Before opening their doors, every small business owner must determine what makes them different than their competition. In Marketing 101, this is called a company’s unique value proposition. A UVP can be a concise description of what makes a business special. For instance, FedEx’s UVP is “When it absolutely positively has to be there overnight”. If a customer values reliability and quick delivery, FedEx is the way to ship. A few years back, FedEx was the only shipping company that offered overnight delivery. They have positioned themselves as the industry leader in overnight shipping. Another effective UVP is Walmart’s: “Everyday low prices”. In most consumers’ minds, if you want the lowest price on an item, you go to Walmart. Walmart is positioned as the low cost leader in retail.
People can get confused between a tagline and a unique value proposition. A tagline can be a UVP but not every tagline is. As a small business owner, you must scan the competitive landscape and determine what values your business stands for. If you offer high customer service, you probably don’t have the lowest prices. If you stand for a do-it-yourself customer environment, you probably aren’t offering personalized service.
An effective exercise in determining UVP is listing adjectives that describe your business. Also, talk to your current customers and determine what they value about your business. Narrow that down to 2 to 3 descriptors. Make sure the words summarize your business and are unique enough in your industry. From there, craft your unique value proposition.
Your UVP must be effectively communicated in all marketing communications. This includes your website, marketing collateral, sales interaction, etc. There should never be a mystery among your clientele what your business stands for.