Your brand’s value proposition boils down to one of the fundamental questions facing your customers: “What’s in for me?”

The relationship between your customers and your brand is founded on a simple contract: They give you money and you provide something of value in return.

Your value proposition is your end of the bargain.

But what is a value proposition, exactly? What is a value proposition statement? And what do these things mean to the success of your business?

In this post, we’ll answer these questions and more, as we walk through the ins and outs of value propositions.

We’ll start with a value proposition definition before looking at the many ways your value proposition can help drive business growth. We’ll also look at some of the world’s best value proposition examples, and give you the secret to creating a powerful value proposition for your own brand.

Ready to get started? Let’s dive in.


What is a Value Proposition?

A value proposition is the central or overarching benefit your brand offers to its audiences. A good value proposition captures how your products or services solve the unique challenges of your target audience.

Distinct from a tagline or slogan, which are written to be catchy, recognizable hooks across marketing and advertising initiatives, a value proposition statement is a straightforward description of the ultimate value a customer can expect to receive from your brand.

Importantly, as Wikipedia notes, “a value proposition can apply to an entire organization, or parts thereof, or customer accounts, or products or services.”

Not to be confused with an employee value proposition, your value proposition—or customer value proposition—is an integral component of your larger brand strategy.

Why Does Your Business Need a Value Proposition?

Value Proposition - Why Does Your Business Need a Value Proposition - Ignyte Brands
Now that we’ve thoroughly unpacked our value proposition definition, let’s take a closer look at why defining one is so important to your business.

Beyond summarizing the most important benefit or benefits your brand provides, a well-crafted customer value proposition is key to any business looking to grow its customer base.

There are three important ways a value proposition can help move your business forward.

1. Align Your Marketing—and Your Company

First and foremost, a unique value proposition ensures the central message you convey to your customers is clear, consistent, and never contradictory.

From your website to your social media feeds to billboards and radio ads, a clearly defined value proposition ensures each of your marketing and communications initiatives supports the same central idea. The messages may be different, but the integral value behind them is the same.

The impact extends well beyond marketing, however.

A business with a clearly articulated value proposition is one where all employees—from your customer support reps to your frontline staff—are speaking the same language when it comes to the unique ways your business alleviates customer pain points.

2. Establish Competitive Differentiation

True competitive differentiation is harder and harder to find these days.

Regardless of which market you’re in, there are likely many other brands delivering similar products or services. But an effectively communicated unique value proposition is one of the best ways to stand out in a crowded market.

Your value proposition itself may not be all that different from other brands in the space. But the way you express it can be.

Just think about the luxury auto industry.

Every brand in the luxury automotive space claims to offer a premium driving experience. A closer look, however, reveals the distinction among each brand’s value proposition.

Where Ferrari emphasizes sportiness, Audi focuses on innovation. Where BMW showcases engineering, Mercedes highlights performance.

Each of these brands offers a view of luxury through a slightly different lens; each speaks to the unique facet of the luxury experience that is most important to their target audience.

3. Increase Customer Acquisition and Retention

By putting your customers’ needs at the center of your brand story, a strong value proposition attracts better customers, as well.

We’re talking the types of buyers who are willing to pay a little more, buy a little more frequently, and become unofficial brand ambassadors by referring your products or services to friends and family.

Customers like these are also more likely to develop longstanding relationships with your brand, resulting in optimal customer lifetime value.

If your customer value proposition is borne out by customer experience, those customers will keep coming back for more.

The trust engendered by making good on your brand messaging is the basis for brand loyalty.

Characteristics of a Strong Value Proposition

Value Proposition - Characteristics of a Powerful Value Proposition - Ignyte Brands
A strong value proposition is clearly a valuable asset for any business. But not all value propositions are created equal.

So, what distinguishes an effective value proposition from one that’s easily overlooked?

A good value proposition has the three important characteristics:

1. Addresses Customers’ Needs

When it comes to your value proposition, think customer first. A solid value proposition clearly explains how a product or service will either alleviate a customer’s pain or enable a customer’s gain. (Some are able to address both sides of the coin.)

What do we mean by customer pains and gains?

