What’s clear is that there’s no single rule for creating a dazzling value proposition, but there are guidelines.
Here’s one path you could follow:
Step 1: Identify Your Benefits
List the major benefits your product or service delivers – or will deliver, when it’s built and test early with loyal customers. You could also run small campaigns as qualitative tests where you can compare multiple statements and measure how they perform within a chosen audience. There’s no need to boil the ocean – less can be more. Focus on the core benefits that really matter to your customers and/or partners. Pro tip, if you already have developers using your product then ask them. You will learn so much from the people who actually use your product and it will help your team hone the value proposition statement in a way that resonates with your target audience.
Step 2: Identify the Value You Create
Your product or service delivers developers some benefits. But why should anyone care? What’s the intrinsic value you bring to the developer world? Do you make or save developers time or money? Do you offer something truly innovative? Do you simply give developers a chance to forget about their worries and laugh out loud once in awhile? From the outside, some value propositions might seem dull or lacking humanity. It is important to understand that even highly technical and complex propositions carry emotional equity for their intended audience. Remain disciplined and find ways to communicate value in ways that resonates with partners, customers and internal teams.
Step 3: Identify Your Audience
Clearly define who your product or service is for. “For developers” is a common first response, but rarely translates into a well-defined, clearly-articulated value proposition. If you know who you’re talking to, it’s far easier to figure out how to communicate with them. That’s an important step for building your value proposition, but equally important when it’s time to take your developer program out into the world.
Step 4: Identify Your Difference
Why you? In the words of the song, “It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it. And that’s what gets results”. Your product and service may not seem “sexy” or “hip” l; it may be functional and valuable to its users (Concur is a great example). But the way in which you deliver that service could really help you stand out. What do you do differently that makes you stand out from the crowd?
Step 5: Craft the Value Proposition Statement
Start to build a statement that summarizes your thinking. Tip: You probably won’t nail it in one. Try different words or expressions to clarify your purpose, or communicate your value with personality.
You can find some excellent templates available online that can help structure your developer value proposition, but don’t be constrained. Write many versions and try them out before settling on the one that works best.
If you struggle to identify the need for your product or service, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs has provided simple inspiration to many marketers.