Marketing

How to Create a Unique Value Proposition For Your Business and Use it to Win New Clients

March 27, 2015

A unique value proposition is essential for any business that wants to clearly communicate to potential customers why it’s better, different and worth buying from.

Having a unique value proposition is particularly important for small businesses that are trying to make their name in the marketplace, because without brand recognition, you will have to paint a very clear picture as to why you’re worth people's time and they should buy from you instead of from your competitors.

However, most companies and businesses just cannot seem to clearly understand what a unique value proposition is and its components. According to Bloomberg, one of the main reasons that 80% of businesses started by entrepreneurs fail within the first eighteen months, is the lack of a unique value proposition.

A value proposition is a clear statement of the tangible business value that people and companies will receive from using your service and/or product.

So, what you need to do to figure out your unique value proposition is to determine the most valuable outcomes/benefits people will receive from buying from your business. Every value proposition has 3 components:

  1. Centered on a business objective that can be measured.
  2. Has movement. Nobody wants to simply switch vendors. They do it because efficiency improves, sales increase, or costs decrease--they receive a strong benefit from buying from you.
  3. The best value propositions have metrics. For instance, I can easily tell my potential customers that one of my clients was able to increase their sales by 83% after using my advertising services. Showing results like that is impressive.

Apple is the best example of how having a unique value proposition can lead to the tremendous growth of any business. According to a 2014 study published by Kantar, Apple holds 75% of the tablet market in U.S and Canada. Apple did this by having the best unique value proposition for the Ipad in the tablet market.

The guide below will take you through the process of formulating a unique value proposition for your business and how you can use to win a new client.

How To Create A Unique Value Proposition

When your customers ask why they should purchase your products and/or services, your unique value proposition must provide a clear and compelling answer. In creating a unique value proposition, the trick is to know your product and/or service well, know how it compares with those offered by your competitors, and most importantly, you should put yourself in the shoes of your customer so that you can provide the right answers.

You can create your value proposition step-by-step by answering the questions in the guide below. Once you have answered those questions, you’ll have the ingredients you need to create a unique value proposition that provides answers to your customers’ questions.

Step One: Know your customer

Thinking from your customer’s perspective, ask the following questions:

  1. Who is he/she?
  2. What does he/she need and do?
  3. What problems does he/she need to solve?
  4. What does he/she value?
  5. What improvements does he/she look for?
  6. Tip: If you do not know, ask!

It is very easy to try to second guess the interests of your customer.s And, it’s also quite easy to get it wrong when you guess the interests of your customers. That is why you should conduct some market research. You can do this by simply asking your customers directly or by organizing a survey or focus group.

Market research isn’t only meant for the external customers, it also works for other 'markets'. Depending on your service or product, your market could be your colleagues, employees or spouse.

Step Two: Know your service or product

From your customer’s view point:

  1. What hard results and value does the service or product offer the customer?
  2. How does it offer improvement or solve the problem?

Tip: Include percentages and numbers

To quickly grab the attention of your customers in this financially oriented world, your unique value proposition should also include percentages and numbers. How much will your customer save, improve, or gain? How much faster, safer, brighter, or smarter will your solution be? How much more efficient will your customer become? And so on...

Most businesses focus on the features on the services and/or products that they deliver and forget to carefully examine how hard it will be for their customers to learn to use their products and/or services.

Step Three: Know your competitors

Continue thinking from your customer’s perspective, and ask, "How do the services and/or products I offer create more value than the ones offered by my competitors?"

Tip: Use percentages and numbers

Competitors and markets tend to gravitate towards the areas that are most developed and have distinguished customer needs. Know your competition, their weaknesses, and their strengths, and develop a unique value proposition that meets the needs that they choose not to address or are unable to address.

Step Four: Distill the customer oriented proposition

The final step is to pull all the above together and answer, in two or three sentences: "If I am your customer, why should I purchase this specific service and/or product instead of a competing product/service?"

Try writing from the customer’s viewpoint and complete the following, (remember to include the percentages and numbers that matter!):

  1. "It’s better than the competing services or products because..."
  2. "I want to purchase this service or product because it will..."
  3. "The things that I value most about this products or service are..."

Step Five: Pull it all together

Now, turn around the customer’s 'answer' from step four into a unique value proposition and include it in your all of your marketing materials and business proposals. It is important that you state your value proposition in your business proposals because it will explain:

  1. The value of your product and/or service will bring to your clients.
  2. Why you’re particularly qualified to offer it.
  3. Your products and/or services growth potential and uniqueness.

This will in turn enable you, as well as the potential investors and interested parties to analyze and research the concept for feasibility, both from a financial and market perspective. It will also enable you to strategically attract more of the right clients.

Example

Here is a simple example. Let's say that your business offers lawn tractors and mowers, and your client is somebody with a huge back yard.

Step One: Know your customer

Your client is a businesswoman with a big house, who enjoys the “meditative feeling" of cutting her own lawn, but is usually bored by the work when it takes a long time.

She's searching for a high-quality lawn mower that will enable her to do her work enjoyably and quickly.

Step Two: Know your service or product

The product is a ride on lawn mower with a 20 horsepower engine and 40 inch cutting blades.

Step Three: Know your competitors

The lawn mower cuts wider and cleaner and cuts the lawn in less time than the competition.

Step Four: Distill the customer oriented proposition

"Our lawn mower cuts your grass in 40% less time than the 'big brand' lawn mowers in its class and it leaves your lawn looking more beautiful too!"

The bottom line is that you will have to speak to your potential customers in a way that’s relevant to them - but also in a way that your business and the products and/or services that you offer will stand out in the marketplace. Once you’ve clearly defined your unique value proposition, you should use it throughout your customer service communication, marketing, advertising and sales.

References

  1. https://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2014/03/apples-value-proposition-is-still-the-best-in-the-industry.html
  2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ericwagner/2013/09/12/five-reasons-8-out-of-10-businesses-fail/

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