How many times have you searched for a product online/offline to buy, and got a million or more options back? It’s mind-boggling. How on earth will you choose one brand’s product over another? The answer lies in your unique value proposition (UVP), and that’s what we shall talk about here: how to find it, how to build it.
That can seem tricky at face value. There are two reasons for that.
Firstly, the business world faces a lot more competition these days. You need to plan for that. It’s not bricks and mortar versus bricks and mortar any more. There are start-ups with no building overheads. There are direct-to-consumer suppliers with no middle people to pay. And there are big businesses with finance to secure the most effective digitalization and analytics processes. To compete on a cost basis, you have to adjust quickly.
Secondly, most problems have a solution already (try searching online for any problem to prove that point!). And since we can’t invent another problem until it turns up organically, you end up having to endlessly innovate around the already existing solutions that you sell.
However, that can be good. One of these (even small) innovations may be just what uniquely identifies your product or service from that of your competitors!
And that’s how your purchasers choose you. They “get” your solution to their problem and you’re the only one providing it how they want it.
So What Exactly is a Unique Value Proposition?
It’s a marketing strategy used to let your customers know how your brand or products will benefit them or meet their needs more than those of your competitors. In essence, it’s simply a tool you use to communicate the special value to the customer of the solution you’re selling.
If you think “copywriting,” you’ll realize that the writer of those mail shots dangles under your nose something that wafts the scent of success! You want to own it, you want that particular solution to your pain point.
If they’re good copywriters, they will not detail the features of the offer, only its benefits to you. The UVP is not a unique selling point but a unique value offering targeted at you as a customer!
Backward deduction proves that this “lure” is actually their unique value proposition.
The bad news is very few businesses have their UVP lined up ready to use effectively. Some don’t even have one.
Without one, however, it becomes difficult to reach your target customers and even harder to sell your products/services into the already saturated market we described.
In this blog, we therefore discuss how you can build your unique value proposition, without using fancy tools, step by step. We deep dive into tips and tricks to make you stand out from the competition. Let’s start!
So we’ve established that a value proposition highlights reasons why your target customers should choose your products and services.
Consider this example of a perfect UVP statement. Uber: “The smartest way to get around.” This statement is:
- Clear – it captures the reader’s attention and is easy to understand
- Concise – it’s not too long (preferably one short sentence)
- Unique – it’s difficult to copy or imitate
As you go about building your value proposition, it’s important to remember that it’s not:
- A catchphrase or slogan
- A set of technical jargon words
- An elevator speech (to create interest in your business)
These all have their place but they’re not what we’re looking for here. So, first we’ll find your UVP, then we’ll build it.
How Do You Find Your Unique Value Proposition?
The following steps will help you find your own unique value for what you’re offering. When finding that unique value, remember it always helps to put yourself in the mind of the consumer.
1 Identify Your Ideal Customer
Your customer is the reason why you are creating a value proposition. Therefore, it’s important to define and know your target ideal customer.
You can do this by creating a buyer persona profile for each of the ideal customer segments you’re targeting with your product. These are needed to create a different UVP for each persona.
For example, a furniture company could sell their furniture both to personal homes and to hotels. An individual buying one mattress to fit their personal specifications has different needs from a hotel chain buying furniture in bulk that must appeal to all their customers. Therefore, having a different UVP for each customer you’re targeting is necessary.
2 Identify Your Product’s Benefits and Value
Once you’ve identified your ideal customers, it’s time to think about the unique value your business provides through your products and solutions.
- List out all the ways your product benefits your target customer.
- Next, determine the value the customers will perceive they’re getting from those benefits.
- Lastly, once you find your unique value, use it to identify all the ways that your product is different from the competition.
3 Find Out Your Competitors’ UVPs
The very last thing you’d want is to create a UVP that’s not actually unique to your business! So do a deep SWOT analysis of your competitors to find out their unique value proposition and how they’re communicating it to their customers. This will help you choose differently and stand out from the crowded business competition.
Building Your Unique Value Proposition.
Having discovered the unique value of your business, your product, or your service to your targeted customers, it’s time to build your UV proposition statement using the components of the UVP.
The key for a successful UVP is to make it, well, unique – which means “like no other.” Once you’ve found your unique value, take some time to think about how it sets you apart from other businesses who offer the same products and solutions as yours within the industry.
Remember your unique values do not have to come only from your product. They can also be about your customer’s buying journey, their experience, the time they’ll save, etc.
For example, in a world with so many smartphones to choose from, Apple’s iPhones still emerge as the people’s favorite because Apple’s UVP emphasizes the experience you get from their products.
