How to work out what makes you special – your unique value proposition
It can be tough to work out what makes you stand apart from the competition. Here are some steps to help you develop a unique value proposition and thereby work out what makes you special and unique (just like everyone else - don't mind my little joke).
What is a unique value proposition?
Your unique value proposition is a clear statement that describes:
how your offering benefits your customers;
how you solve your customer’s problems;
what distinguishes you from the competition.
Ie. Why your ideal customer should buy from you vs anyone else.
Characteristics of a great unique value proposition
Is concise and easily understandable – can be read and understood in 5 seconds
Explains how you’re different
Explains how your offering resolves a challenge for your potential customer
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We’re going to be using the onliness statement to frame your unique value proposition and you can dive straight in (in which case skip to step 5), but sometimes it can be helpful to work up to it so you have all the parts ready.
Step 1 – Identify your audience
Who do you sell to? Hopefully, this should be easy. You should keep this at the highest level you can - women in their 40s for example.
Step 2 – What problem are you solving for you audience?
What’s the big thing that you help your audience with? Not just – I do their taxes, or I sell them cupcakes, but what’s the deeper problem you solve? Do you give them time back? Do you help bring them a little bit of joy in their day? Do you help them find inner peace?
Step 3 – Who is the competition and what do they offer?
Think about who your key 3-5 competitors are, what they do and how they do it. If there are no direct competitors, what solutions have your customers been using until now? Think about what they do and how they do it.
Step 4 – How are you different?
List out the ways that you are different to your key competitors. This can be what you do, or how you do it. To your audience, what is the most important way that you are different? What does your audience care about? What is the one big thing that makes customers choose you over anyone else?
Step 5 – Bring it all together! – Create your onliness statement
[Company Name] is THE ONLY (category) _______________________________
THAT (differentiation characteristic) _______________________________
FOR (audience) _______________________________
IN (market geography) _______________________________
WHO WANT (problem you’re solving for the customer)____________________________
DURING (underling trend) _______________________________
What this looks like in practice:
Schednow is THE ONLY social media scheduling app
THAT provides automatic TikTok post scheduling
FOR busy social media managers
IN the United States
WHO want one thing less on their to-do list
DURING an era of increasing digital marketing activity
I made this example up and any resemblance to an actual company's unique value proposition is unintentional. At this point, you can also streamline your statement to the bare essentials, if you want.
Checklist for your unique value proposition
Is it in line with your mission statement? If they have nothing in common, it might be worth comparing them
How many other companies can say the same thing about themselves?
Is it tangible?
Is it concise?
Is it easy to understand?
If you'd like any help with this, or working out your brand and marketing strategy overall, get in touch - firstname.lastname@example.org .