How to Stand Out from the Competition
Write Your Unique Value Proposition
Part 1: Brainstorming
Armed with knowledge and reasons for a UVP, and carefully mined research data, it’s time to use all of this to create a compelling UVP by brainstorming, which is a well-known method of the creative process.
Audio: Listen to Module 1
Brainstorming Methods & Tools
Since the focus of the UVP is the value it offers your client, start brainstorming by considering the benefits you offer. How does using your service enrich the lives of its users? Since this is the core of your UVP, it’s a good place to start.
When brainstorming, get as many people involved as possible. It’s alright to brainstorm alone, but multiple heads are better than one. Your team members or employees may think of something you hadn’t considered. Also, try to get input from others, such as people in other departments or people who are unrelated to your business. Users can offer especially valuable ideas.
As with brainstorming for any kind of ideas, use the session to generate ideas and don’t judge them. Just get as many ideas as possible on the white board and don’t start evaluating and narrowing until you have plenty of ideas to work with.
A popular tool that you can use for brainstorming is the mind map. With a mind map, you start with the main idea in the center, just like the photo above, and then create nodes branching out. For your UVP, you could start with “UVP” or “our services” in the middle, and then branch out with each benefit to your customers. You can then branch out from each of these nodes with further information. At the end, you’ll be able to visualize all your offering’s benefits and details, and choose those that are the most important.
For the actual writing of your UVP, it’s best to write several different versions. The more versions you have to compare and evaluate, the better. As a second stage to your brainstorming, once you have all your key benefits narrowed down, you can challenge each team member to write their own UVP, three different UVPs, etc., and then list them all together for evaluation. Another way to make it collaborative is to have your fellow brainstormers vote on the one they think is best, and then discuss why.
Examples of Great UVP’s
“When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.”
This Federal Express UVP speaks to a major customer concern – ‘It has to get there overnight.’ Although ‘absolutely’ and ‘positively’ mean the same thing, the repetition drives home the point that you won’t be let down.
“We're number two. We try harder.”
Avis says its number two and capitalizes on its underdog status. This UVP turns a weakness into a customer benefit. They’ll work harder for you than the number one company, which is already where it wants to be.
“Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”
Although there is some contention among schoolyard kids over this claim by M&M’s, it’s unique and memorable. You can’t eat a handful of these candies without thinking about this tagline.
“Every day low prices on a broad assortment - anytime, anywhere.”
Everybody knows Wal-Mart as the go-to store when you want something cheap. This UVP capitalizes on it and sticks ‘every day’ at the beginning to emphasize the store’s consistency.
Why Be the Best?
One of the best UVP strategies is to forget about telling your customers that you’re the best. They’ll find that out on their own. Create a UVP that implies, ‘We may not be the best, but we’re the only ones who…’ That tells your target market the unique benefit they’ll get using your company.
- Brainstorm various UVPs for your business using a mind map template (see Deeper Dive below for examples.) Come up with at least 3 or 4 different versions. Look at your picture of your ideal customer as you write.
You’ll build on this assignment in the next module, so make sure you’ve brainstormed through lots of ideas, good or bad, to choose from for your UVP.