This is what your customers are getting by buying what you’re offering. Therefore, the value you offer must be something your customer is willing to pay for, at perhaps a higher price – and worth it for both parties.
The great thing about value is that it can be expressed in different ways such as in money terms, or in, for instance, social or environmental terms. To find out if you have the perfect value that your customer is willing to pay for, you must first consider your target customer’s pain points.
One way to do this is by researching what your target customers say about the problem you’re solving, their complaints about other products, the negative reviews and comments they leave on your competitors’ websites or social media, for example.
All these will give you a good idea about your customer’s pains and passions. What they value at this moment in time. You can develop these into your unique value proposition.
The last stage involves you crafting a statement that expresses how your products and services uniquely benefit your customers and why they should choose you. It’s important to craft variations of this statement to target different channels that this statement can be used in and how it might be used there. (See types of UVP below.)
Important Guidelines to Follow When Crafting Your UVP
There are many possible guidelines, but some of these will include the need to:
- Focus on clarity and specificity. Use straightforward, specific, and simple language to help your buyers easily understand the message you’re trying to communicate. Think about your customer’s feelings and passion, and use words that aim to evoke those feelings when they see/read your value proposition statement and connect with your brand.
- Test it with an unbiased group. Once you’ve crafted your statement, before releasing it to the public, make sure you’ve tested it with a group of unbiased people who’re unfamiliar with your product. Have them read your UVP. Collect their feedback and their impressions about how well they understood the three components of UVP (clarity, conciseness, uniqueness). Use the feedback to improve things where needed.
- Run A/B tests. This is another way of testing your UVP to determine its effectiveness in the market. To do this, you compare two different versions of your value propositions on two web pages to see which one converts better. You can do this from email shots too. These tests allow room for change before it’s scaled up.
- Refrain from including hyperbole. Make sure what’s in your proposition is something that you can deliver one hundred percent. If your customers lose trust in your brand, that’s it (as far as they’re concerned). They move on.
- Eliminate over-informing. If you give too much information, your unique value will not be so easily noticed by your target customer. Failure to communicate your unique value quickly means failing to connect with your target customers. Their attention span has dwindled in recent years!
4 Types of Value Propositions
Yes, there really are different types of value propositions that you should consider. This applies especially when you’re planning to have an online store or other digital presence.
1 Your company value proposition
There’s a difference between a brand and the products a brand is offering. Your brand values and its mission are broad ones. They aim to capture the attention of the majority, bringing awareness of what your company stands for, what it does best, and why people should choose you. Hence, it makes sense to have a different value proposition for each product you offer.
For example, at Waterways, our unique brand value is “Premium water dispensers.” Note: “premium!” Our brand is about premium products first and foremost. That applies to everything we do.
2 Your home page value proposition
That’s the statement that appears on your brand’s website homepage. It appears large on the home page. For us, it’s “Quality construction built to last.” “Built to last” is a value we’re offering the customer who doesn’t want to replace their dispensers every year!
It can be easy to confuse this one with the company’s broad value proposition. Both are important, though.
3 Your category value propositions
For each of the categories in your website and online store, you create a value proposition. This is important to have, because, for each search result on google or any other search engine, what’s returned to the user is a category page with specific results.
So, make sure your business is utilizing these pages with a clear and simple value statement to help buyers choose your product over others.
4 Your product value proposition
This is a value statement that goes on each product page. For every product that you offer, create a simple value statement to influence the buying journey of the customer who lands there. The scent you dangle under their noses!
And it’s there for a reason. Up top, we mentioned creating different buyer personas for each customer segment. Now you also create a value statement for each product because each product targets a different customer segment. So work out the particular product’s value to them and put it on the product page, loud and clear.
What’s the Impact of Having a Unique Value Proposition?
- They’re great for sales conversions during marketing. The conversion happens when you properly differentiate from your competitors with a unique value that can be measured by your target customers, according to what they value most and are willing to pay for.
- It improves customer understanding and engagement. The simple, clear, and powerful proposition helps your customers truly understand the value of your company’s products and services. This improves customer engagement with your brand because you both share the same values that benefit them.
- It attracts the right customers. It’s important for every business to realize they can’t reach every customer out there. So building a value proposition guides you to focus on your ideal customers and how you can attract them to buy your products and services.
We Can Help You Build Your Unique Value Proposition
Your value proposition has enormous power to engage your audience. If you’re having difficulty developing your various UVPs, here at Waterways we have experts who can help you do just that. Contact us today and let’s talk Unique Value Propositions!