Section 1: Understanding your customer and the market
Section 2: Your vegan marketing toolbox
Section 3: Creating and carrying out your marketing plan

Linking your value proposition to someone’s motivation.

Now you understand value propositions, this is where you can start apply them to your own customer profiles.  Hold each customer profile against your product and ask what is the main ‘value’ this person wants from it?  Let’s look at another example to get you started: imagine you sell vegan fudge and when you created your character sheets you identified two main customers:

  1. Vegans buying your fudge for themselves
  2. Non-vegans buying your fudge for a vegan friend or family member

How will your message, or your value proposition, change for each of these?

For the non-vegan you need to tell them that your ingredients have been audited so that when their vegan-savvy friend opens it they are not going to throw it back at you because it’s got honey in.  You are going to tell them that the selection box is the best option for their vegan friend because not only does it have all the best-selling flavours in one box, but if they love a particular flavour the most it also comes with a money-off voucher for them to re-order a single flavour.  You can tell them that their vegan friend will love them all the more because 10% of your profit goes to support your local animal rescue centre.  In fact, information about the rescue centre is printed on a handy card that you put in the box so that your friend will understand where the money goes.

Now, the eagle-eyed amongst you will be saying ‘Hang on there, these are all the same things that the vegan buying for themselves will also want to hear!’ and you’re right.  The message to the vegan is the same as the non-vegan buying for a friend.  The thing you are selling doesn’t have to be different – how you present that message does.  What is motivating the non-vegan buying for their friend?  They want to be seen as a good friend so they are going out of their comfort zone to try and find something they know nothing about and is easy to mess up.  They want to prove they have gone out of the way to understand what the friend can and can’t have.  They are terrified of getting it wrong and it won’t take much for them to give up and just buy a bunch of flowers instead.  So, when you are presenting your ‘value’ to this customer, that is how you need to frame it: we will make sure your friend loves you and the present you have bought them; we have made a page just for you on our website; we have a guide for you to explain what you should buy your vegan friend; we have put a package together talking to you as a non-vegan buying for a vegan friend.  It doesn’t matter that this contains all the same information that you would present to someone who is vegan themselves; you have made a separate value proposition that makes that particular type of customer feel you are talking directly to them.  You have made a connection.

Knowing someone’s pain points is really key when developing the value proposition for your product.  Identifying what problem you solve for someone means you can lead with that problem when talking to them.  Keep going back to your customer profiles, keep asking what problem they are trying to solve, keep understanding why they are spending money with you and make that the heart of your message to that person.  Are you getting someone fit or are you giving a person the confidence they have always struggled with?  Are you giving someone a cool t-shirt or are you giving someone a badge they can wear to help their family accept they now identify as vegan?  Are you selling a meal plan or are you giving someone an extra hour every day when they don’t need to think about what they are going to make?  Are you asking for a donation or are you giving someone a way to protect animals when they don’t have the confidence to get involved in direct action yet?  What is the value they are actually getting from your product?

Return to your customer profiles and write down your value proposition for each – what is it that they are ACTUALLY buying.  It might be that there’s one main value proposition, or there might be two or three.  This is a really useful tool to have, because whenever you are creating a leaflet, a new website, a written article or a video, you will be asking yourself which of your profiles you are creating it for.  For example, if you are creating a web page specifically aimed at ‘Stressed Erica’ you can look back at your value propositions and the messages she is going to connect with – and make sure you include them on that page.

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