Up Your Game With Core Value Messages

Having a powerful message can supercharge your business’ marketing and really bring you to the next level. The question is though, how do you craft a message that really stands out in your market?

What I do is work with clients to create these types of messages which I have been calling “Core Value Messages”. Core Value Messages are similar in concept to value propositions but everyone has their own ideas of what that means these days so I wanted to differentiate my ideas from the pack.

When I talk about a CVM I’m talking about something very specific. When most businesses talk about their value proposition it’s usually only used in their internal messaging. They typically have one core idea that they build the business around.

With a CVM you’re actually creating a message that is built off 3 sub ideas that come together to have the biggest impact on your target customers buying decision.

Think of it as putting your best foot forward “value-wise” in order to win over your customers from any competitors. Getting clear on your CVM helps you figure out what you need to communicate with your marketing so you can then focus on how you go about communicating it.

I want to discuss some aspects of my process that you can apply to your business right away.


How To List Your Benefits

Every copywriting course out there teaches how to sell benefits over features. This isn’t bad advice! In fact, this is great advice, but many courses tend to teach marketers to list out every single possible benefit without thinking deeper. It comes off as inauthentic.

Even if a product really is that good and has no flaws, no one is going to believe you. You’ll sound like a cheap used car salesman who’s trying to say anything to make a buck.

In my CVM process you want to list everything out, but then you want to optimize the benefits you discuss for what’s most important to your target customer.

If you can point out the 3 most desirable benefits, specific to them, right at the top, you’ll hook them. Everything else from there is much more likely to be glossed over. If you go the typical route and throw out every benefit under the sun it won’t have as strong an appeal.

Making Comparisons

For every service or product being sold out there, there exists alternative options. There are typically multiple pizza shops in one town, let alone entirely different types of restaurants your customer could choose from.

In my process you need to consider what your customers alternatives are and what would be their motivating factors for choosing them over you.

For example, perhaps your customers could hire one extra person or purchase automation software to cover the task your software can handle instead. You want to be able to show how your business will actually provide more value to them than any alternatives they think of.

It can be helpful to go and directly ask members of your market what they think about your alternatives and record their feedback, but often people can’t (or won’t) answer honestly, so don’t rely on their answers blindly.

Putting It All Together

Gather all your data together and see what aspects of your business are the most unique and appealing to your market. These are the qualities that you want to center your marketing around.

Combine your benefits with your differentiators into 3 points. Each point can be just a few words, but usually you need a short paragraph for each point.

Action Steps

  1. Consider your target customers when listing out your business’s benefits, pick the top 3 that will be most relevant to them as a group.
  2. List out your competitors who are within your category as well as the alternative solutions to your category. Write out what makes you better than these options.
  3. Combine your benefits and differentiators into a few sentences that are the most appealing to your market.

Bonus: Bring your team members into the process to get their feedback and let them drill you on your answers.

Result You Will Achieve

The beginning steps to shaping a core value message that will crystalize your marketing messages. In other words, you’ll be a lot closer to knowing what to say with your marketing, so it makes people want to buy.

Mentor: Peter Sandeen

Value proposition expert of Sandeen Oy. More than half of Peter’s clients are marketing experts.

This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.