According to Product Coalition, the world’s largest independent product management community, customer pains include things like cost, time, discomfort, ambiguity, and monotony.

Customer gains, on the other hand, include things like standing out among peers, feeling more confident, and a sense of ethical or moral good during the purchasing process.

You may want to hit on more than one idea, or even frame a pain as a gain (or vice versa)—“avoid time-consuming processes” vs. “get more time back in your day,” for example—but pains and/or gains are the territory of every successful value proposition.

2. Uses Clear Yet Distinct Language

As mentioned above, a value proposition is usually more direct and clear-cut than its punchier sibling, the tagline. Few things are more important when it comes to the strength of a value proposition than clarity.

However, while value proposition marketing should avoid vague ideas and abstract language, it should still feel unique and ownable.

Finding the right balance between a statement that clearly conveys your brand’s central benefit and one that is distinctive and memorable can be a tricky proposition (as is most good copywriting).

One way to come at the challenge is by using more expressive phrasing.

For example, instead of saying, “Food delivery that saves you time and effort,” (a sentence that is clear, but fairly generic), DoorDash’s value proposition reads, “Restaurants and more, delivered to your door.”

It’s equally as concise—and doesn’t obfuscate the brand’s unique selling proposition—but with a more dynamic structure and a bit of rhyming, it’s infinitely more memorable.

3. Is Believable and Provable

This last characteristic is indispensable; it’s where the rubber meets the road, you might say.

There are many types of value propositions, but the ultimate measure of a successful value proposition is credibility.

If a brand claims to save its customers time, but in reality, its customer service number is backlogged to the point where it takes hours to talk to a rep, the credibility of this value proposition will soon be whittled down by an onslaught of negative tweets and bad reviews.

Not unlike your brand promise, your brand’s value proposition is only as good as how reliably it is delivered on.

To ensure this messaging preaches what your company actually practices, those responsible for crafting it should test it against objective, measurable evidence—including internal and external brand research—before integrating it into your marketing and communications.

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How to Write a Value Proposition

Value Proposition - How to Write a Value Proposition - Ignyte Brands
By now, you know the many ways a strong value proposition can benefit your business—as well as the unique characteristics that effective examples of these statements share.

Let’s take a look at how to write a value proposition for your own brand. The process of writing a value proposition statement breaks down to three basic steps.

1. Conduct Research

If you’ve read any of our previous posts, you’ll know we always recommend starting any branding initiative with research. When it comes to value propositions, it’s critical to know what drives your customers.

As we’ve seen, you’ll want to understand both your customers’ pains—the unique challenges they’re hoping your product or service will help them solve—as well as their gains—the positive outcomes they hope to achieve by using your product or service.

It’s also useful to get a better understanding of the specific jobs-to-be-done that your customers are hoping to cross off their list by buying from you.

The best way to uncover these types of insights about your customers is simply to ask them.

Customer research in the form of customer interviews and/or surveys will give you the data you need to craft a value proposition that speaks specifically to the unique needs and motivations of those you serve.

2. Create a Value Proposition Canvas

With the data from your customer research in hand, the next step is to map the pains, gains, and jobs-to-be-done of your customers to the pain relievers, gain creators, and products and/or services that your business offers.

This is what is known as the value proposition canvas or value proposition template.

You’ll find many examples of the value proposition canvas online, including this simple template from Strategyzer.

The idea is to fill out the various segments with real-world examples from your own business and customers. And then identify the unique ways your brand helps to eliminate or minimize customer pains, enhance customer gains, or solve specific tasks.

Creating clear connections from your brand’s offerings to your customers’ pains and gains will enable you to see where your brand resonates most deeply with audiences.

3. Craft Your Value Proposition Statement

The final step in the process is to put proverbial pen to paper.

When writing a value proposition statement, the most important goal is focus. Analyze the canvas you’ve created and try to identify a singular idea that can serve as the basis for your statement.

Are the customer pains and gains your brand addresses centered on efficiency? Cost savings? Customization? Once you’ve landed on an idea, begin crafting statements that address the idea from a number of different angles.

Whether it’s plainly stating the central benefit, as in MailChimp’s “Turn emails into revenue,” or having a little fun with the brand voice, like ClickUp’s “One app to replace them all,” there’s no one right way to write a value proposition.

