5 Common Unique Value Proposition (UVP) Mistakes to Avoid
It takes a great deal of work and thought to create a winning unique value proposition (UVP). Along the way, it’s easy to make one of these common mistakes.
Your UVP is for your customers to understand at a glance, so it should be quick and easy to read. Don’t use vague wording, and avoid technical terms or big words a casual reader wouldn’t understand.
Out of Focus
If your UVP’s focus is too narrow or too broad, this can be a problem. If it’s too broad, you’re casting your net too wide and your offer won’t appeal to anyone. If the message is too narrow, it will alienate or shut people out. Make it specific but not so narrow that your market is reduced to 10 people!
The U in UVP stands for ‘unique’ and that’s what your proposition needs to be. It needs to be different from what your competition is offering. Check out your competition to see what they offer so that you can figure out how you can use your strengths to set yourself apart.
The Wrong Message
The message of your UVP needs to resonate with your market. Otherwise, you’ll drive them off. It needs to appeal to your market’s desires and feelings. To do this, try to understand your market. Know your customers and how they feel about the companies they patronize. How will they perceive your product after reading the UVP?
Set It and Forget It
Finally, a unique value proposition will change over time. You may be able to use the same one for years, but trends and market conditions change. Keep listening to your customers and make changes to your UVP whenever their problems, desires, emotions or passions shift.
Does Your UVP Resonate? Identifying and Meeting the Emotional Needs of Your Customers
Knowing your customers well is one of the most important success factors in your business. It’s the foundation for growth. Although an understanding of your customers is important in all aspects of your business, it’s particularly essential in crafting your unique value proposition.
To create a winning UVP, here is what you need to know about your customers:
- Who They Are
You should know as much demographic information as possible, including things like age, gender, economic status, location, etc.
- What They Need
You must thoroughly understand their problems, questions and concerns. These are the things that prompt people to take action. They’re the problems you’re going to offer to resolve for customers.
- What They Buy
Know your customers’ current suppliers. What companies are meeting their needs right now?
- How They Buy
Find out about your customers’ buying habits. This includes how much they buy, when they buy, how they pay, and anything else you can discover about their purchasing patterns.
- How They Feel
Finally, beyond hard data you need to understand how your customers feel about their problems and purchases. What makes them feel good or bad about the shopping experience? What do they expect from companies and products? How do they feel about the companies they currently buy from, as well as about you?
All the above will help you create a unique value proposition that resonates with your customers and helps them understand why they should buy from you.
Testing Your UVP – The ‘What’s in It for Me’ Test
Creating the perfect unique value proposition is complex. It’s not easy, but there’s a simple test to help you refine your UVP and make it more suitable for your customers. It’s the ‘What’s In It For Me’ test, otherwise known as WIIFM.
The test is simple – Your UVP should answer the question “What’s in it for me?” in a way that people can relate to. If it successfully does that, you may have a winner.
The best way to answer the WIIFM question is to clearly emphasize the benefits of your offer and explain briefly how your product or service is different from those of your competitors. It needs to demonstrate how your offer better meets your customers’ needs. If you can communicate this effectively with your UVP, you’ll answer the ultimate question.
Why Your Customers Ask WIIFM
People are exposed to literally thousands of marketing messages each day. Every second that you’re on the internet, watching TV, driving or listening to the radio, you’re absorbing these messages. We’re bombarded with many more today than ever in the past.
What this means is that in years past, you had more time and space to present your message. Customers had time to discover it for themselves. Today, the message needs to speak louder, clearer, and faster. You must shout above the rest.
‘What’s in it for me’ is the central, deciding question that customers are asking when they encounter a marketing message such as yours. If the answer isn’t given quickly and satisfactorily, they’ll move on.
Focus on Benefits
The central theme of your message should be the benefits you offer. Benefits shouldn’t be confused with features. Don’t describe the features of the product, such as what it does. Instead, describe the end result that the customer experiences by using the product or service. In other words, explain how it solves their problem and makes their life better.
Your WIIFM answer is what a potential customer is looking for when they encounter your UVP.
Creating a Great UVP – You Are Not the Best
You might think you’re the best at what you do. Hopefully, that’s how you feel about your products or services. You have great confidence and you want to convey this to your customers. You know that once they encounter the value you offer they’ll know this for a fact and they won’t go anywhere else.
But for the purposes of crafting a good unique value proposition, forget about being the best for the time being. No matter how wonderful your products or services truly are, you won’t get this across with your UVP.
What’s important with a UVP is what makes you different from your competitors. It’s not that you’re the best, but that you’re the only one that does what you do the way you do it. This is what you need to identify and this is what will resonate with people who see your marketing message.
Take a second to consider that every company out there knows and truly believes it’s superior. But they can’t all be the best. The reality is that each one can be the top in its particular niche or corner of the market.
The way to do this is to identify the unique qualities that make your business different and emphasize the benefits those qualities give your customers. They’ll find out that you’re the best after they’ve given your business a try.
There will definitely be some overlap in places. For example, you may be doing a lot of the same things as one of your competitors. However, if you do just one of those at a level worth bragging about, then go ahead and shout it out.
Alternatively, you may be doing the same things and have many of the same features, but your competitors haven’t emphasized them all. Pick one that you know is important to your customers, such as a quick response time, and use that as a central point of your UVP. You’ll then become known for that feature or service, even if your competitors are providing the exact same thing!
Your Unique Value Proposition – Image Matters
To create a unique value proposition that works, you need to emphasize the benefits you offer and what makes you unique among similar companies. But there’s one more missing piece of the puzzle – your image.
Your UVP should convey an image that shows people the vibe or culture of your company. This is an important part of resonating with your customers. They need to feel like your company is on their side or part of their tribe.
For example, consider a chemical company that uses modern technology to create products from safe, all-natural ingredients. While it may be a scientific laboratory making the products, images of scientific implements and white lab coats won’t resonate with the market, who are people concerned with natural living. On the other hand, seeing the products being used in a natural surrounding may hit just the right chord.
To craft the right image, you need to understand your customers’ perceptions. For example, many people see online marketers as unethical scam artists. If you sell products related to marketing, you should turn this around by showing everyday people becoming entrepreneurs and finding financial freedom and success.
Language is also a major factor in image. The language you use in your message needs to speak directly to your market. If your target market is young hipsters, then use words they would use in every day conversation. If your market is corporate businesses, stick with more professional language that’s relevant to their business.
Even if you have some crossover in your markets, such as a combination of young and old, stick with one type of language in your image. For example, Apple may look like their products are targeted at a young generation, but older people love them too. Maybe that’s because we all want to be young and “hip.”
You can get ideas for the right language to use by looking at websites, companies, products and marketing materials that are popular with your target market. They’ll show you the type of image and language the market likes. You can then take this image and add your own personal touch to it.
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Thank you for visiting our website, we hope to see you again!Mike Conkey