What is a Unique Value Proposition?
A unique value proposition is a statement that describes the benefits of your products or services in order to gain interest from potential customers. Your unique value proposition should clearly differentiate you from your competitors and can be used across multiple marketing channels.
Why is a Unique Value Proposition Important?
Without a Unique Value Proposition potential customers will not be attracted to you and those that are may perceive you as similar to other products and services on the market. Your unique Value Proposition should differentiate you so you do not have to compete on price alone.
1. Examples of Unique B2BValue Propositions
|Google Adwords|| “Want to grow your business? Put your message in front of potential customers right when they’re searching for what you have to offer.” |
The “Grow your business” is the positive outcome this message is delivering.
|MacQuarie Bank|| “For business owners who want to be financially successful, we provide clear advice and plans for the future that provides you with clarity on where you are now and what you need to do to get where you want to be.“|
A clearly targeted message that refers to the outcome.
|Square||“Accept every way your customer wants to pay.”|
Simple, short and very effective.
|Gengo||“Connect to people powered translation.”|
For a relatively unkown brand you might want to say what you do on the tin.
|Gumroad||“Sell software direct to users”|
Short, snappy and very effective.
2. Unique Value Propositions vs Competitive Advantages
Whereas Unique Value Propositions are designed to convey the value of a particular product or service and why you should buy. These are often inter-changeable with tag lines whereas Competitive Advantages are a series of conditions that give the company an advantage over it’s competitors. For example:
|COMPANY||VALUE PROPOSITION||COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES|
|Coca Cola Corporation Value Proposition||Coke is It||In a highly competitive market coke needs to maintain it’s number 1 market share|
|Coca Cola Corporation Competitive Advantages||Market Share, Worldwide Distribution Network, Secret Recipe, Brand Value|
|Apple Corporation||The experience is the product||Reinforcing their position as the phone with arguably the best User Experience|
|Apple Corporation||Worldwide Distribution, Loyal Brand Advocates, Market Share, Technology Leader|
|Unbounce||Build, Publish & Test A/B Landing Pages Without IT||Targeting companies who don’t want to involve IT in Sales & Marketing|
|Unbounce||Google Search Listing, Experience, Technical Platform|
3. Value Proposition Template
- Who is your target audience? – Be specific about the types of companies and people that you are targeting
- What are these people trying to do? – What is the value or outcome they are looking for after they have successfully used your product or service?
- Without? – What aren’t they prepared to sacrifice to achieve point 2?
- Metrics? – What metrics do they use to measure this?
- YOUR NEW VALUE PROPOSITION IS – 1 + 2 + 4 – 3.
Here’s an example of how this works. In the first case to make it easy to understand we will use a common B2C example which you will have seen before:
- Who is your target audience? – Men over 50 years old.
- What are these people trying to do? – Lose Weight.
- Without? – Dieting.
- Metrics? – Ibs of fat and days.
- THE NEW VALUE PROPOSITION IS – We help men over 50 lose 15lbs of pure fat in 30 days. without dieting.
Here’s the same example for a Business 2 Business SaaS product:
- Who is your target audience? – Customer Service Directors.
- What are these people trying to do? – Cope with massive increases in Support tickets at busy times of the year such as Black Friday & Xmas when lots of people want to return goods.
- Without? – They don’t want to hire and train new staff.
- Metrics? – Number of support tickets served and period of time support tickets were open.
- THE NEW VALUE PROPOSITION IS – We help busy Customer service departments handle 10 x more support tickets and reduce open ticket times, without increasing headcount and training budgets.
4. Unique Value Proposition vs Unique Selling Proposition
Many people believe a Unique Value Proposition is the same as a Unique Value Proposition and whilst they are very similar there is a difference. The UVP goes one step past a Unique Selling Proposition and conveys the benefit or value of the USP
|UNIQUE SELLING POINT (USP)||UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION (UVP)|
|Think of this as a FEATURE of your product or service||Think of this as a BENEFIT of your product or service|
|What is it about your product or service that makes it unique?||What value does your product or service deliver to buyers?|
|What is it about your product or service that differentiates it from your competitors?||What positive outcomes will the buyer receive after buying your product or service?|
|Is the differentiator important enough to your prospects for them to pay for it?||Is the outcome important enough to your prospects for them to pay for it?|
|Is it truly, honestly and genuinely unique?||Is it truly, honestly and genuinely unique?|
Many companies use a USP and a UVP, because they are both applicable in the right circumstances. In very general terms a USP is more often used when comparing a product or service against another, whereas a UVP is used for highlighting the end value that the product or service delivers.
Finding something Unique, whether it is a Selling Point or a Value Proposition can be very difficult and open to interpretation, and in some cases both Unique Selling Points and Unique Value Propositions are not unique at all.
Many companies now use Positioning Statements rather than a USP or a UVP which forces the business to clearly define and target a niche. By doing this, they are sending out a message to the rest of the market which says we are not for you. When you are starting in business this can be counter intuitive however a Positioning Statement helps avoid the trap of trying to sell to everybody and then selling to nobody.
5. Unique Selling Proposition Examples
|M&Ms (Product USP)||“Candy Covered Chocolate” This is the Unique Selling Proposition or Feature of the product and the Unique Value Proposition or benefit is:|
“The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.“
|Domino’s Pizza (Service USP)||This example combines the Unique Selling Point and the Unique Value Proposition:|
You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less, or it’s free.
The best way to discover your own Unique Selling Point is to simply draw up a Features & Benefits comparison chart. Once you have identified any differentiators you can use the 4 questions in the table to double check.
|FEATURE||BENEFIT||FORD TRUCK||CHEVY TRUCK|
|Fuel Consumption||Lower Running Costs||20mpg||23mpg|
|Engine Size||Power||3.6L V6||3.0L V6|
|Transmission||Manual / Auto||Auto/Manual||Auto/Manual|
|Warranty||Lower Running Costs||2 Years||4 Years|
|User Ratings||Confidence in buying||Ranked # 1 for 3 years||Average Rank # 3|
Please note this table is for demonstration purposes only and the figures provided are not accurate. We have no financial connection with truck companies.
A quick glance at the table shows there are differentiators for both trucks and they could choose to develop Unique Selling Propositions around the following:
Chevy Truck – Best in class fuel consumption, and a best in class 4 year warranty.
Ford Truck – Big engine power matched by big user satisfaction.
Once the products are laid out in detail in a comparison chart it becomes much easier to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each. In addition where a unique value proposition is perceived to be weaker Sales People can turn disadvantages into advantages for example:
Ford excels in User Satisfaction and if the buyer was to challenge the Chevy Sales Rep the Rep could counter with: “We take User Satisfaction extremely seriously here at Chevy, and that’s why we now have the best in class 4 year warranty. No matter what Chevy has your back.”
6. Sales Battle Cards Worksheet
If you’re not sure how your product or service stacks up against the competition you can download a copy of our Sales Battle Card Worksheet to use as a comparison chart. Once you’ve completed it you can also use this as a Sales Tool for when Reps need quick and easy access to Competitive Information, and lastly you can get them professionally branded in your companies livery and use them as leave behinds.
Here’s a great example of professional sales Battle Card templates you can customise for your brand and create some beautiful leave behinds for your next sales meeting.
7. Recommend Reading
You can read more about and download all the FREE tools templates and guides mentioned in this article via our Sales Tools page.