Design Value Propositions Like User Stories: The 3WH Method

Value propositions are big-picture positioning statements that explain the benefit your product provides customers. They can also help your marketing team understand what resonates with your target audience. But how do you document and share these value propositions? My suggestion: Take a page from the agile playbook and apply user stories.

User stories are used in agile, lean startup and scrum for software development and normally follow this template:

As a <role>, I want <goal/desire> so that <benefit>.

Product development teams complete this template to clarify the end user, the desired objective and the benefit to build. The role is the who, the goal is the what and the benefit is the why. By understanding the customer’s fundamental motivations, developers can ensure they are serving customer needs and delivering satisfaction.

This same format can also be used to write value propositions that provide clear messaging around customer needs to sales and marketing. For that, I use the 3WH methodology, which incorporates <who>, <why>, <what> and <how>. Done early in the process, it can help guide the entire project.

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