Making your startup stand out can be the difference between success and failure. Unique value proposition can make that difference.
When you start a business, you want to stand out from the crowd and show your customers how your product is different from others in the market. This is where a unique value proposition (UVP) comes into play. UVP is a statement that tells your customers exactly how your product or service will benefit them. It is often used interchangeably with a unique selling point (USP).
A good UVP essentially reduces competition by creating a targeted niche for your product or service. But how should you go about creating a UVP?
What constitutes a UVP?
When designing your UVP, the first thing you need to know is what exactly you are offering your customers. You can include specific statistics in your UVP. For instance, how many hours a day can your customer save with your product? Here, you also have to be sure that you can actually deliver on the promises you make.
After figuring out what your product offers, you need to know more about your target demographic. You must know their ages, interests and values. You have to put yourself in their shoes to figure out their needs. This will help you explain your services to them attractively.
What makes a good UVP?
Creating a UVP has helped many companies become successful. One of the companies that has been thriving because of their UVP is Coursera. The company has more than one UVP, including “Learn without limits” and “Get job-ready for an in-demand career” among others.
The website separates itself from other online education platforms, like Masterclass, by targeting its content to a niche audience. While Masterclass is more for hobbyists, Coursera is focused on providing an easier learning experience to students and people looking for professional development. Upon browsing their website, you will find that the course catalog has been curated such that both target groups can easily find the courses suited to their needs. For instance, one of the categories is “course you can complete in a day” to help the audience overcome the time constraints that often restrict learning.
Another great example of a company that is actually keeping its promises is the fast-food chain Dominos. The company is well known for its 30-minute delivery guarantee. In case their food takes more than half an hour to arrive, it is free (with conditions applied, of course).
Not all UVPs lead to successful stories, though. One of the best examples of a not-so-successful UVP is the American short-form video platform, Quibi. Quibi’s UVP was “high-end content”. However, with a US$4.99/ month price tag in a world where competitors were following the freemium model, Qiubi’s business model simply didn’t work. The UVP missed the mark in terms of its actual “value”.
What must not be mistaken for a UVP?
While UVPs and slogans are both catchy statements that make your brand stand out, they aren’t one and the same. A slogan is more like your brand’s logo in writing (like Nike’s “Just do it!” or Apple’s “Think different”).
A UVP is also not a license or your brand’s technical qualification, certification or a claim related to your company’s character. Anyone can say their brand is the best in the country, but such a claim can often seem empty to customers, which is why you must not add claims to your UVP that are impossible to prove.
Writing your UVP isn’t a one-off process. It is crucial that you test your UVP to see whether it is reaching your customers effectively. UVPs change and grow with a brand, and will thus need to be re-evaluated time and time again. The most important aspect of getting your UVP right is to constantly listen to your customers. This will help you maintain brand relevance in the long run.
Header image courtesy of Freepik