A unique value proposition is a concise, compelling statement that conveys what makes your business different. And, if you want your business to appeal to its target audience in a way that showcases what you do, how you do it, and why your customers should choose you over a competitor, well… a UVP is a must.
But what is a unique value proposition, and why does it matter? How do you find it, how do you write it, where do you put it, and which brands offer the best examples of a killer UVP in practice?
We’ll cover all this and more, below. So read on for our unique take on the UVP – and how it can drive sales, and add a new layer of meaning and depth to your business.
At its core, a unique value proposition (UVP) tells its reader what benefits you offer your customers.
It’s not a tagline, a slogan, a mission, a vision, a positioning statement, or a distillation of your brand’s essence. But it shares strands of DNA with all of them.
Why should someone choose your business over the myriad others out there? How will your product or service meet their needs, fulfill their goals, and combat their pain points? What unique value will you create for your customers – and which slice of the market does your business cater to?
A UVP should aim to answer all these questions. So why does it matter?
Your business’ unique value proposition is important for several reasons.
A UVP Boosts Your Sales and Marketing Efforts
Firstly, a unique value proposition is a powerful tool which your business can wield for sales and marketing purposes.
You can showcase it on social media, in your content – such as blogs and videos – and throughout your email marketing. You can even place it on your product packaging, so it’s one of the first things your customer sees when they receive their order.
A UVP Helps You Work With More of the Right Customers
Secondly, a UVP helps you attract your ideal customer. Few businesses, after all, like working with the wrong customers – those who don’t share their values, are unsuited to their products or services, or are simply a pain to do business with.
When you work with these customers, it inevitably ends up in poor reviews, returns, and more than a few headaches.
On the other side of the coin is your ideal customer – the kind your UVP can help you draw in. This customer is a manifestation of your ideal demographic: the kind of buyer your business was born to sell to.
When you’re able to articulate who this ideal customer is well, through a UVP, you’ll end up with more of them – plus more good reviews, completed purchases, and satisfied customers to boot.
A UVP Sets Your Brand Apart
Thirdly, a UVP helps you differentiate your business – be it your product, services, target market, or brand ethos and personality – from the competition.
After all, there’s almost always going to be another business operating in a similar niche or industry as yours. So without a strong UVP that states what makes your business special – and why a customer should pick you over the wannabes – it’ll be tough to set your brand apart from the gaggle of competitors.
Plus, differentiating your brand from your rivals is important not only for connecting with your clients, but with your employees, too. When your staff have a crystal clear idea of what sets you apart, they’ll be better able to articulate this to clients, the public, and prospective employees in turn – and sell your business’ point of difference to everyone they speak to.
First and foremost, your UVP shouldn’t be hidden away where no one can read it. It’s not small print or legal mumbo jumbo – it’s a decisive statement of intent and identity. So it needs to be visible!
Your UVP should appear:
- Throughout your social media channels – especially your business’ bios. Your UVP should also form a key foundation of your social media strategy.
- Everywhere you publish content – especially your blog, integrated as key messaging into your articles and guides.
- In your sales presentations, both external and internal – they’re a great way to contextualize the presentation’s content and goals within your corporate narrative; the “bigger picture.”
- On your product packaging – otherwise, how will customers be sure that the product in their hands is right for them?
- In your presentations to potential investors – after all, you’ll want to show the people so crucial to your business’ future that you have a strong, powerful conception of what your brand is, plus who it serves – and what it does best.
Now you know why a UVP is important – and where you’re going to be showcasing it – it’s time to start digging deep. To unearth exactly what your business’ unique value propositions are, so you can articulate them clearly to your customers.
To do this, follow these steps:
#1: Research What Your Customers Need
Who your customers are (not only their demographics, but their goals, challenges, and needs) will form a big part of your UVP. But first, you need to understand those needs – and the key to this is research.
So start by putting together a survey, then incentivizing your target market to fill it out. You can also undertake in other forms of market research – such as focus groups – to gather these insights in an impartial environment.
#2: Find Out What Your Competitors Offer
Like audience research, understanding your competitors is a crucial step to uncovering your UVPs. After all, an integral cog in your UVP is differentiation – knowing what separates you from other businesses. If you don’t have a grip on what other businesses are doing, how will you know what sets you apart?
