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What is a Unique Value Proposition?

A common question from a sales team is, "What is our Unique Value Proposition?". Or they might ask a similar question: "What is our Unique Selling Proposition?".


They want to know what the 'silver bullet' is to close as many deals as possible.


When you launch a new product, you want to nail your Unique Value Proposition so your market message is tight and you're selling as much as possible. You want the product to stand out in a sea of choices.


It's easier to understand a Unique Value Proposition (UVP) by breaking the phrase down into parts.


Value Proposition

A Value Proposition is a promise to deliver a set of benefits to a customer. It's a promise that your company or any other company, for that matter, can deliver. Value Propositions are essential, but they don't distinguish your company or your product.

A Value Proposition is a promise to deliver a set of benefits to a customer.

Unique Value Proposition

A Unique Value Proposition is special. Why? Because it's distinct. It stands out.

Unique is having no like or equal. Something unique is unparalleled; it's incomparable.


When we connect Unique to Value Proposition we get a promise to deliver a set of benefits to a customer that is distinct from all competitors. It means you have something special that no one else has.

A Unique Value Proposition is a promise to deliver a set of benefits to a customer that is distinct from all competitors.

Who Decides What is Unique?

Who decides uniqueness is a tricky question to answer. If you were to ask your engineering team, they would point out the technical qualities of the product that make it unique. If you ask your customer success team, they will point out the great work they do providing 'world-class' support. Ask your sales team, and they might point out that they have the best salespeople in the industry.


All of those things could be unique, some of those things could be unique, or none of those things are unique.


Input from internal sources is important but irrelevant. Your customers get to decide what is unique about your offering.

Customers determine what is unique about your offering.

The only way to determine what makes your company and your product unique is to ask customers. They will guide you to a Unique Value Proposition. And what they tell you could be completely different from the internal perceptions of your uniqueness. Prepare to be surprised.


There is another tricky part to consider. Customers in different market segments could give you different answers. One market segment may see your UVP as one thing, and another may see your UVP as something very different.


Below are two questions you can add to your Win/Loss interviews to tease out a Unique Value Proposition from existing customers. One set of questions teases out your UVP. One set of questions teases out the UVP of a competitor.


When you win a customer:

What do you think makes us special?

Why is that important to you?


When you lose a customer:

Who did you ultimately choose? (to get the name of the competitor)

What do you think makes them special?

Why is that important to you?


Why should you ask these questions? Because you can't assume anything. Plus, market perceptions change over time.


Ask these questions enough times, and you will know precisely your UVP and the UVPs of your competitors.


Remember this. If you make the same promise as a competitor, it's not unique.



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