Why should your prospects buy from you? Why should they bother learning more about your brand and reading about your collections? Most likely, because your brand has a unique value proposition. In this article, we share two techniques and a simple step-by-step guide to create a Unique Value Proposition for your brand.
What does a Unique Value Proposition mean to your business?
A Unique Value Proposition (UVP), also known as a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) or Unique Selling Point (USP), is a clear statement that describes the benefits of a product or brand.
A good and unique Value Proposition:
- Is a statement that answers the ‘why’ someone should do business with you, buy your product or use a service you provide.
- Argues how your brand is different and better from others and how you are better equipped to meet your customers’ needs.
- Gives you an advantage over your competitors and for many customers it is the first thing they find out about your brand.
• Is your Unique Value Proposition engaging enough?
Therefore, even before you can begin to sell your product or service to anyone else, you have to sell them to yourself – you are probably your best customer!
First, you need to find this unique aspect that will make your offer special in the eyes of consumers.
It can be your product characteristics, distribution, location or promotional strategy.
To quote just a few famous Unique Value Propositions, Charles Revson, founder of Revlon, always used to say he “sold hope, not makeup”, VOLVO cars are designed for life (and safety) and DeBeers promise eternal love with the “A diamond is forever” slogan.
• The Unique Value Proposition, as old as advertising.
The concept of Unique Value Proposition goes back to the 1940s and the beginning of the golden age of US advertising. The term itself was coined by Rosser Reeves (of Ted Bates & Company advertising agency), an ad maverick who invented the TV commercial and fathered one of the best advertising slogans of all times “M&M’s melt in the mouth, not in your hands”.
In his book*, the first best seller on advertising, Reeves claimed that the real purpose of advertising was to sell the product “and the Unique Value Proposition (UVP) was the best strategic tool to make an engaging proposition to consumers. In other words, a clear Unique Value Proposition helps consumers to understand differences – even non-existent differences” between your business and the rest of the market.**
How to create an attractive Unique Value Proposition? Your step-by-step guide to a perfect UVP.
Now that we know the importance of Unique Value Proposition for a business, I will guide you through two different techniques to formulate an attractive UVP for your product or service.
• First technique: a four-step process
The first technique is a four-step journey that will lead you to extracting your unique characteristics and translating them into an enticing Unique Value Proposition (UVP).
👉 Step #1: Identify all the benefits your product offers.
Make a list of all the incredible features of your product or service, if possible, insisting on the details that make it different from anything else available on the market.
Explain where and how it is made as well as how it is packaged. Formulating an attractive UVP is a great opportunity to explain what your brand stands for. Tell your story. Explain why your brand is different and authentic. You may refer to our article “What makes a brand authentic” for more information.
👉 Step #2: Describe what makes these benefits valuable for your customers
Do not fall into a common trap by focusing on simply listing features of your product or service (however wonderful they may be). Take your explanation a step further and focus on how all these properties can improve your customers’ lives.
The difference is not to be neglected. In the first case, you enumerate what your product or service does, in the second you state how its function can become an advantage for your clients!
In essence, your customers will be expecting from you a clear answer to the question “What’s in it for me?” A simple question that is never far from a customer’s mind. If you answer it correctly, it will guide your marketing strategies.
👉 Step #3: Identify your customer’s main problem
While formulating your Unique Value Proposition, you will also need to explain how your product resolves a pain point for your potential customers. Is it simpler to use in which case it can be used by any non-tech savvy? Is it quicker and will it save the customer’s precious time? Will it make your customer feel less tired?
👉 Step #4: Connect this value to your buyer’s problem and differentiate yourself as the preferred provider of this value.
It is time to connect the dots. State clearly how the product or service you are offering will address the issue you had identified within your target customer group.
Wrap up your UVP and nail it! It does not need to be long, it has to be efficient. In some cases, the UVP can become your tagline for your brand.
• Second technique: Value Proposition Canvas
The second technique I wanted to share with you is called Value Proposition Canvas, developed by Peter J. Thomson.
Value Proposition Canvas originates from a business canvas (Business Model Canvas – read “Business model canvas: a tool to optimize your business plan“. It is a shortened business plan designed to create value in your business by breaking it down to essential components.
Value Proposition Canvas is divided into two parts: product or service value map (square) and customer profile (circle). Each part consists of 3 sections that describe specific features of a customer or a product.
Customer segment describes the motivation to buy a product, the desires, needs and blockages. It explains why a customer needs your product or gives you an idea what prevents your customers from buying it.
The product section lists the features of the product or service, describes pain relievers or benefits and the experience the customer will be able to get by buying into your offer.
Correctly mapped, the Value proposition Canvas will lead you to the place where your product intersects with your customer’s desires and you will be able to formulate your Unique Value Proposition (UVP).
Source: Peter Thomson
• UBER or how to formulate a perfect Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
To illustrate my words, I wanted to discuss with you the “Tap the App, get the Ride”, short and to the point UBER Unique Value Proposition, considered to be one of the best recent UVPs.
With this simple statement “Tap the App, get the Ride” UBER points to everything that is so unpleasant about getting a cab ride: searching for a taxi, phone calls to disinterested dispatchers, an unpredictably long waiting period, explaining of the journey ride to the taxi driver, fumbling with change and my list is non-exhaustive.
But with one short claim, UBER UVP excellently conveys the simplicity and ease that makes their service such an terrific alternative:
- One tap and a car comes directly to you
- The waiting period is clearly indicated
- Your driver knows exactly where to go
- The payment is completely cashless
Each of the stated value points lead to a clear benefit that a customer gets from riding UBER. Save time and pain, just a fast, efficient way to get you to your destination.
Finally, the Unique Value Proposition (UVP) is reinforced by the aspirational messaging at the top of the Uber homepage, which states that “Your day belongs to you.”
To be efficient your UVP has to:
- Be concise and easy to understand
- Define what you do
- Make it easy for someone to find you in an online search
- Explain how your product resolves a pain point for your potential customer
- Be displayed prominently on your website and in any form of your communication with customers
A Unique Value Proposition tells prospects and clients why they should buy from you rather than from your competitor and makes the benefits of your products or services crystal clear from the outset.
*Rosser Reeves “The Reality in Advertising”
** “Unique Selling Proposition (USP)”. Entrepreneur Europe. Retrieved 2020-03-29. Successful business ownership is not about having a unique product or service; it’s about making your product stand out–even in a market filled with similar items.