Think of the last time you were in a store and were faced with multiple varieties of the same thing? What made you pick one over the others? Price? Design or color? Position on the shelf? Brand recognition or loyalty? Freshness? List of ingredients? While this may be a simple analogy, the point is that knowing what attracts and is important to your customer makes the difference between a sale and being passed over. It all hinges on your Unique Value Proposition.
A Unique Value Proposition (UVP), sometimes called a Unique Selling Proposition (USP), is a short, precise statement that conveys or explains the benefits of your product or service.
Your UVP answers questions in your customers’ minds like:
- Why is your product or service better?
- What makes your product or service different?
- Why should I buy or use your product or service?
- How does it solve my “problem”?
How to come up with your UVP
As the name suggests, a UVP has to be something unique that sets you apart from the competition. Whatever your product or service, you should present it in such a way that it stands out among all the rest, among all other competitors, and appeals the most to your customers.
Identify your target market
One of the main functions of your UVP is to help you connect deeply with your target market. This level of connection can only be achieved if you know exactly who your target market is. A few of the questions to help you figure this out are:
- Who is (and isn’t) buying my product or service?
- Why are they buying (or not buying) my product or service?
- What do people like about my product or service?
- What don’t people like about my product or service?
Spending the time to determine who your target market is is always an effective and worthwhile endeavor. Start with what you know by focusing on the individuals who are already your customers rather than assuming everyone can be a customer. Once you understand the specific traits and needs of your target audience, you can present your product or service to them in a more effective way.
Define what makes you different
One of the constants you will always have as you do business are competitors. It does not matter what business you engage in, sooner or later there will be someone else providing the same solution. To stay ahead of them, or to carve out your own unique path, study your competitors. Know them well enough to be able to identify a gap or difference in their product or service offering that you are uniquely positioned or qualified to fill. Your guiding questions around this can be:
- What do my competitors offer the customer?
- What makes my competitor’s product or service good?
- What can I do differently?
- Why should customers buy from me and not my competitor?
You may even find that your competitor’s product or service is better in some way than yours. No one is a superstar in all ways, to everyone. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have raving fans! What sets you apart? What makes you a superstar? Make that your launchpad when presenting your product or service and your business will be successful and sustainable.
Describe the pain point that your product or service solves
Once you know the unique traits about your customers, you can then capitalize on the unique problem that your product or service solves. It is not enough to say that you are making their lives easier, you need to be specific. Ask yourself questions like:
- What problem is your product or service solving?
- Who do you think will benefit most from your product or service?
Your product or service may be addressing more than one problem or pain point for your customer. Whichever the case, your Unique Value Proposition should be centered around these pain points.
One great way to do this is to spin the pain point on its head. Describe the destination of where you’re taking them in words that resonate and inspire, a destination or journey that showcases the opposite of whatever paint point they have. The goal is to help your audience to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that their problem(s) will be solved completely when they use your product or service.
Consider what you stand for as a company
When presenting your Unique Value Proposition to your customers, you are not just talking about what you can solve in your customers’ lives, you are also making a promise based on who you are as a brand. Your UVP should answer questions like:
- What does my company stand for?
- What are my company’s vision and mission?
- Who are we as a company?
- What do we want to be associated with as a company?
- How do we want to be remembered by our customers?
Make your UVP shine
Your Unique Value Proposition is an outward-looking strategy that clearly defines the specific value your business creates for your customers. It should fully capture who you are as a company, what problem you can solve for your customers, and why you are different from (better than) your competitors. If your business has more than one target market, you may want a separate UVP that speaks directly to each.
Your brand story should be told clearly in the few words that form your Unique Value Proposition.
Developing your UVP(s) is a process. You need to dig deep to get the messaging right. You need to get to something that will continue to resonate with your customers long after “you have spoken”. If it doesn’t feel right, or it isn’t inspiring your target audience to purchase, keep polishing… and polishing!
It may feel like a long bumpy road to get there, but when you hit the “sweet spot”, you’ll stand out from your competitors, you’ll seemingly effortlessly attract high-quality customers who love and promote your business and brand, and your business will soar to new heights. Who doesn’t want that?
Do you have a UVP? We’d love it if you shared – just drop us an email!
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