Why will clients prefer to buy from your brand?
Or the secret to developing your compelling brand value proposition
Being able to articulate your ‘why buy’ – using words, images and feelings – that your clients can connect with plays a central role in your brand messaging. But what is your brand value proposition and can you create it?
Let’s start with a definition of brand value proposition:
“The distillation (or summary) of reasons to buy your products or services, instead of another’s, based on satisfying the desires, wants and needs of your target clients i.e. the perceived value your products or services bring – often these are intangible, as well as tangible.”
As you can see there is often more than one reason to buy, and the challenge is to distil these into your value proposition – and your brand messaging.
Once you get clear on the value you bring to clients you can communicate this with confidence in your brand voice, and with the impact of your distinctive brand personality.
What could value mean for your clients?
A survey of marketers and advertisers by Reach Solutions gave their interpretation of the biggest reasons to buy, which are:
- Value for money 83%
- Quality of product or service 66%
- Reliability 69%
What do you notice about these reasons to buy?
Although these reasons appear to be factual and rational reasons to buy, they’re mainly based on perceptions and feelings. Because ‘value for money’ could mean different things to different people. It could apply as much to a Rolex watch bought to impress, as to a carton of own brand orange juice bought on a budget.
Perceptions of ‘quality’ and ‘reliability’ could also be influenced by comparison – your prospective clients may get estimates from two or three brands and read online reviews too.
The key is to understand what matters most to your clients in your category and context. And what matters to them could be more broader or deeper that your services or products alone.
Your values are part of your value proposition
According to a study by the consulting firm Accenture, “consumers are more likely to buy from companies that align with their values and are willing to pay a premium for products and services that reflect those values.”
The more surveys I read about what people look for in brands – whether it’s a big purchase or a bar of chocolate – brand values come into play. When I come across a new brand, I look on the website for information about the people behind the brand, their story and their brand values.
Why? Because I want to understand more about what drives the brand and its character and personality.
So, I have no doubt that your brand values play a key role in your brand value proposition. They will help clients choose – and buy your services and products. Here are a couple of examples:
👉🏼 You stop buying a brand because it sources ingredients you believe are unsustainable – like peanut butter made from palm oil.
👉🏼 You no longer shop from an organisation that you believe doesn’t pay its fair share of taxes.
Research supports values-based buying behaviour
“People are increasingly looking for more than just a product or service from the brands they buy” – Nielsen Worldwide Annual Marketing Report. Here are some examples from their US research:
👉🏼 If a product is made by a company I trust, I’ll buy it even if it is slightly more expensive – 74%
👉🏼 I buy natural products because I am concerned about the environment – 62%
👉🏼 I am more likely to purchase brands that support a cause I care about – 52%
👉🏼 I expect the brands I buy to support social causes – 36%
Crafting your brand value proposition
Here are some key questions to consider:
- Do you understand what inspires, motivates, attracts and satisfies your clients?
- What makes your services and products different – in a meaningful way – for these people?
- How can you talk about the emotional and expressive benefits of buying your products, along with the functional benefits?
- How will buying from your brand help these people feel better, every day?
Explore the 3 levels of client ‘wants’ and translate these into benefits
When you have answered the 5 questions below, you’ll be able to clarify the core elements of your brand value proposition. Be kind to yourself because this work isn’t easy. Maybe you could review your answers a couple of times or do some research with your favourite clients.
Drafting your brand value proposition is one of your biggest brand challenges (if it was easy everyone would have brilliant messaging). Start by choosing one of your services or products. Now, thinking about the clients you want to attract, draft your answers to these questions:
🌻 What results do they want?
🌻 What practical benefits are most important to them? (Functional benefits)
🌻 How do your services or products make their lives feel better? In themselves? (Emotional benefits)
🌻 How does buying your services or products impact on their sense of identity? (Expressive benefits)
🌻 How do they feel now, compared to how they felt before? Because this is the transformation you want to capture in your value proposition and brand messaging.
The rationale behind this approach
Comes from understanding what makes us human. If you’re a coach or have worked with a coach, you’ll be familiar with the psychology behind this – that in general people buy things or act for 2 main reasons:
- To avoid pain: they have a problem or pain point, that they want to move away from
- Seeking pleasure: they want to move towards a more desirable situation
As Paul Dolan summarised in his book, Happiness by Design ‘Happiness is finding pleasure and purpose in everyday life, whilst avoiding pain and pointlessness.’ I believe that happiness is something we want to achieve – for both ourselves – and our clients.
When you’re ready to review your brand value proposition, use the questions outlined above and then check you’ve covered all 5 points on this checklist below:
👉🏼 Get clear on the transformation your client seeks
👉🏼 Understand the 3 levels of problem they struggle with
👉🏼 Clarify the 3 core reasons they will buy from your brand instead of another
👉🏼 Define your 3 core brand intangibles – purpose, values and personality – the unique combination of these intangibles will make your brand difficult to copy
👉🏼 And then pull everything together, so that you connect and integrate the benefits and features of buying your services with your brand values and personality
This will give you a series of brand stories and a messaging framework to use throughout your marketing communications. You’ll be able to connect the messages on your website pages with your social media profiles, and the content of your social media posts and networking chats.
When you use your differentiated brand value proposition consistently in your messaging, your brand will standout, attract clients, make an impact and build your ‘know, like, trust’ factor.
Thank you for reading
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