marketing. To make sure yours is representative, ask several people to complete this exercise and then come together to discuss your results.

Value propositions may look simple but capturing what your customers are looking for and how you help is harder than it looks.

Some people get around this by being broad and trying to appeal to as many people as possible. Avoid doing this. 

The more focused your value proposition is, the more useful it will be.

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