If you spend a lot of time around sales and marketing folks you’ve undoubtedly heard of the term “unique value proposition (UVP).” It’s essential in differentiating yourself from the competition and yet so many businesses don’t really know what it means.
How do you find and communicate yours and why do you need to?
A UVP flows directly into know, like, and trust that is essential to wooing customers. Master a UVP and you’ll get more sales because the customers you attract will be your ideal kind.
What Is a Unique Value Proposition (UVP)?
A unique value proposition is the main differentiator you use in sales and marketing. You’ll likely incorporate it in your About Us page and throughout your web copy. In fact, it should flavor all of your communications. It should be top of mind for every salesperson in your organization.
What makes your business unique seems like an easy question and yet here is where many businesses fail. They fail because they choose a UVP that everyone else is claiming too.
You don’t want this.
Stand out to attract your customers.
There are two ways to make sure your value proposition is unique. They are:
- You are actually doing something that no one else is.
Or more commonly
- You are expressing your differentiator in a new way.
If you don’t have a truly unique value proposition, you need to explain your tried and true positive in a unique way if you want it to be effective.
The Most Common Unique Value Propositions
Do you see a problem with this title? It’s an oxymoron, isn’t it? Unique shouldn’t be common. But as business owners and marketing people strive to differentiate themselves, they often fall into “mom and apple pie” type of values because they think that’s what everyone wants and loves. If you select this type of differentiator for your business, you won’t be different at all. But we’ve given you some tips on how ordinary can become extraordinary. For instance:
- Excellent customer service. Come on. Who admits they have lousy, or mediocre customer service? No one. So just about everyone and their brother uses some form of “we put the customer first” language on their website.
UVP idea: Our customers are the best ever and if they don’t feel that way, we’ll give them a box of chocolates.
- Family-owned. There are many wonderful aspects of a family-owned business but you are not the only one out there. If you want to take this approach, you need to talk about why this is important. Family-owned doesn’t solve problems or make you a better business unless you can explain why.
UVP idea: We’re a family-owned business and our name is on that door. And just like family, we’ll be there when you call.
- Good reputation. This is a matter of telling and not showing. Telling everyone on your website that you’re well-respected sounds like empty drivel. On the other hand, showing them reviews or testimonials does the same thing in a more effective, believable way.
UVP idea: Our customers are really smart. See what they have to say about us below. Did we mention they’re really smart?
- Better Business Bureau A-rated. This is a fantastic accomplishment and one that is good to note but it is not a differentiator. Most service providers strive for a high ranking and many of them have it noted on their website. Check out your competition. How many of them have the BBB or Angie’s List mentioned?
UVP idea: We are recipients of the BBB Award for Best Service 2018 but what means more to us are the smiles on customers’ faces and the referrals they give us.
- Being all things to all people. Okay, this isn’t a UVP claim but it’s one I see so often in business. Don’t forget that people on your site want to feel like you “get” them. If you’re speaking in a generic tone to appease everyone, you will never evoke that special feeling from a potential customer where they say they want to do business with you because you understand their needs. For instance, a hair stylist may be able to style everyone’s hair and some stylists are better than others. But there are a lot of good stylists out there. Because of this, most customers are a referral away from switching. If their best friend raves about their stylist and they may be persuaded to leave their own to try their friend’s. On the other hand, if they have curly hair and their stylist is an “expert” in curly hair or in straightening curly hair, they are less likely to go anywhere else because their stylist is an expert in their type of hair.
UVP idea: Don’t stop marketing to the masses just ensure you call out what you’re an expert in and your ideal customer.
How to Create the Perfect UVP
When selecting a unique value proposition, you want to use the following questions to guide your drafting process:
- Is this unique or am I positioning it in a unique way?
- Is this something the customer expects (i.e., trained staff)?
- Does the UVP solve a problem or help my ideal customer?
- Is the UVP self-explanatory or does the value behind it need to be explained?
Selecting and communicating a UVP is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Without that differentiator, your business resembles the competition. As the battle to be seen on the internet wages on, it’s essential that those who come to your page know immediately what you offer and why that’s different than your competition. If you don’t make that differentiator clear, you can be assured the person they eventually buy from did.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and WritersWeekly. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog.
Christina is an introverted writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.