Remember: the most important thing is to demonstrate how your brand uniquely benefits the people it serves. Once you’ve found the perfect way to express this idea, the final step is to implement it—across your branding, marketing, and organization as a whole.

11 Value Proposition Examples

As with most things in branding, the best way to understand the power of a strong value proposition is to take a look at a few value proposition examples in action. The following brands represent some of the best examples we’ve seen.

As you’ll see, there are many types of value propositions, but all of the examples below have one thing in common: They clearly and convincingly speak directly to the most important needs of each brand’s target audience.


A screenshot of the Grammarly homepage prominently features the brand's value proposition
A frontrunner in the realm of AI writing assistance, Grammarly has been the go-to virtual copyeditor for writers in every industry for years.

Now that AI tools are quite literally a dime a dozen, Grammarly’s existential challenge is to set itself apart with a value proposition that is clear, concise, and immediate.

“Personalized AI, Everywhere You Write” is the headline that grabs audience attention, but Grammarly’s true value proposition is in the supporting copy: “Instantly generate clear, compelling writing while maintaining your unique voice.”

As a potential customer, that tells me everything I need to know about the value Grammarly provides. Words like “instant,” “clear,” “compelling,” and—importantly—“your unique voice” signal that Grammarly is going to help me be a better writer without sounding like a robot.


A screenshot of the Zoom homepage prominently features the brand's value proposition
Zoom was perfectly positioned to benefit from the pandemic-era, work-from-home revolution, earning the vaunted status as a verb alongside brands like Google and Uber.

The only question is whether it can maintain its status as the number one video and we conferencing service. It’s doing everything it can to do so, including communicating a value proposition that’s more than just teleconferencing.

“One platform to connect/create/innovate” is Zoom’s latest iteration. Incorporating the latest developments in AI, Zoom now offers everything from chat to VoIP phone services, to email and more—all centered on making virtual work easier and more productive.


A screenshot of the WordPress homepage prominently features the brand's value proposition
As WordPress proudly declares front and center on its homepage, “43% of the web is built on WordPress.” The brand’s value proposition of “the world’s most popular website” is an approach that only one or two brands in any given industry can pull off.

The idea is simple: there’s a reason so many different websites have been successful using WordPress as a platform. If “More bloggers, small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies use WordPress than all other options combined,” it probably offers what my business needs, as well.

Again, this approach to a value proposition is only effective if you can confidently claim to be an industry leader. But if you can, customers often have little incentive to go elsewhere.


A screenshot of the MailChimp homepage
MailChimp has long been great at communicating its unique value. It has fun with its messaging where appropriate, but never at the expense of clearly telling customers what they stand to gain from using its services.

“Turn Emails into Revenue” is a perfect example. This simple yet bold value proposition statement tells me exactly how MailChimp will help me realize the gains I’m looking for as a marketer.

Like WordPress, MailChimp also highlights its status as the “#1 email marketing and automations brand,” telling customers that it will recommend ways to do three things every business owner wants to do: “get more opens, clicks, and sales.”


A screenshot of the HubSpot homepage prominently features the brand's value proposition
Another leader in its field, HubSpot opts to focus not on its status, but rather on the single thing it helps every business do: grow. As any business leader knows, if you’re not growing, you’re dying. And HubSpot wants to help you “Grow better.”

How does it do this? With “software that’s powerful, not overpowering.” This simple turn of phrase is an amazingly effective way to communicate a key feature of HubSpot’s central value proposition: ease of use.

HubSpot helps you “seamlessly connect your data, teams, and customers” in one platform that doesn’t just help you grow, it grows with you.


A screenshot of the Salesforce homepage
Where HubSpot focuses on the global value proposition of business growth, Salesforce—a brand with similar offerings—drills down a bit and paints a picture of “more sales and happier customers.”

This vivid image is exactly the types of gains that business owners have in mind when they’re deciding between platforms.

These days, AI is the cost of entry for online business tools, so Salesforce makes sure to mention it right out of the gate. Itemizing concrete offerings like “AI + Data + CRM,” however, risks burying the more powerful (and human) value proposition that comes after it.


