For my day job, I teach business communication courses and my students recently learned about value proposition, a term to describe the value a company offers to customers in return for their patronage. Starbucks, for instance, offers more than coffee; their stores are gathering spaces — with comfortable seating and cheerful music — for community building. Costco’s value proposition, of course, is competitive prices for bulk purchases (and $1.99 hot dogs at their food court).
Furthermore, value proposition is a company’s organized approach to solve problems for their customers. Amazon offers convenient online shopping (therefore solving the problem of not needing to step outside and to avoid crowds). Gyms, if marketed carefully, aid customers with their wellness goals. Every successful company solves problems for their customers.
Similarly, if artists managed their craft like CEOs, what's their value proposition? What solutions does art (in any medium) offer to others?
What's My Value?
In recent months I’ve been working on refining who I am as a writer. At my core, I write about indigenous empowerment, and most of my creative nonfiction responds to this. But how can I push my value proposition further, especially for my main customer aka readers?
Value Proposition Design is a way to visualize what value you bring to your customers. Although it's designed for companies, no one knows how to hustle a product more than artists. As you view the video, keep in mind that your art solves problems for your customers. The question is how?
Strong Value Proposition
A visual artist with strong value proposition is Steven Paul Judd. He’s indigenous, hip, and creative. His work is also indigenous, hip, and creative. The problem he solves for his customers is by offering modern perspectives on indigenousness. And his product just happens to be apparel, prints, and other materials.
While I'm still working on strengthening my value proposition, (again, the organized approach of solving the problems for customers), I discovered this free PDF of a Value Proposition Canvas to start with.
Use Your Value Proposition For:
Fellowship and Residency Applications
Building an Artist Brand
Subscribe to the monthly Wellness-ish-ness newsletter.