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What Is a Unique Value Proposition?

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  • Written By: Kristie Lorette
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2016
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A unique value proposition is also known as a unique selling proposition. It is a term used in business to describe what sets the business apart from all of the other competitors in the industry. Businesses use the unique value proposition to position itself in the market and as part of the company’s marketing strategies, tactics and messaging.

In other words, the unique value proposition is a statement that clearly explains why a customer should buy from or do business with the company. Unless a company has invented a patented or unique product or service, other businesses offer the same exact product or service, or something similar enough that it could be a substitute. The key in constructing a unique value proposition is to focus in on the benefits that the company offers to customers that competitors don’t offer.

For example, a cell phone company may say that they offer the most technologically advanced cell phones in the world. This has very little meaning to the consumers who are interested in purchasing a cell phone, especially since there are so many cell phone companies the consumers can turn to buy the phone.

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Instead, the cell phone company needs to focus in on how its cell phones are different from all of the rest. The unique value proposition may be something similar to, “We offer the only pocket-sized cell phone in the world that has more software and works faster than your home computer." This unique value proposition more thoroughly explains how or why this cell phone company stands apart from the rest, while benefiting the consumers.

Some think of a unique value proposition as being similar to that of an elevator speech. An elevator speech is what someone says to someone in an elevator when they only have about 20 seconds or less to sell them on an idea, product or service. It’s a short, simple and concise statement that intrigues the listener enough to want to ask questions to learn more about the idea, product or service. This is what a unique value proposition is.

Most value proposition statements start out with one version and are refined until it meets the company’s needs. For example, a value proposition may start out as, "ABC Company is the exclusive provider of patent-pending investment management software for high net worth financial advisors, saving financial firms more than $500 million annually." This statement may evolve into something more precise and memorable, such as “ABC Company is the premier provider of financial tools for high net worth clients and advisors."

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