A screenshot of the Shopify homepage
One of the world’s most popular ecommerce platforms, Shopify communicates two important ideas in its value proposition. The first is that it makes commerce better. A bit vague, but if you run an online business, you certainly want a tool that makes commerce easier, more powerful, more flexible—in a word: better.

The second important idea communicated by Shopify’s value proposition is that it’s a tool for everyone. Everyone from “next generation of entrepreneurs, the world’s biggest brands, and everyone in between.”

The democratization of enterprise-caliber commerce tools is a value proposition that sets Shopify apart from similar tools that are either limited to small businesses or too expensive for the average individual retailer.


A screenshot of the Slack homepage
It’s hard to remember a time (not that long ago) when Slack wasn’t an indispensable tool for business communications. And since it first burst onto the scene with its revolutionary alternative to email, Slack has been a masterclass in communicating its value proposition.

Just like Shopify, Slack communicates two important ideas with its value proposition. First off, it’s “made for people.” Slack was designed with everyday people in mind. It caters to the needs of diverse teams, often in far-flung locations, and brings them together in ways that feel personal.

Secondly, of course, Slack is “built for productivity.” It’s a tool for getting things done quickly and efficiently. Notice the effective contrast between the softer, more human “made” and the more serious, more robust “built.” These two sides of the brand get to the heart of Slack’s profound value proposition.


Value Proposition - ClickUp - Ignyte Brands
Among our favorite value proposition examples is project management technology brand ClickUp. With its productivity software, ClickUp has identified a huge problem in the work world: too many projects with too many disparate solutions.

ClickUp realized that workers were sick of juggling multiple project management tools across multiple ecosystems, with varying degrees of integration. The brand’s value proposition, “One app to replace them all” is a clearly articulated answer to this problem.

With just a few short words, ClickUp conveys how its singular tool creates convenience, simplicity, and efficiency. The statement is streamlined, just like the product it describes, while a snappy play on a line from The Lord of the Rings—“One ring to rule them all”—adds a dash of humor and stickiness to the equation.


Value Proposition - Teledoc - Ignyte Brands
A global leader in virtual health care, Teladoc’s unique benefit, “The right care when you need it most,” gets straight to the heart of what the company offers its customers. In the midst of a stubborn global pandemic, the brand speaks directly to a salient customer pain: going to a brick-and-mortar doctor’s office to get personalized treatment.

Teladoc’s value proposition speaks to its customers’ need for convenience as well as customization in a brand voice that feels personal and reassuring. The brand hits on both of these central pain points in a compact statement that immediately orients the audience to its offering.

Finally, the use of second person—a highly effective tense for these types of statements—makes Teladoc’s message feel like it comes directly from a healthcare provider with the customer’s interest in mind.


Value Proposition - Stripe - Ignyte Brands
With an integrated suite of payment products, Stripe serves both Fortune 500 companies and smaller startups, helping them more effectively pay partners and receive payments from their customers.

Because it operates squarely in the B2B space, Stripe’s value proposition is centered on one goal that every business has front of mind: growth. Rather than alleviating a customer pain, Stripe addresses its customers’ gains, directly and effectively.

“A complete payments platform, engineered for growth,” Stripe’s central message encompasses both the comprehensiveness of the platform and the ultimate outcome that its customers can expect. It’s a value proposition that not only defines what the company is, but also why it matters to its customers.

The Takeaway

“What’s in it for me?” That’s what your buyers want to know before they click “add to cart” or sign a contract.

What challenge will your products solve for them? What advantages do your services bring to their lives? And are you going to deliver this value better than the other guys?

These are the types of questions your value proposition should answer. From the landing page of your website to a sales pitch for a client, these simple, straightforward statements can mean the difference between landing a customer and losing one.

In just a few words, they should tell your target audience why they should choose your brand over the competition—and keep coming back.


The Ultimate Guide to Rebranding

Everything you need to know about rebranding your business-and avoiding costly mistakes.


A prolific blogger, speaker, and columnist, Brian has two decades of experience in design and branding. He’s written for publications including Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, Fast Company, HuffPost, and Brand Quarterly.