What is your Unique Value Proposition? Why should your business have one? How can you develop your UVP?
These are basic questions that every successful business should be able to answer. But beyond the basics, what is the best way to review, refine and market your UVP over time and through change?
How Do You “Look” Online?
Probably the most interesting exercise I can recommend is to search for your UVP online and gauge the results. Do you see your business in the results? Do you see your competitors? Do you see opportunity?
Walk A Mile In Your Prospects Shoes
As you refine your searches to get the results you expect, do you look at your competitor’s home pages? What is your first impression? What is their core message? Do they all sound alike? Are they all making the same common error?
As you review your competitors, consider your customer perspective. Take this opportunity to view your competitors as your prospects see them, and then apply this perspective to learn how they see your company as well.
In one revealing test of this technique, I tried to research specific UVP information online for this article. And I found a disturbing trend. Eight out of ten search results served up pages which:
- didn’t offer anything useful about UVPs beyond what a typical business owner would already know, and ..
- interrupted my experience before I could get to the third sentence with an annoying pop-up
Needless to say, I gave up on the prospect of finding really useful information. But the one memorable search result was from a page that offered a short and fairly useful insight – then just left me hanging. This online version of the famous “walk away close” may or may not have been intentional, but it earned my respect for the author.
The point here is that many competitors were obviously operating from the same “playbook” of offering some information and then asking for a commitment in return. Where they all failed was that what they offered did not have enough value to earn that commitment.
If you can capitalize on a mistake that almost all your competitors are making – well … that’s kind of like being handed the keys to the city. This should be rare, but it happens.
More likely, your apt to notice a less annoying trend, which we could call a “Common Value Proposition” (CVP). CVPs aren’t remarkably creative, nor do they appeal to a specific market niche or customer segment – they are strictly a mass appeal approach.
When a CVP gets worn out because all your competitors are using it, branding it, selling it and just generally beating it to death, there may be an opportunity to differentiate simply by NOT sounding like every other “X” in town (where X = your business type).
Use this opportunity to really stand out with a value proposition that isn’t so unique that it only appeals to a tiny market segment – just unique enough that you don’t sound exactly like the rest of the herd.
There are other ways to refine and articulate your company’s value proposition, both internally through it’s culture, and externally through marketing. But this online competitive review tip can be revealing and useful. And it’s easy enough to explain in a blog post (with no annoying popups).
For more information about how we can develop and market your UVP online, give us a call at 850-766-2711.