So conduct a detailed competitor analysis. Look at the services and products your rivals offer, how much they charge, and how they talk about and promote their offerings. Are there gaps in their approach? What could they be doing more of – and could you do it better?
#3: Understand Your Capabilities and Strengths
To write a compelling UVP, you’ll need to be able to articulate your business’ key strengths – which means understanding them first.
To do so, get your business’ key stakeholders together and brainstorm what your capabilities entail, and where you excel. Then, revisit your competitor analysis from earlier to compare and contrast. Should you focus on doing fewer things, better? Or be a “jack of all trades,” and compete on all fronts? Now’s the time to decide.
Ready to write your unique value proposition? Let’s do it. Here are our top tips to get you started:
- Keep it brief – ideally less than 50 words. You want your UVP to make an impact – not make your audience drowsy. So be concise, be succinct, and get your message across in as few words as possible.
- Use “we” and “you” – refer to your company as “we” rather than in the third-person. Likewise, address your UVP’s reader as “you” – treating them as though they’re already a customer. It’ll help cultivate a sense of conversation, familiarity, and intimacy. And convey the personality behind the proposition.
- Don’t be afraid to use bullet points – when showcasing your UVP, bullet points are a simple, straightforward (and eye-catching) way of communicating the message. Remember, though, that they convey efficiency, not emotion – so if you want your UVP to carry a softer feel, paragraphs will work better.
From the world’s biggest brands to its most bespoke ones, we’ve pulled together three examples of unique value propositions we love.
Let us know what you think of them in the comments!
One of the world’s best-known (and either beloved or maligned, depending on how easily you can put together its furniture) brands, IKEA is a homewares giant – with a surprisingly humble UVP.
We bring the IKEA brand to millions of homes, offering well-designed, functional, durable, affordable and sustainable home furnishing solutions to people with big dreams and thin wallets. We’re curious about the world around us, and want to make a positive difference in people’s lives.
IKEA’s UVP clearly lays out who its customer is (regular people with big aspirations – on a small budget) and how it helps (with well-designed, functional, durable, affordable, and sustainable home furnishing solutions.) It also gives a flavor as to what motivates IKEA to do just that (curiosity and a desire to make a difference in people’s lives). We love it – even if we don’t always love assembling its wares!
Ride-sharing colossus Uber appeals to a variety of different audiences – drivers, couriers, riders, businesses – and is a diverse, dynamic business.
Yet it keeps its UVP surprisingly simple.
In addition to helping riders find a way to go from point A to point B, we’re helping people order food quickly and affordably, removing barriers to healthcare, creating new freight-booking solutions, and helping companies provide a seamless employee travel experience. And always helping drivers and couriers earn.
In just 48 words, Uber has spelled out:
- What services it offers
- What overarching need those services meet
- The different audiences it serves
- The benefits of Uber’s services to each of those audiences
It’s a fantastic example of a well-written UVP that goes the extra mile – quite literally!
Turning from two of the world’s biggest brands to one of its smallest, let’s explore the UVP of London, UK-based ethical leather goods supplier, HDY Leather.
The ethos of HDY comes from a strong belief in slow fashion over fast; of quality materials and workmanship that are designed to last; and that a better world comes from making better choices. We make beautiful leather for venturous spirits.
Every piece is made by hand, with simplicity and sustainability at the heart. Using whole pieces of the most hard wearing vegetable tanned leather, HDY creates pieces for a lifetime, not just a season.
Again, this statement encapsulates everything a good UVP does, including:
- A clear understanding of the target market (“venturous spirits” with an interest in ethics and traceability, and eschewing fast fashion)
- An articulation of what makes HDY Leather different (“quality materials and workmanship that are designed to last”)
To say your business’ unique value proposition is important is, frankly, an understatement. It’s vital – to your customers, your staff, your suppliers, and the wider public. It’s an encapsulation of who you serve, what you provide them with, how you do it, and why someone should choose your business – so it’s worth getting right!
That said, your UVP doesn’t have to be long or complicated. Sometimes it can be as simple and short as it is effective – just try our own UVP on for size!
So good luck with creating your own UVP, and let us know how you find it in the comments section below. If you’re still in a reading mood, however, stick around and explore some more of our inspo – starting with our top 10 brand strategy examples.