The main objective of a company’s marketing strategy is to define and reach the target customer demographic while differentiating itself from the competition. Value propositions and positioning statements stem from this marketing strategy and help the company to accomplish its marketing goals. Many people use these terms interchangeably when writing a business plan or discussing their marketing strategy, but there are some key distinctions.
A company’s value proposition describes the key functional and emotional benefits of its products, services and brand. Typically, functional benefits refer to key product/service features and advantages. Meanwhile, emotional benefits refer to the positive feelings and emotions that customers experience when engaging with the company’s product, service or brand. Whether the benefit is functional or emotional, the key is to create value and to convince customers that they are getting value for their money. With this in mind, the main idea of a value proposition is to convince the customer that your product or service creates “value for their money.” In other words, the benefits of your product or service minus the cost of your product or service results in value that is greater than the cost of the service
Positioning statements flow from your value propositions and a single value proposition may contain several positioning statements. They are more focused messages that form the basis of advertising campaigns. Positioning statements describe why a set of customers should use one product over another. The positioning statement includes the target audience, product name, category, benefit and competitive differentiation.
Value propositions and positioning statements share the following similarities:
- Directed to a specific target market
- Focused on the customer
- Identify unique points of differentiation
- Declare key benefits
- Value propositions provide focus for marketing strategies
- Positioning statements provide focus for product strategies.