What’s your UVP?

Ask yourself why someone should use your product/service and not your competitors…

“What one thing about your company, your product selection, your customer service or your customer loyalty is so compelling, that even if a product was out of stock, or some functionality were broken on your site, a customer would stick around and buy something?” Linda Bustos, Get Elastic #1 subscribed ecommerce blog

What is a UVP?
A unique value proposition (UVP) should clarify and combine your unique selling points (USP), your benefits and offer a convincing reason as to why someone should choose you. A UVP will augment your brand by offering solid reasons to your customer as to what you can bring to them. A successful UVP has to come from an area where you excel over all your competitors; if your business doesn’t have one then I suggest you rethink your strategy. Without a UVP your business can only be mediocre at best.

A vanilla brand (termed by Mark Earls in Herd) is plain, average and treads a middle line. A bland and ordinary flavour. According to the book Herd: having strong, passionate beliefs are the only way to establish a small brand successfully. In a world overrun by so many vanilla brands it is now, more than ever, essential to have a personality and give users a reason to engage with you.

A unique value proposition can be defined as: a short, memorable phrase that concisely and powerfully describes the benefits of using your business. Similar to an elevator pitch but with more emotional power and leveraging the benefits of your business. Although comparable to an elevator pitch a UVP is not a slogan or strapline.

UVP is a derivative of the term unique selling point (USP), conceived by Rosser Reeves in the 1940’s. A UVP is essentially an evolution of a USP; incorporating the benefits of your brand with what you do differently.

In his best selling book, Reality in Advertising, Rosser says:

“Each advertisement must make a proposition to the consumer. Each advertisement must say to the reader: ‘Buy this product, and you will get this specific benefit.’

The proposition must be one that the competition either cannot, or does not, offer. It must be unique — either a uniqueness of brand or a claim not otherwise made in that particular field.

The proposition must be so strong that it can move the mass millions, i.e., pull over new customers to your product.”

Reeves advised clients to be wary of image advertising which is less likely to be successful than his claim-based strategy. An image can almost always be interpreted in different ways; many of these won’t do a product any good. A claim or value is much less ambiguous.

What Reeves is saying underlines what Borg wrote about in Herd; find an under-serviced niche, take a strong stance and be passionate about what you do.

Easy steps to creating a UVP:

Know who your customers are and consider their needs (don’t just guess as to what you think they need – ask them).

Ask your existing customers what you do best or what is best about your product/service.

Know your competition; how and why is your product better/different. How can you make your message stronger/more relevant?

Consider why the business started and what its motivation/aspirations/ambitions are.

Create a list of benefits of your business and its products; consider WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) from your customers point of view.

Once you have answered these questions sit down and write 10 different versions of your UVP considering all your research.

Select the best three and get feedback from customers; monitor which has the best response.

Remember to answer this question:

What do we do better than everyone else in our marketplace

How to apply your UVP
Once you have defined your UVP you must implement it on every part of your business for full brand message cohesion:

  • Have the UVP printed on the wall
  • Save it as a screen saver
  • Have it next to the telephone
  • Have it next to the computer
  • Inject your UVP into every part of your business:

  • Answer machine message
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Email signatures
  • Every page on your website
  • Ezines and newsletters
  • Blogs
  • Ensure every part of your team has your UVP in front of them as they work.

    “If you get your value proposition right, you can get many other things wrong on your landing pages and still improve conversion dramatically.” Dr. Flint McGlaughlin – Marketing Experiments.

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