4 Building Blocks for Developing Your Unique Value Proposition
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

Whether you’re trying to convince an interviewer to hire you or market your products or services, a compelling unique value proposition (UVP) can set you apart from the competition and seal the deal for a new opportunity. Here are four ways to create and communicate your value proposition.

1. Use Simple and Clear Language that Describes the Problem You Solve For a Specific Audience

Ask yourself: What is the problem that my audience is trying to solve? How do I help them solve that problem uniquely? For instance, let’s look at the UVP for Trello—a web-based project management application:

“Trello lets you work more collaboratively and get more done. Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun, flexible and rewarding way.”

  • Problem or pain point: organize and prioritize.
  • How you solve the problem: Trello’s boards, list, and cards.

2. Know the Difference Between a Benefit and a Feature.

What’s the benefit to your audience? Features are facts about your product or service. A feature answers, “What does it do?” A benefit answers, “What’s in it for me? or “How will this improve my life?” for your audience. For example, let’s continue with the Trello example:

  • The benefit: Work more collaboratively and get more done.
  • The feature: Trello stays in sync across all of your devices.

3. Describe the Transformation People Can Expect From Working With You.

Consider how your solution will transform their lives. Use words that describe the internal and external transformation they will experience.

  • Internal change: Determine the emotional state (e.g., frustrated, fearful, stuck, overwhelmed, stress-free, etc.) of your audience. This helps you develop a connection with your audience and drives them to take action.
  • External change: Determine the tangible benefit (something that can be measured). For instance, lose weight, increase profits, reduce expenses, save time, convenience, etc.

For instance, let’s take a look at the unique value proposition for meal kit site, Plated.com.

“Deciding what to do for dinner shouldn’t be a struggle. Skip the “What’s for dinner?” debate so you can focus on everything else you have going on. In less than 5 minutes you can choose recipes, set your delivery day, and find out how delightfully simple meal planning with Plated can be.”

  • Internal change: “Deciding what to do for dinner shouldn’t be a struggle.”
  • External change: “In less than 5 minutes you can choose recipes, set your delivery day….”

4. Define The ‘Why’ Behind Your Business or Brand.

Purpose drives profit. Nowadays, a purpose-driven brand can influence buying decisions. Why do you do what you do? What’s the purpose of your business? What frustrates you about your industry and how are you working toward making a difference in the world? Answering these questions honestly and following the above steps will definitely help you up your value proposition.

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