What’s a Value Proposition?

An Underdog Accelerator Guide for Founders

A clearly defined value proposition articulates your business's unique value and sets you apart in a competitive marketplace.
Our simple-to-follow format addresses each of the four core elements of any successful business, namely the who, what, how and why:
  • [Audience]: The who: who you service.
  • [Desired Result]: The what: what problem you help them to address.
  • [Solution]: The how: how you help them address the problem.
  • [Experience/Track Record]: The why: why they can trust you to help them address the problem.
A good value proposition can take months to develop, iterating on feedback from the market, advisors and peers.

What’s the Importance of a Value Proposition?

  • Clarity of Purpose: Offers a lucid understanding of your business's offerings and their importance.
  • Differentiation: Sets your product or service apart from the competition.
  • Engagement with Target Audience: Addresses the specific needs or challenges of your audience directly.
  • Guidance for Marketing and Sales: Lays the groundwork for all marketing and sales activities.

The Underdog Value Proposition Format 

"We help [Audience] achieve [Desired Result] by [Solution] using [Experience/Track Record]."

Breaking Down the Format

- [Audience]: Identify your target customer, understanding their traits and needs.

- [Desired Result]: Outline the benefits or outcomes that your customers seek.

- [Solution]: Describe how your product or service uniquely meets these needs.

- [Experience/Track Record]: Highlight your expertise or past successes that enhance your solution's credibility.

Developing Your Value Proposition.

Discovering Your Audience
  • Conduct thorough market research.
  • Identify their main challenges and goals.
Define the Desired Result
  • Summarise the primary outcomes your audience desires.
  • Prioritise from the customer's perspective.
Articulate Your Solution
  • Clearly convey how your offering resolves the problem or fulfils the need.
  • Emphasise what sets your solution apart.
Leverage Experience/Track Record
  • Showcase your expertise and previous achievements.
  • Relate this experience to the effectiveness of your solution.

All of these steps and more are covered
during our SPARK and PROVE Programmes

Less is More
Your value proposition should be clear and concise. Think of it as an elevator pitch for your startup.

You may only have 20 seconds to deliver it. 

Over time you should aim to refine your value proposition to 35 words or fewer. 
Examples of Effective Value Propositions

Tech Startup:

"We help UK-based e-commerce businesses turning over £1-10m a year achieve streamlined operations through our AI-driven inventory management system, underpinned by a decade of senior logistics and operations experience."

Healthcare Product: 
"We help type 1 diabetics better manage their blood vitals with our personalised health tracking device, developed in partnership with industry-leading haematology professionals."

Underdog Accelerator: 
"We help people with an idea to build revenue-generating businesses via a launch framework tested with hundreds of first-time founders and by matching them with an expert mentor to provide specific guidance and accountability."

Crafting and continually refining a compelling value proposition is vital for any new venture.The ideation programme at Underdog is designed to support you in this task, ensuring that your value proposition resonates deeply with your target audience. 
How to Refine Your Value Proposition
You will be continually refining your value proposition for the first few months when launching your startup. While the measure of a great value proposition lies in its ability to attract customers, the first person you need to convince with it is yourself.
To kickstart this process in under an hour:
  1. Use the template above to draft three potential versions of your value proposition, ensuring they are as concise and specific as possible.
  2. Record yourself speaking conversationally (in the same way you might casually pitch the idea to someone in an elevator) in a single take.Watch the recordings objectively.
  3. Assess if you would genuinely buy into the value proposition presented. Was the message clear and did it speak to you as a customer? How confident are you that the solution will work? Are there any lingering questions?
  4. Finally, refine both the value proposition and the video until you feel content. Avoid the temptation to expand a one-sentence value proposition into a lengthy description. Remember, brevity is key.
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