Erik Messaki | April, 2023
Any product, whether digital or tangible, can be made more valuable in the eyes of users.
Q: How come some generic selling propositions or even totally ridiculous products become hot commodities?
A: The companies knew where to put the effort. They were on-target, purposeful, and methodical in their approach.
Nobody stops us from doing the same. So let’s find out exactly where to put the effort.
Product value begins with appreciating the value of the person you are offering it to. Your content addresses the user, saying, “You’re a valuable, unique, wonderful client and friend. I understand your problem. I want to help you, I can help you, and I’ve got everything you need. With my help, you will achieve more, become better, stronger, healthier, smarter, and happier. I appreciate you and care about you.”
Understanding the value of the user and caring about them is the starting point of any successful project. This is what makes any commercial offer valuable. By elevating others, we elevate ourselves.
And now to business.
There are 5 critical points of contact with the users. Each one is a unique chance to increase the value of your selling proposition.
There is a specific user response scenario. This scenario contains a number of critical points. Each of them should be used to work on the product and send the right message to the audience.
Seeing always comes first, followed by feeling, and finally thinking and decision-making.
User: Visual → Emotions → Logic → Safety = Action
The first two responses take mere seconds. The next two take longer. All of them are equally important, like the four legs of a table. The table needs to be stable, not wobbly and bow-legged. Misunderstanding the equal importance of all the 4 supports is a common mistake. Someone doesn’t want to bother with market research; someone else thinks investing in design is a waste of money; a third someone sells screws in bulk and considers the emotional factor irrelevant.
However, it takes just one weak support for the entire structure called “Value” to collapse. We must test the strength of every table-leg and reinforce those that can’t carry the load.
Working on product value follows a different order than the user response scenario. It starts with the conceptual and logical value of the proposition. It’s followed by emotional content, guarantees of quality and safety, and finally visual representation.
Marketer/Designer: Idea → Emotions → Safety → Visuals → Action
Benefitting the user is what makes the product valuable in the first place. So you must envision all the benefits and put them into words. Why should the user want to buy your product?
This means collecting evidence. What’s obvious to you is not necessarily obvious to users. Create a document listing all the benefits and advantages that the user will receive.
The list should consist of no more than 7 items. Unique benefits are like the cherry on top. All the rest can be put aside for later use. You can mention them if it makes sense in context, but don’t overload the main content. Reveal the benefits one by one.
For your list to be convincing, remember that each of us is a user. Common logic is applicable to any sales proposal.
I need this product because:
Check the answers against your product/service. This is the starting point. But we want to achieve more, don’t we?
To make the most of it, you need to:
Unique benefit is the essential feature of the product that you have identified as the biggest draw for your audience. It’s the emphasis on the feature or quality of the product that is best at solving the user’s problem.
Additional benefit is a highly effective tool. Offering additional benefits often brings spectacular results with minimal investments. Your task is to showcase them smoothly and convincingly.
Big benefits include bonuses and discounts, certificates and gifts.
Small benefits are any useful things you can come up with. Brief weather or news report, a valuable lifehack, a video lesson — or even a little detail like a calendar, a picture, an animation, or a joke. While these benefits are small, they have a profound effect on the user’s liking for the product.
Ideally, you should use both big and small benefits and bonuses (tangible and psychological).
The emotional trigger is an important and complicated point of contact between the user and the product. Most business owners love their own products, so it’s hard for them to fathom anyone not sharing that same emotion. But of course, what you feel and what your users feel are two different things.
A product can meet people’s expectations and successfully solve their problems but still remain unpopular, no matter how much money you spend promoting it. How come? The answer is simple: something crucial is missing from the marketing — namely, emotional triggers.
We want the user to admire the product, to talk about it, to recommend it to friends. This is only possible if there’s an emotional connection. We don’t want the user to be indifferent; indeed, we need them to be genuinely excited about our product.
Emotionally enhancing product value requires an in-depth understanding of your audience. What can resonate with these people? What will excite or disturb them? What will make them think about your product? Only testing can answer these questions. Once you know the answers, they need to be embedded in the content in a way that’s emotional, logical, and attractive at the same time.
There are two kinds of emo triggers: personal and social. Take a look at your project and the ideas that brand or project wants to convey. What can you use most effectively? Ideally, both types of triggers should be used.
The users’ enthusiasm for the product is based on rational notions and reinforced by emotions. Inside any emotional wrapper must be a logical core, so that once the user puts all emotion aside, they will not feel deceived. Instead, they’ll have a perfectly logical explanation for their impressions and impulses (such as buying 10 samples of your product).
A product acquires even more value if, instead of simply solving a person’s personal problem, it also helps the community solve a common problem. Social benefit adds intangible value, which can be infinitely more desirable. This value is ideological and motivational. If you can find it and use it correctly, you will become the king of sales.
The best way to generate social involvement is brand activism. People are always willing to sign up for a special mission, whether it’s colonizing Mars or rescuing animals. It involves the mind and the heart, logic and emotion. Joining a socially beneficial cause makes a person feel more important. This is an invaluable incentive. It’s also a powerful way to increase product value.
Look for ways to elevate the user in their own eyes. It’s not always easy. Not every product or service can afford to push that button. But once you realize that your product value will skyrocket, you will look for any means to do it. The guy who sells screws in bulk can increase the value of his users indirectly: through customer care, good service, technical assistance, and visual design.
Social triggers activate social networks of communication — everything that allows us to communicate with society. Stories, reviews, links, and any kind of talk about the product exponentially increase its value for the customers. This point is important and worth the expense.
Read more on brand activism: The Hottest Brand Identity Trends 2022–2023
The first thing the user sees is the design, the visual shell of your product. Make sure you create a great first impression because it will last. This is a master key to the user’s heart. Don’t miss your chance to unlock it and immediately win over the audience.
Visual design is what represents your company and the quality of your product. As far as your users know, your design is your product, the same as the trade offer itself. So you need to present a modern, functional, and attractive design. Visual design is the marketing tool that engages users emotionally, introduces the brand, and showcases its qualities and features.
Safety is another important factor that determines whether the user will like the product.
Security refers to a variety of things, from the protection of personal information to the actual safety of the product. One kind of safety is guaranteeing that the user’s personal info won’t be shared or used in a way they don’t want. But there’s also the safety that comes from trust: are the company’s claims true? If a product doesn’t live up to its claims, this causes a strong feeling of rejection. Low-quality products, poor service, and outdated design are all seen as unsafe. Safety and trust need to be tended to constantly and systematically as long as your business stays afloat.
Trust in the brand and confidence in the product's safety greatly increase its value.
Make your users feel valued and offer them a worthy and beneficial product.
You will achieve amazing results if you find a way to elevate the user in your own eyes, in their own eyes, and in the eyes of society. This is the basis of a successful business.
Ideally, it should be a permanent process, not a one-time overhaul. However, even small improvements in each of these five aspects will do wonders for your sales, audience numbers, and the popularity of your product.