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Digital marketing insights, ideas, and tips
for business and non-profits

The First Step to Get Noticed and Get Business is Your UVP

What’s the very first step you should take to build your identity in the market and business success? Is it which social media to post on? Whether to use video? If you should get a new website? Actually, none of those. That critical first step is to create your Unique Value Proposition—or UVP. Your UVP states, simply and directly, a believable promise of value to your customers that sets you apart from your competition.

Hi, I’m Perry Alexander, and today, we’re going to get down to basics and lay out what a Unique Value Proposition is, why it’s essential that you get it right, and how to craft yours, to inform your marketing, guide your company, and build your success. And, having a strong UVP is just as important for non-profits.

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But first, do you have a UVP that works well for you? Have you reviewed it lately to be sure it’s still accurate and relevant? If so, leave a comment that says “Yes.” But, if not, leave a comment that says “No,” and let me know your stumbling block, so I can make future videos that address your needs.

Your UVP Affects Your Bottom Line

Developing a Unique Value Proposition that seriously works for you deserves far more than a just few minutes of quick thought, jotting it down, and moving on. There’s a systematic way to get to a UVP with the power to separate you from the crowd.

What better place to start than with business visionary and leadership expert, Simon Sinek, who says “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Think of it: people don’t buy an iPhone because it has face detection or a better camera. They choose the iPhone because Apple is dedicated to protecting their personal privacy, and the phone is drop-dead simple to use. Their UVP is that the experience is the product, as evidenced by this bit of ad copy: <show copy graphic>

“Every iPhone we’ve made — and we mean every single one — was built on the same belief: that a phone should be more than a collection of features; that, above all, a phone should be absolutely simple, beautiful, and magical to use.

Not as well-known as Apple, of course, is an app called LessAccounting. Their UVP could be stated simply, “Bookkeeping, without the hassle.” Aimed at small-business owners and freelancers, it’s an accounting app focused on providing their users simple, painless bookkeeping. Everything about their product and messaging supports that concept. A UVP that’s believable, relevant, and worth a look.

Cut the Fluff

So, cut out all the flowery buzzwords and phrases, like “cutting edge,” “innovative,” “transformative,” or “disruptive,” and get straight to the point. Believable is the operative word, along with relevant.

Your UVP becomes your business mantra in your conversations with prospects, the underpinnings of your marketing messages, and the nature of the services or products you offer. And, in fundraising, a non-profit’s UVP must make a relevant, believable promise that resonates with its potential donors. When it does, they respond.

The UVP Creation Process

Getting to your UVP requires serious and deep thought—and analysis. Chris Goward, of WiderFunnel, developed a helpful diagram on zeroing in on your UVP. <show diagram>

He lays out three overlapping circles: the prospects’ desires in one, your competitors’ value proposition points in another, and your proposition points in the third. Where all three circles overlap, is called “Points of parity.” Both you and your  competitors share those. If all you’ve got to say is, “we do those things better!” you lose the game. The sweet spot in the diagram is the area where the prospect’s circle and your circle overlap, but are not overlapped by your competitors—that’s called “Points of difference.”

Some “Points of difference” will be stronger than others. But don’t assume you know which ones, with certainty. It’s best to test. Prepare a survey to your customers with a choice of proposed UVPs, and ask them to rate which one resonates best. Or go deeper by creating an offer that links to a handful of landing pages. Each landing page is slanted toward one of your UVP candidates. The one that produces the best results is obviously your answer.

It’s Not About You — It’s About Them

Finally, your UVP is not about you—it’s about what in it for them. If your promise is first relevant to their needs, then believable, and unlike anyone else’s, they will conclude that there may be good value and reason to buy from you. Or, if you’re a non-profit, contribute to your cause.

So, as I hope you agree, before deciding which social media to use, before cooking up the theme for your next video, before designing your new website, before anything else—give yourself the business clarity of pinpointing your Unique Value Proposition. Everything else will be stronger for it.

If the realities of running your business haven’t allowed you to really get down to your UVP, and you could use a little structure and guidance getting to it, it’s one of the many services I provide for my clients. Let’s talk about how we might work together to build your marketing on the shoulders of a powerful Unique Value Proposition.

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