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Be Different to Succeed or Why You Need a Unique Value Proposition

You need a unique value proposition in order to attract customers and stand out among the competition. Every business must have something special that shows people why exactly buying from them is best. Without such a feature, getting noticed in a competitive market is almost impossible.

Bear in mind that despite the fact that a value proposition must be unique in order to be effective, it doesn’t have to be one-of-a-kind. For example, take a look at LessAccounting and their value proposition of simplifying bookkeeping. There are dozens of software providers that offer similar apps. LessAccounting stands out among them with a clear focus on the main motivational factor for the consumer. In this case, it’s making bookkeeping simple enough for anyone to manage. That’s the kind of value proposition that can help propel your business to new heights.

Be Different to Succeed or Why You Need a Unique Value Proposition

The Real Value of a Unique Value Proposition

One could articulate dozens of reasons as to why it’s beneficial for a business to have a unique value proposition. However, all of them will boil down to ‘because it helps increase your conversions.’

The consumers of today are spoiled for choice in every niche. And only a few businesses can stand out by offering a truly unique and original service. Even in this case, they are sure to be followed by others, so their market will turn competitive eventually. Promoting some special feature of your business from the start will help you retain your customers when this happens.

A thing like this happened to Uber, a company which created one of the best value propositions in recent history. Their ‘Tap, the app, get a ride’ offer of a simple and fast taxi service helped them create an outstanding reputation. It now allows them to remain one of the most popular services of the 21st century. Today you can find dozens of companies offering something similar.

How to Develop a Unique Value Proposition

Every business can develop a unique value proposition. The first thing to do is to come up with a business idea that will solve a problem. Whether it’s a currently existing problem or one that is bound to occur, focusing on the solution is key.

Draw inspiration from Unbounce with their landing page creation tool. Their value proposition is a solution that allows one to create a top-quality landing page regardless of their own skill. Most startup businesses cannot afford to have a professional design their website. This tool lets them have a quality page without the extra money.

To make a value proposition of your own, you simply need to answer these questions:

  1. What problem does your product/service/business solve?
  2. How do you solve this problem/improve the situation?
  3. What specific benefits do your customers get?
  4. Why should people buy your products/services?

Remember, a value proposition isn’t a slogan or a boastful ad, like ‘the best product on the market!’ A value proposition is a short, but informative, answer the questions above.

What Does a Unique Value Proposition Consist Of?

Your unique value proposition must be concise and consist of a headline, a summary, a bullet point list of benefits, and a visual element. The headline is extremely important as it’s the part that grabs the consumer’s attention. Therefore, it must be memorable and interesting. You can even use a tagline for this, like Uber’s ‘Tap, the app, get a ride’.

The summary expands on the headline explaining the main points of your value proposition. Note that it should be only 2-3 sentences long, so you’ll have to structure your ideas very carefully. The summary must present the gist of your unique value proposition without going into detail. However, it has to provide the reader with enough information so that they understand exactly what your offer is.

Your value proposition’s wording must be based on analyzing your customers. Simply put, you must focus not on highlighting how great the product/service is but how it can help buyers. For example, don’t say ‘ours is the best marketing service with years of experience’, instead say ‘we can use our extensive experience to help achieve your marketing goals using…’

It’s very important to be concrete in your value proposition and spell out your main advantage. You’ll be able to add more ‘depth’ to it with the following list of benefits.

List of benefits for prospective clients

This list must be concise, to the point, and very simple. Remember, it’s not the length of the list that matters, but the value of those benefits for your prospective clients. For example, if you are a taxi service, you can go with:

  • Insured professional drivers
  • Car will be at your doorstep in 10 minutes
  • Order rides with an app
  • Available 24/7 for drives to any destination
  • Using tech monitoring to avoid traffic and get you to your destination fast

Finally, a unique value proposition must contain a visual element of some sort. That one must be truly unique as getting caught in a copyright scandal can ruin your business before it develops.

The best type of visual to use in a value proposition is a picture or short video/animation, depending on your medium. It’s best to use videos on your website as they allow communicating a more meaningful message. However, pictures are also great and will work for any non-digital mediums. It’s a proven fact that having a relevant image connected to the content improves memory recall by astounding 65%. This means that the visual will ensure the reader will remember your value proposition.

Porter’s Strategies for Getting One Over Your Competitors

The main idea behind developing your special value proposition is standing out among the competition. Therefore, you can ease your task by using Porter’s generic strategies as your guide. In essence, this means differentiating your business either by offering the lowest price or by highlighting a unique advantage. As working with minimal profit is hardly beneficial, you just need to determine the advantage that makes paying a higher price worth it.

According to Porter, focusing on a single advantage is called ‘focus strategy’. It’s a heavily customer-focused approach. Your main goal is to make people believe your product/service is good enough to pay more. There is no better inspiration for this than Apple, which is one of the most successful brands in the world. Of course, small businesses don’t have the resources to launch large-scale promotion campaigns that will build up their brands reputation. However, with a focused effort, you should be able to get recognition in your niche. Go from there and be sure to incorporate brand building into your marketing strategy.

You must not only sell people your value proposition but also remind them that they made the right choice. Branded products and merchandise will help with this.

Summing Up

Come up with your value proposition using Porter’s principles, and you’ll be able to boost conversions and attract more customers. Identify this competitive advantage that your business has or create one and design your marketing strategy around it. This way, you’ll ensure that all your prospective customers see your proposition and can make a choice in your favor. Always start developing your value proposition from the customer’s point of view. Think of the problems they have and offer most efficient solutions to them.

Image: Shutterstock


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I graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University in 2008. Nowadays I am an entrepreneur and independent journalist. My sphere of interests includes startups, information technologies and how these ones may be implemented in the sphere of education. I have written approximately 2000 articles covering mentioned subjects. Two years ago, I founded a startup dedicated to e-education that aggregates and presents in convenient way information concerning possibilities to study all over the web. Furthermore, it offers several exclusive free courses. Before, I used to work as a Marketing Manager for 4 years in big US IT company. Last two years I was working in Google as a Business Associate. http://www.melissaburns.me/

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