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Why You Need A Unique Value Proposition!

Last week I was able to complete the product messaging course on by Momoko Price, a conversion copywriter at Kantan Design. The course was roughly 5 hours long but packed with information on getting product messaging right. But how is product messaging/website messaging relevant to ads?

Advertisements don’t function in a void, they are just part of a process that nudges a potential customer through the buyer's journey. They are mainly tools that help us reach the right people at the right time, as they make their way through the journey. What ultimately converts the customer is the landing page/website, the pre-sales experience/service, and the post-sales experience/service.

Below is a list of potential bottlenecks that are resulting in low conversion rates:

- Confusing user interface

- Confusing user experience

- Website page speed (how fast the landing page load)

- Bug, dead buttons, or other technical issues

- Landing page not compatible with the browser/device person Is using

- The person is unable to find what the ad spoke about on the landing page

- No credibility

- Unjustifiable pricing

- No clarity on what the product/service is etc

The list can go on. However, for today’s post, we would be focusing on - “No clarity” factor. Because if someone can not understand the product/service you are offering, they aren’t going to invest in it.

A study found that the first 10 seconds on a landing page are critical for users to decide on whether to stay or leave. 10 seconds is not a lot of time. You get 10 seconds to give people exactly what they’re looking for, or you lose them.

How do you fit all the amazing things your product/service does for someone in less than 10 seconds? By prioritizing some of its features/benefits over the others and ultimately formulating your Unique Value Proposition.

A strong value proposition needs to be conveyed in the first 10 seconds of someone landing on your website/page and, testing your unique value proposition is one of the best ways of increasing your conversion rates. It is often more important than testing your Call-To-Action buttons.

What is a Unique value proposition (UVP)?

A unique value proposition (UVP) a.k.a unique selling proposition (USP) is a clear statement that describes the benefit of what you are offering, how you solve customer needs, and what distinguishes you from the competition.

It is a concept that every entry-level-college course on business covers, and yet there are so many businesses online that DO NOT take time out to formulate one for themselves – and even those that do, do not test various propositions.

A UVP offers 3 things:

Relevancy - How your product is relevant to you customer and solves their problems or improves their situation.

Quantified value – What specific benefits would your product/service deliver

Differentiation – Why should your ideal customer buy from you and not from the competition. If not direct competition, then competing solutions to the same problem.

Shopify's UVP - "The Platform Commerce Is Built On"
Shopify's UVP - "The Platform Commerce Is Built On"

What is NOT a unique value proposition?

A unique value proposition is not your tagline/catchphrase

A tagline is a catchy line that evokes an image of the brand in the minds of its customers. They’re used to make lighthearted associations with a business: "When I see [tagline], I think [company]."

For example: “the taste of India” – Amul

It does nothing to convey anything about the brand, its value, or how they are different from other competitors, and therefore is not a UVP.

A unique value proposition is not your mission statement.

A mission statement is business-centric. It is the direction in which the business/brand should move forward. A UVP should always be visitor-centric. It is the #1 thing that determines whether people will bother reading more about your product/service or leave.

A unique value proposition is not a positioning statement.

A positioning statement is one among the lines of “India’s best coffee” or “India’s #1 choice of toothpaste” etc. While positioning statements help with credibility, they do every little with clarity.

The less known your company is, the better your value proposition needs to be.

Most people "research" 5-6 different options/service providers before making a decision. Most of the time, this research is limited to key features and pricing (unless they’re reviewing it on their YouTube channel).

You have to be able to stand out among those options/service providers and be able to convey the same to a potential customer within the 10 seconds that they are on your page. And this is only possible through having a sound value proposition.

How to brainstorm a good value proposition?

1. List out all the key features of the product/service you offer.

2. Pinpoint those that are unique and/or important to your customers. (sometimes what may be unique, may not be important to your customers)

3. List relevant pain points your customer may have that each feature selected above solves.

4. Define desirable outcomes for each pain point.

5. Score these pain points/outcomes by severity and frequency.

6. Stitch up top pain points/ outcomes into UVP statements.

7. Score/ Test various UVP statements and go with the best.

Most brands have really simple value propositions, but that does not mean someone got it right the first time. And a unique value proposition need not be unique. As says -

“You don’t need to be unique to the whole world, just in the customer’s mind. The closing of a sale takes place in a customer’s mind, not out in the marketplace among the competition.”

Conversion XL's UVP - "Become great at marketing"’s value proposition for a short while was “Become great at what you do” they’ve since changed it to “Become great at marketing.”

You can see how the first one was a little vague, whereas their current value proposition gives you more clarity on what they offer. This is why you should not just settle for the first UVP that comes to your mind, and always be testing UVPs until you find one that works for your brand and your customers.

About Momoko Price:

According to her LinkedIn, she is a copy- and data-loving conversion optimization expert, and specializes in helping online businesses.

As an instructor, although she wasn’t as articulate as the other instructors, her course was packed with a lot more information in comparison to what you’d find online when it comes to copywriting. A lot of copywriting courses (I’ve taken 2 prior to this on Udemy and Coursera) focused more on the AIDA or PAS model, coupled with “speak about the benefit, not the feature” tips and tricks. However this course was data-driven, there was a strategy in place that didn’t work just on assumptions. If you are looking for a good copywriting course, I would definitely recommend this one.

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