How Articulating Your School's Value Proposition Will Improve Positioning & Messaging

In last week’s blog post, we uncovered why many universities struggle to differentiate their brand and often confuse distinctives as differentiators. This week, we're building on that by looking at the differences between value propositions, messaging, and positioning – and their relationship between one another.

Value Proposition

A value proposition states the promised benefit that your school will provide students. A value proposition answers questions such as:

  • What value-added need does your school fulfill?
  • What do your audiences “gain” from your school?
  • What unique benefits and advantages does your school provide?

“A collection of quality value statements helps create a strong value proposition.”

- Jim Allen


Positioning is the narrowing of your value proposition in respect to your specific target audience and personas – who your value proposition is relevant for. Where your value proposition is relatively broad, your positioning is the targeted version of your value proposition. Your positioning should…

  • Be tailored to your target audience and specific personas;
  • Further and more deeply differentiate your brand from competitors;
  • Highlight the benefits that your personas find the most value and interest in.


Your messaging is where it all comes together. Messaging is the language you use to communicate your school’s value proposition. Once you have properly positioned your value proposition, you can craft your message.

Think of a wrapped present. The box containing the present is your value proposition, it holds the gift. Your positioning is the festive wrapping paper that reflects the occasion and the person you're giving the gift to. The bow and name tag are your messaging, delivering the entire package to the specific, intended audience.

All of this comes down to having a strong foundation, and articulating and knowing your value proposition. Be sure about what distinctives your school possesses, and what differentiators allow you to stand out among the crowd. 

Stay tuned for more content on Value Propositions, Positioning, and Messaging in the upcoming weeks!

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