Coming up with a viable business idea is hard. Crafting your unique value proposition is harder. Being able to clearly articulate your unique value proposition is the hardest. You might hear a unique value proposition called a unique selling proposition.
A value proposition is a clear statement about how your company is different from competitors. A value proposition also shows how you solve the needs of your customers.
This article outlines how to define a unique value proposition and examples of what we consider the best value propositions. You’ll also find information about how to write a value prop and what it should include.
What’s a Unique Value Proposition?
A unique value proposition (UVP) is meant to clearly explain the benefit of your product or service to both current and prospective customers in your target audience. The UVP is a clear and memorable way for you to explain how you differentiate yourself from industry competitors.
The unique value proposition should appear on all your market research and marketing campaigns and on each corresponding landing page on your website.
Unique value propositions should also be self-explanatory.
Meaning that customers shouldn’t spend too much time trying to figure out what it means. Instead, your value proposition should also create enough interest that a customer will want to learn more about your company and visit your website or social media pages.
How to Create a Unique Value Proposition UVP for Your Target Audience
Think of a UVP as a promise that you’re making to your customers to not only deliver a product or service but also to deliver it better than anyone else in your industry. Although it’s easy to say you’re the best in the industry, proving that you are and being able to articulate it is no easy feat.
Some ways to gain ideas for your unique value proposition UVP include:
- Asking a small group of team members in different departments to write a word or sentence that they think describes your organization and makes it different
- Reaching out to past customers for feedback on their experience with your company and why they enjoy or enjoyed their experience with you
- Look at feedback and reviews that customers have left online or on social media accounts and see if you find recurring themes or adjectives in the comments that can be used in your UVP
- Look at your company’s digital marketing materials to determine how your company helps the target customer save money, solve pain points, and how its product or service fits with their needs
Don’t just say that you’re different, but your unique value proposition UVP should say how you’re different.
That’s where most companies get it wrong, unfortunately. When writing your UVP, also consider writing in customer-facing language. Remember, if your value proposition fits with a customer’s pain points, it’ll draw them in and make your company elevated yet relatable.
What Should a Unique Value Proposition Include?
There are three different ways to approach creating an effective value proposition. They include creating a value proposition canvas, following Harvard Business school’s method, and using Steve Blank’s template for creating a compelling value proposition.
Ideally, you want to meet your customer where they are with a mission statement that reflects the desire to solve their pain point.
Avoid thinking of value propositions as a means of measuring lead counts or driving higher sales conversions. Instead, test conversions by using one of the value position approach we list below.
In the sections below, we outline each and provide resources to give you more information on how to craft your value prop.
1: Create a Value Proposition Canvas
Developed by Peter Thompson, the value proposition canvas contains seven sections, which divide into the product and target customer. You can find a good example of a value proposition canvas here: Value Proposition Canvas Template.
2: Follow Harvard Business School’s Lead
Harvard Business School stands behind the thought that a unique value proposition connects companies to their current and prospective customers. They’ve simplified the process of writing a value proposition by brainstorming it around three core value proposition questions:
- Which customers in your target market are you focusing on and intend to serve?
- Which needs do you intend to meet for your current and potential customer base?
- What price point are you setting to measure sales conversions that provide value for your target buyer or future customer?
3: Use Steve Blank’s Brainstorming Formula
Instead of mapping out a mission statement, services offered, and buying behaviors, Steve Blank suggests simplifying things into a simple statement to make life easier.
While you’ll still need to research buyer personas and understand the customer pain point, this value proposition consists of these exact words:
“We’ll help (X) do (Y) by doing (Z).”
All you have to do is fill in X, Y, and Z with your target audience, their pain points, and the solutions your business offers. That positioning statement targets your ideal customer with specific benefits.
You can find a template outlining Steve Blank’s value proposition here: The most effective value proposition template.
Below are some of our favorite unique value proposition examples. But, if you’re still looking for some more inspiration for a strong value proposition that targets your ideal customer, you may want to take a look at a list of great stuff here.
Our favorite unique value proposition examples:
- Uber: The smartest way to get around
- Slack: Be more productive at work with less effort
- MailChimp: Send better email
- Bitly: Shorten. Share. Measure.
- Pinterest: A few (million) of your favorite things
What do each value proposition example above have in common?
First, they simply how to reach their target audience. Each value proposition example also speaks simply to potential customers by outlining what the business stands for and its competitive advantage.
In a few words, they encourage customers to check out category pages and other materials where you showcase business offerings. There’s no question about what customers can expect from your brand — the proposition clearly outlines this.
Remember, a compelling value proposition tells your ideal customer how they can solve their pain points and what your company offers.
Unique value propositions don’t have to include a block of text on a landing page to achieve that goal. Instead, a good value proposition makes its case quickly and concisely.
What Makes Great Value Propositions?
Besides being short and sweet, what is one thing that each of these value proposition examples has in common?
They all make you ask how?
That’s the response that you want your unique value proposition to elicit. It shouldn’t be something that your potential and existing customers can read or skim and move on from. Instead, it needs to act as an indirect call to action that encourages target customers to want to get to know you and your brand.
Unique value propositions must continue to evolve
Just because you write a value proposition you love, that doesn’t mean you’re finished. Data-driven marketers think of this statement as the living document outlining strategies for product pages, split test ads, category pages, and other materials strategizing the company’s product or service.
In competitive and evolving environments, your company is expected to change with the needs and expectations of its ideal customers. Consider re-evaluating your UVP every couple of years.
When you test your value proposition, ask yourself:
- Does your unique value proposition message is continuing to resonate with your audience and future customers?
- Does your value proposition align with the harmony between your mission and your product or service?
- Do you need to look at a value proposition example to ensure it aligns with your research’s buyer persona and provides the same customer value?
Final Thoughts on Creating a Unique Selling Proposition
Creating a unique value proposition isn’t easy. But to start, consider creating a sentence or two of what you think makes you stand out from the crowd. Also, consider asking friends, customers, and other employees what they perceive the company’s main differentiator to be.
Remember, you’re going to need to test your value proposition every so often to ensure it aligns with your customers and their pain point. Experiment with different value propositions as another means of meeting your customers where they are.
With this information, you can then edit and whittle down the initial idea that you created and become one step closer to crafting the perfect value proposition.