How to Define Your Value Proposition

February 21, 2015 Lauren Glichrist

In 2014, Pivotal Labs hosted over 50 sessions of Product Office Hours, an hour of free advice to help entrepreneurs and founding teams get unstuck.

Before hosting a team for a working session, we ask the same question: what’s the one thing keeping you up at night? Their answer helps us frame out our time together to ensure that it is productive and drives a real solution.

Surprisingly, entrepreneurs often answer this question with another question. Here are some of the things we’ve been asked in the past few months:

  • “How do we know which customer to focus on?”
  • “How do I educate my customer about my product?”
  • “How do I encourage people to recruit their friends?”
  • “How do we repeatedly deliver ROI?”

At first glance, these seem to be very distinct challenges. We were surprised to discover, however, that each of these sessions drove to the same conclusion: the team needed to better define their value proposition. In fact, I’d say that of all the teams we’ve hosted for Product Office Hours in the past year, more than half were having a lot of trouble defining their value proposition.

A well-defined value proposition is crucial to understanding your product’s sales, marketing, growth, and retention. Over the next few weeks, I will be posting a step-by-step approach of how to define your value proposition, how to validate it with real people, and when (and how) to change it. I hope the upcoming posts will help de-mystify the process, explain how we tackle this problem at Pivotal Labs, and provide actionable steps for teams that are spinning their wheels. Here is how the series will map out:


Interested in working with us? Pivotal Labs now offers Innovation Workshops, which facilitate your team from ambiguity to clarity on strategic product decisions such as value proposition and product definition. To learn more, contact us.

About the Author

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