A unique value proposition (UVP) is a single sentence that clearly defines your product’s or service’s specific benefit, how it answers your buyer’s needs and what distinguishes it from the competition.
As part of a company’s brand messaging strategy, a UVP acts as a beacon statement, like a slogan, drawing customers to your marketing message amid the flood of competitors with their own propositions. A well-crafted value proposition makes your brand stand out and creates a strong connection with your target audience.
Associate Dean, College of Business and Information Technology
Relevancy refers to how well your brand addresses customer needs. Make sure your UVP speaks directly to what problem customers are trying to solve and why you are uniquely placed to help them do it. Consider the following:
“Your message should align with your target markets and customer base so that it’s relatable,” Aranyosi says. “UVPs shouldn’t measurably change over time; however, the slogans, images and language used should resonate with your customers and may need to be updated over time in accordance with changing market and societal needs.”
A unique value proposition defines product features and uses simple, easy-to-understand marketing language to answer your customers’ burning question: “What’s in it for me?”
For example, let’s say you’re selling a revolutionary new vacuum. A feature of your product might be its cyclonic suction technology. One benefit your UVP might include could be that the vacuum picks up pet hair other vacuums leave behind, leaving customers’ homes spotless and allergy-free.
Here are some ideas for highlighting customer benefits:
When it comes to defining your product’s use-value and connecting to your audience, Aranyosi shares the following:
“All successful marketing campaigns emotionally connect with customers since buying behavior is largely influenced by emotions rather than logic or objective product analysis. For example, [a popular shoe brand] supports inclusivity and the idea that everyone can be an athlete while at the same time promoting exclusive benefits of membership, such as early access to new styles/merchandise, free shipping and brand loyalty rewards. Customers can feel good about self-betterment as well as about paying a little extra to be stylish while they do it; i.e., it’s OK to reward myself a little when I’m also putting forth the effort to improve myself and society as a whole.”
The more specific and relevant a value proposition is to your ideal customer, the better it is.
The definition of value is that your solution must outweigh the energy or effort your buyers have to expend to use it. This energy could be anything from time or money to learning a new system or changing established habits.
Imagine that you sell a meal delivery subscription service that offers a value proposition based on convenience and ease of use. Customers are unlikely to be enticed, however, if it requires them to spend hours cooking the meal or frequently update their menu preferences.
Your UVP, in this scenario, should focus on:
An effective value proposition communicates a clear, easy path to reach a desired solution or outcome.
“Market testing is key to determining which product/service features resonate most with buyers. If the message is short enough, then listing multiple features is fine, but in most cases there will be specific features that stand out as most important, especially in relation to your competitors since product differentiation is still important here),” Aranyosi says.
When customers consider a product or service described in a value proposition, they may weigh the potential rewards against the risks. These risks could be financial, like wasting money on a product that doesn’t deliver on its promise. Or they could be functional, like the risk of a new software system disrupting an established workflow.
Your value proposition should assure customers that the risks are minimal. To do this, it can:
Every buying decision involves a leap of faith. Make that leap as small and safe as possible.
“Customer testimonials, loyalty programs, online communities and influencers/spokespeople are also great ways to reduce buyer fear; i.e., if others seem satisfied with the product/service, then the potential risks won’t seem so bad,” Aranyosi says.
You can develop unique ways of communicating the value by jotting down your product’s or service’s features and benefits and your customers’ needs. Then, by engaging in thoughtful discussion with team members, you can enrich and fine-tune each idea until you’ve crafted an impactful UVP.
A few brainstorming techniques include:
You can create a strong statement by tapping into the power of collaboration and ideation.
“A good rule of thumb is to never work alone without feedback. You want your UVP to resonate with the largest group of people, so it will generally go through several iterations until you’ve refined it to just the right key components that appeal to the widest audience,” Aranyosi explains. “This should also be done while keeping your target audience in mind; i.e., you’re looking for that common space between your product/service and audience that puts them both in the best possible light.”
You’ve been a customer, so you know from personal experience that when selecting a product or service, customers are looking for solutions to their problems. Therefore, you must understand your audience’s pain points and how to address them. Ask yourself questions like::
Think about what led you to create the product or service in the first place and use that to craft a value proposition that truly resonates.
It all boils down to identifying and communicating the value of your offer. Sure, features are important, but “high-tech” and “innovative” don’t mean anything if customers can’t see how those features will solve their problems. Consider the following:
If there’s no clear benefit, your value proposition will fail to generate customer interest.
Your value proposition should describe your brand’s differentiators in a context that illustrates to customers why what you’re selling is worth their time, money or attention.
For example, instead of saying “We offer the highest quality,” try something like, “Our products exceed industry standards and come with a satisfaction guarantee.” Your value proposition should clarify how what you’re selling is tailored to customers’ needs.
When your value proposition connects your product’s or service’s value to customers’ issues, you incentivize them to purchase. For example: “Our ecofriendly, reusable water bottles are leak-proof and easy to use — so you can reduce your plastic consumption and feel good about your daily hydration routine.”
That marketing statement emphasizes the practical benefits of the product and tells customers how it answers another, sometimes unspoken desire; in this case, making a positive environmental impact.
Plenty of competition exists, so you must ensure your UVP stands out. Think about things like:
Product innovation can also help you differentiate your offering. By staying on top of trends and leveraging new technologies, you can offer products or services that make writing an effective value proposition even easier.