Jan 27, 2021
Business aware designer – Value proposition
If you are interested in broadening your view in business. My first goal in this business-aware designer series is to introduce you to a few business concepts through the design lens.
Today, let’s talk about the value proposition. While it’s a great tool to help marketing team communicate the product. It’s a great alignment tool for the product team during the product discovery.
Value proposition as a product discovery alignment tool
A value proposition statement describes how your product or service will better solve customers’ problems than other similar offerings. It’s an effective tool to help your team reflect on how to win the competition.
I like to see it as an alignment tool with the business team to understand (a) who are we targeting, (b) what’s their current frustration, and (c) why are we better than other products.
User research have a big opportunity to contribute here. Qualitatively, you need to find three things:
- The job to be done: Users’ goal and overall motivation
- The current journey: The current way users accomplish their goal
- The user problems and needs: The problem from the existing journey
As you synthesize the findings, I’d encourage to put them in the journey map. Make it simple, so non-designers can follow along. Your goal is to illustrate the customer’s pain, why it happens, and how it fits in the journey.
While you gradually build the journey, you can start to explore and fill the blank for this statement template. The statement will be a reminder tool as your project progressing:
Note: The statement will be more descriptive in product design than what will be shown on the marketing assets — the more explicit, the more effective it can align the team. While in marketing, users have short attention span, so we need to make it concise.
It’s a part of the discovery process for your product. You might need to iterate it a few times in the beginning. After you gain the initial findings, your team will hopefully better understand the user’s needs and motivation. A few next steps you can consider:
- Study other competitors (direct & indirect)
- Explore how you would differentiate your product with the team
- Explore solutions that address needs differently
- Validate if that solution is something users want
Even after the product launch, your team should continually reflect on the value proposition as your team gains more knowledge and as the market evolves.
Side note: value proposition as a marketing communication
When a product team is about to launch their product. Mostly, they’ll need to align with the marketing team. Having the value proposition statement can help the marketing team to craft the more accurate message for the targeted audience.
From the user point of view, they will subconsciously ask these questions when they look at the marketing: Why should I consider this product? Is this product useful for me?
In practice, the value proposition statement will be helpful when we create a landing page. It’s a statement to help answers those questions they have at a glance.
Notion’s landing page put it this way: One tool for your whole team. Write, plan, and get organized. When I read it, I understand it’s optimized for a team, not an individual. It can help us write, plan, and keep things organized.