Offering a product or service with utility or merit is no longer enough. It’s now necessary to create a value proposition to get people to notice and convert them to loyal customers.
Yet plenty of companies repeat similar messages about how they care for their customers and hold values such as trust and integrity. Rehashing these overly general statements does not distinguish a company from the competition.
The way a business presents itself and communicates to potential buyers matters a great deal. If your product messaging is not distinctive, clear, and cogent, there’s a good chance prospects will tune it out.
Focus on Your Value Proposition
A brand is much more than a logo, slogan, or product packaging. Brands reside in the minds of potential buyers and current customers. Take a moment to consider how your brand is portrayed and perceived. Do your offerings add value to customers’ lives? Have you properly communicated the value your products/services provide to convince prospects to become purchasers?
If your most loyal customers were to describe your company, what would they think or say about your business? Their response is your value proposition. If you’re not completely satisfied with the response, there is some work to do in terms of customer engagement.
Communicate Your Company’s Purpose
Make it crystal clear why your company is in business. Customers should not struggle to understand why your company exists. Everything — from your business name to your website, slogan, logo, product messaging, and product packaging — should reflect your purpose.
Strive to Understand Customer Needs and Pain Points
Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Zero in on those most inclined to obtain value from your offerings and cater the nuances of your marketing to show how your offerings can solve their problems or improve their life in some manner. Stay relevant to target customers, and your product messaging will be as efficient as possible.
Centre on the Value You Provide
Product messaging is all about communicating how an offering provides value. Key in on what makes your product or service unique. Give people a reason to select your product/service over other options. The value might be in the product’s features, its provided benefits, resulting outcomes, or something completely different. The point is, this value should be clearly communicated to create an indelible impression in your customers’ minds.
Figure out your unique value, communicate it in a uniform manner across all marketing mediums, and people will have a clear idea as to why your product/service is worth their hard-earned money.
Furthermore, cohesive product messaging will also benefit your team. They can tout the merits of your offerings in a uniform manner, making it that much easier to highlight the value proposition and convert prospects into paying customers.
Choose Your Message Content Carefully
The average product has a number of features and benefits that can be highlighted as selling points. However, it’s a mistake to attempt to communicate all of these merits in product messaging.
Less is almost always more when touting a product or service. Even the most complex products are sold at a higher clip when their accompanying product messaging is narrowly focused on the value proposition. Take some time to decide on the product’s most compelling features and benefits.
Don’t fall into the trap of trying to communicate everything the product provides. An avalanche of information will leave customers feeling overwhelmed, bombarded, and possibly even confused.
Perform some research to find out the product merits that customers value the most. If customers assign fairly even values to the product’s benefits, highlight those that are most unique to the product when juxtaposed against the competition’s offerings.
Have a Product Name that Resonates
The name of your product is of the utmost importance. Customers really do make purchasing decisions based on product monikers.
It’s important to create a name that makes a lasting impression, has meaning, and isn’t too risky. Consider how customers would describe your product’s value. Try to incorporate the value it provides into the name, even if it’s in a subtle way. This is a fantastic opportunity to reinforce your value proposition.
Carve out a Niche with Product Value as Well as Product Messaging
The purpose of product messaging extends beyond explaining the product’s value. It is just as important to use messaging as a means of differentiating your business and your offering from competitors.
Though your product might be quite unique and offer a number of advantages compared to those offered by other businesses in your industry, customers might not be willing to give your offering a chance.
This is precisely why your product messaging must explain the differences between your product and the others on the market. After all, if a customer has tried your competitors’ products and wasn’t disappointed, why would he bother to give your product a chance unless it is remarkably cheaper? Persuasive product messaging is necessary to convince prospects try your product.
If you can communicate the important distinctions and nuanced benefits of your offering, many prospects will transition into paying customers.
This means it is important to study the competition. Figure out where your product overlaps with those of other businesses in your niche. Pinpoint the merits and weaknesses of competing products. Determine what makes your offering different. This in-depth analysis will serve as the foundation of your talking points for effective product messaging.
In the end, the true merit of your product is not always the most important determinant of sales. The manner in which the product is promoted and its benefits are communicated is often more important than its functionality.
Product Messaging Must be Consistent with Your Brand
Customers gradually develop expectations of companies based on products and services, prior to marketing efforts and a number of other factors. Product messaging that deviates from your company’s identity has the potential to backfire. Your product messaging should reinforce the company ethos and value proposition.
Consider what existing customers expect from your brand before approving product messaging in any form. If the message is not consistent with your company’s overarching brand, ethos, and value proposition, then scrap it.
Customers desire reliability, familiarity, and consistency from brands. Attempting to make a major pivot or drastically alter the tone of your product messaging is a monumental mistake. It is possible to make a gradual pivot across a time span of several years. Yet such a change should not surprise customers. Nor should it fundamentally alter their perception and expectations of your company.
So sweat the small stuff. The tone of your product messaging and even the individual words you select to convey your value proposition make a massive impact on customer perception and purchasing behaviours.
Ashton Bishop is Australia’s first Predatory Marketer and the CEO of Step Change — an expert in pinpointing how businesses can grow by outsmarting their competitors. His niche is in strategy, where he has spent the last 14 years working internationally on some of the world’s biggest brands. He’s a business owner and serial entrepreneur — challenging, sometimes even controversial — but always focused on what gets results.