If someone asked you what distinguishes your company on the market, what would your answer be?
“Our cleaning company focuses on quality”
“We do IT services tailored to our customer’s needs”
“We focus on comprehensive advertising on the internet”
“We are an innovative marketing agency”
Any response similar to those mentioned above means that you haven’t sufficiently thought about what you’re the best at and how to communicate it.
You probably haven’t worked on your UVP yet (“Unique Value Proposition”). That is, your unique value, or set of values that will accurately relate to a specific problem and the type of client you’ll be solving it for.
So why should you start working on your UVP?
Coco Chanel once said that “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” This is a phrase worth remembering because the fashion industry is one of the most competitive in the world. With a clear description of the target group (women-aristocrats) to whom an unconventional for it’s time, simple and masculine design was presented, Coco was able to stand out from the rest of the fashion world and cut into a specific segment of the industry, building a brand that continues to this day.
It’s difficult to achieve success in the “Chanel” sense if what we’re selling is described in the same, or similar way as our competitors. Without UVP, your business is thrown into what W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne call in their books the “red ocean”; a highly competitive market in which many companies are competing for the attention of the (often overindulged) consumer. If all your rivals are “innovative”, “effective”,“provide high quality service”, “tailored” to their customers needs, and you communicate in the same way, what do you think your client will be guided by when choosing a service?
You thought right, the price!
Precisely defined and clearly communicated UVP will allow you to break out of this situation. It will be easier for you to attract customers with specific expectations, and thus – to compete with fewer entities for more lucrative deals.
A precise definition of UVP and its consistent communication in all customer contact points will make you attract customers from similar sectors with similar requirements and similar challenges. Thanks to this repeatability, you can learn about the customer’s working environment in more detail and become an expert in a particular niche (professional, technological, related to a specific business problem). This leads to a number of positive consequences:
Determining the unique value is of great importance when you communicate with potential customers, especially in companies that sell customised and specialised services. This phenomenon is very evident, for example, in the financial services market, where companies notoriously use jargon incomprehensible to most people while assuming that it is clear and understandable to everyone.
Working on UVP requires resorting to the language which the customers use. Even a very precisely specified value for a particular sector won’t reach the customers’ minds unless it’s properly put into words. Creating UVP based on the customers’ language will save your time spent on business negotiations with people who fully understand the proposal or misunderstood it completely.
This argument is particularly important for companies looking for customers online. As consumers, we are flooded with marketing messages, so we become very picky when choosing interesting content. We are attacked by messages from each side – a vibrating phone, sounds of street traffic, emails from colleagues and friends. The barrage of stimuli means the fight for customer attention is measured in seconds.
For this reason, you need to communicate with your customers in a precise manner, so that your offered value doesn’t get lost in the clutter of all other messages. In B2B sales, the final decisions are made by people, so you have to let them fall in love with your company “at first sight”, and the first contact with a company is often its UVP.
Even if your company brilliantly solves specific problems, it falls into the niche and changes people’s lives for the better, it will be much harder for you to promote it through your employees, friends and satisfied customers unless it has a clearly defined identity. I once worked with a company that was very successful and broke sales records month after month, but when employees not connected to sales were asked what we actually did – the answers were always different and imprecise.
Your closest group of friends, colleagues and customers can be great ambassadors of the brand and actively or passively attract potential customers. Creating UVP and using it every day will make their task easier.
If you haven’t been running your business for a long time or you simply don’t have many customers yet, you probably need more sales instead of a specific UVP. If you set up a courier company and cooperate with a few or a dozen friendly companies, you also probably need to focus on other parts of the business, e.g. qualitative recruitment and creating repetitive customer service processes.
But once your pool of customers consisting of friends and friends of friends has been reached, you should definitely start looking for your niche and the related unique value to get away from competing with the majority of the market and talk with customers more effectively. A great way to do this is to develop the company’s UVP and communicate it at every step because as Bill Gates once wrote:
„The most meaningful way to differentiate your company from your competitors, the best way to put distance between you and the crowd is to do an outstanding job with information. How you gather, manage and use information will determine whether you win or lose.”
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