Why You Need a Unique Value Proposition to Stand Out From Your Competition

Unique Value Proposition

Your unique value proposition is the most important part of your marketing message. It’s what sets you apart from the crowd. It’s something that your audience wants or needs that only you can provide.

In essence, you need to show your product or service is better than that of your competitors in at least one respect.

Daniel Burstein at Marketing Experiments conducted a study during which he was able to boost conversions by 58% by defining a unique value proposition.

So how do you create a unique value proposition, and what are some good examples of unique value propositions?

The benefits of having a unique value proposition

ConversionXL’s  Peep Laja recently conducted a review of over 45 websites.  The most common mistake: a missing or poor unique value proposition. The thing is most people check out 4-5 different providers before they make their choice. You need to convince them to buy from you and not your competition. Without a unique value proposition, your marketing message is lost and confused.

When you have a unique value proposition your marketing strategies become clearly defined:

  • You’ll know which customers to target for the highest return.
  • You’ll know how to target them and get their attention.
  • You’ll know what you need to say about your business and your products, and what you don’t need to say.
  • You can broadcast a marketing message which is simple, clear and consistent

Characteristics of a unique value proposition

Your unique value proposition is an aspect of your product or service that:

  • Is relevant to your audience.
  • Conveys a defined benefit or solves a problem.
  • Differentiates you from the competition.

What to avoid in your unique value proposition

Avoid the following:

  • Empty catchphrases – “Because you’re worth it”.
  • Vague statements – “We’ll supercharge your website”.
  • Jargon and gobbledygook – “Our market-leading processes incentivise key strategies whilst optimally leveraging our core competencies”.

The key questions your unique value position needs to answer

Ask yourself this:

  • Who is your target customer?
  • How does your product or service benefit your target customer?
  • What makes your offering unique and different?
  • Why should your customer believe you?

How come up with a unique value proposition when your product is unique

If your product is unique, you’re already one step ahead of the pack. Now you need to find the key aspect of your product which will provide the greatest value to your audience. This aspect could be:

  • Product features. Does your product have a feature that is unique and conveys a clear benefit to your audience?
  • Performance. Is your product superior to your competition in its speed, effectiveness or efficiency?
  • Design. Is your product designed in an attractive and striking fashion which makes it easy and pleasing to use?

How to come up with a unique value proposition when your product is not unique

Maybe your product is not unique, and you have scores of competitors offering precisely the same product. In this case you need to find something unique about how you deliver the product to your audience. This could be:

  • Customer service. Do you have a kick ass customer service team?
  • Knowledge. Can you advise your customers on key issues in your sector and be an invaluable source of knowledge and support?
  • Speed of delivery. Can you deliver faster than your competition?
  • Free bonuses. Can you offer your customers bonus items with their purchase?
  • Likeability. Are you friendly and fun to interact with?
  • Guarantee and return policies. Do you offer superior guarantee or return policies?
  • Client base. Do you specialise in catering for a specific niche of clients?

How to write your unique value proposition

Your unique value proposition needs to speak to your audience directly. To do this you must use your customers’ language. You need to know what words and phrases your audience will most strongly connect with. To do this, you must research your audience extensively. You can use social media, browse relevant forums, and speak to them in directly.

Now it’s time to put pen to paper. Your unique value proposition will be most effective if you do the following:

  • Keep it brief and memorable. Two to three short sentences should be enough.
  • Communicate a clear benefit. Something that your audience needs.
  • Convey your uniqueness. Something that sets you apart.
  • Be credible. Don’t make exaggerated claims that no one will believe.

Your unique value proposition is critical to your marketing. So take some time over it. Try different variations. Ask people for their feedback.

Where to use your unique value proposition

Your unique value proposition should be used wherever your audience can see it. Including but not limited to:

  • Your home page
  • Landing pages
  • Blog posts
  • White papers
  • Case studies
  • Press releases
  • Brochures

Great examples of unique value propositions

Here are some great examples of unique value propositions to get you inspired:

  • Evernote: “Your life’s work. For everything you do, Evernote is the workspace to get it done.”
  • Hubspot: “Grow your business. More than 13,500 companies in over 90 countries use HubSpot’s marketing and sales software to grow.”
  • Skype: “Skype keeps the world talking. Call, message and share whatever you want for free.”
  • The Ladders: “Your career is our job. Get matched with the job that’s right for you.”
  • Campaign Monitor: “Elegantly simple email marketing. Campaign Monitor makes it radically easy to create, send and measure the impact of your email marketing campaigns.”

Get noticed and the clients will come

Having a unique value proposition an important part of your brand identity. It’s is the key to getting your business noticed. It will ensure that in the minds of your targeted audience, you will stand out amongst the crowd of competitors. In fact, in the words of marketing expert Peter Sandeen, it can give you an “almost unfair competitive advantage”.

Get noticed and the clients will come.

Image Credit: bowie15

I create strategic content with authority and personality. My work has been featured in Search Engine Journal, Problogger, and Jeff Bullas. Businesses hire me to grow their traffic and boost conversions. If you’d like to know how I can help you, click here.

Comments

  1. Great article! I’ve always referred to it as a unique selling proposition but it’s the same thing. It’s amazing how valuable a good USP or UVP is and how many don’t have one. You can tell who does and doesn’t in their content and message.

    Mine: Providing common sense, practical and actionable social media advice.

    • Hey Robert

      Yes I’m often amazed that many brands don’t have a UVP. It’s tough to market a brand when it’s message is that it’s just like all the others.

      I like your UVP. Sounds like it’s doing well for you.

      Clement

  2. USP’s are so simple – yet difficult to integrate on every facet of ones marketing. After building a bigger and bigger marketing system, it’s easy to fall astray on new email campaigns, ad promos, etc. And the bigger the company with more varied marketing approaches (direct mail, telemarketing, etc), the more likely that there are a multitude of USP’s interacting with the consumer.

    As a result, the consumer is left to choose the USP that resonates most with them. And when it comes to marketing, this puts the decision of how to frame your business in the consumers hands, not yours.

    The more you can fight for integrating the USP everywhere, the better off you’ll be.

    • Hi Alphonso

      Good point about the importance of maintaining a consistent UVP over all your marketing channels. Having conflicting marketing messages will confuse your audience and erode the credibility of your brand.

      Clement

  3. Hi Clement,

    There is so much gobbledygook out there! Such as “Our market-leading processes incentivise key strategies whilst optimally leveraging our core competencies”. Hahaha! Do people really believe that stuff? I don’t think so. Clear writing on a consistent UVP (or anywhere for that matter) gives your business the edge.

    Thanks for another great blog post.

    Carol

    • Hi Carol

      I actually wrote that “gobbledygook”. It’s my parody of marketing jargon. Took a while to get right but I’m really quite proud of it.

      So if you know anyone who needs help with “incentivising their key strategies”, put them in touch with me and I’ll be sure to “optimally leverage their core competencies”.

      Probably.

      Thanks for dropping by.

      Clement

  4. Hi Clement,

    That was a great parody! I’ll definitely send the people who need some incentivizing your way! (I should’ve known you wrote that. Hilarious!)

    Carol

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