A unique value proposition (UVP) is a critical component of your marketing strategy for every small business. A good UVP sets you apart from the competition and communicates the value you provide to your customers. A bad one, well, it takes up space at best. And at worst, it drives your prospects away.
If your UVP is weak or ineffective, it’s going to hinder your ability to attract and retain customers. Unfortunately for most small business owners (and some marketers), sometimes it can be hard to tell if there’s a problem with the UVP.
Creating a strong UVP can be tough to do. Oftentimes, the person trying to create it is too close and just can’t see the forest for the trees. Here we share some signs (some obvious and some not so obvious) that your UVP might be missing the mark, and some steps you can take to get it fixed.
The Clear Signs Your UVP Might be Missing the Mark
To boost conversions, consider revisiting your target audience's pain points and highlighting the unique ways your product or service can address them.
High bounce rates: If visitors leave your website quickly without engaging with your content or exploring further, it could indicate that your UVP is not resonating with them. (You can find this information in Google Analytics.)
Example: An e-commerce store notices a high percentage of visitors exiting their homepage without clicking through to product pages.
These are the obvious signs that your UVP is not up to par. They stand out and usually require immediate attention to address the issues at hand.
Low conversion rates: If your marketing campaigns and website aren’t generating leads or sales well, there’s a good possibility your UVP isn’t compelling enough to attract or persuade potential customers to choose your business over your competitors.
Example: A software company sees a consistent drop in sign-ups for their free trial despite an increase in website traffic.
Take a look at your website's messaging to make sure that your UVP is clear, concise and prominently displayed. You may also want to gather feedback from your target audience to pinpoint areas where your UVP could be improved.
Lack of differentiation: A strong UVP should set you apart from competitors. If your UVP doesn't distinguish your business from competitors or communicate your unique value, it's missing the mark.
Example: A meal delivery service has a UVP that focuses on the same benefits as its competitors, such as convenience and quality ingredients, without emphasizing any unique aspects.
To differentiate your business, identify what makes your product or service unique and emphasize those qualities in your UVP. For example, do you offer a unique benefit, better customer service or a more convenient solution? Be sure this is clear across your entire marketing plan and in all of your content.
Hidden Indicators your UVP Might Be Missing the Mark
These are the more subtle signs that your UVP may be off the mark. They might not be as noticeable at first glance, but they can still impact your small business’s marketing strategy & plan and should be addressed.
Low customer retention: If customers are not staying loyal to your business, it could indicate that you aren’t delivering on the UVP’s promise and therefore not meeting customer expectations.
Example: A subscription box company sees a high churn rate, with customers canceling their subscriptions after just a few months.
To enhance your UVP and increase customer loyalty, make sure your product or service consistently delivers on the promises made in your UVP. Customers remember why they bought and if they aren’t getting that, they will leave. You need to keep your finger on the pulse of your customers, so consider surveys or interviewing your customers to gather feedback on areas where your business can improve.
Negative or indifferent customer feedback: Customer feedback is a valuable resource for refining your UVP. If customers are providing feedback that indicates confusion about your product or service's value, or they seem indifferent, your UVP isn’t clear or persuasive enough.
Example: A marketing agency receives feedback from clients stating that they don't see the benefits of their services, or they don't understand how the agency is different from others.
Take their feedback seriously and use it to refine your messaging. Negative feedback can be one of the most valuable gifts you can receive. Use it to ensure that your UVP highlights the unique benefits and value that your business provides.
Difficulty explaining your UVP: If you or your team struggle to articulate your UVP to potential customers or stakeholders (or anyone else), it’s probably too complex, unclear or not well-defined.
Example: Sales representatives at a tech company have trouble pitching their product to prospects because they can't clearly explain its unique benefits.
Simplify and clarify. Focus on distilling your message down to its core elements. Remember, a strong UVP should be concise, easy to understand and communicate the unique value you offer to your customers. It doesn’t have to convey everything about everything all at once.
Inconsistent messaging across channels: If your UVP isn't communicated consistently across your website, marketing materials, and social media, it can create confusion and dilute its effectiveness. You can shoot yourself in the foot with incoherent messaging.
Example: A fitness brand's website emphasizes its personal training services, while its social media channels focus on its group classes, creating a mixed message for potential customers.
Ensure that your UVP is communicated consistently across your total online presence. That includes your website, social media, email campaigns and every other piece of your marketing plan. Consistency will help reinforce your message and make your UVP more memorable and persuasive. Prospects will ‘get it’.
Poor alignment with customer needs and preferences: If your UVP doesn't address the primary pain points or needs of your target audience, it won't resonate with them, and it’s not good.
Example: A mobile app developer's UVP emphasizes the cutting-edge technology used in their apps, but their target audience is more concerned about user-friendliness and cost.
Always work to tailor your UVP to your target audience. Conduct thorough market research (which can be as simple as customer conversations and surveying) to gain a deep understanding of their pain points, perspectives, and expectations. Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, ensure that your UVP directly addresses those needs and preferences.
Recommendations for Refining and Strengthening Your UVP
If you find that your UVP may be off the mark, you need to take action to fix it right away. Here are some recommendations to help you improve it:
- Conduct a competitor analysis: Identify your top competitors and analyze their UVPs. Determine what makes your product or service superior, different, and/or more appealing. This information can help you craft a UVP that highlights your competitive advantage.
- Solicit customer feedback: Ask your existing customers why they chose your business over your competitors. Their insights can help you understand your strengths and refine your UVP accordingly.
- Focus on benefits, not just features: Instead of merely listing the features of your product or service, emphasize the benefits it provides to customers. Communicate the value your customers can expect to receive and how it can solve their problems or meet their needs. (They are coming to you to get a problem solved - don’t hide how you’ll do that!)
- Leverage storytelling: Help customers understand the ‘why’ behind your product or service by telling a compelling story about your business. Sharing things like your mission, vision, and values can create an emotional connection with your audience.
- Personalize your UVP: Differentiate your business by highlighting the personal touch you bring to your offerings. Showcase your expertise, passion, and commitment to customer satisfaction to make your UVP more relatable and engaging.
- Niche down: Target a specific customer segment or niche market where your UVP will resonate the most. That will allow you to focus on a specialized audience, where you can tailor your UVP to address their unique pain points and preferences.
- Test and refine: Continuously test your UVP with your target audience through surveys, focus groups, or A/B testing. Gather feedback and make adjustments as necessary to ensure your UVP remains compelling and relevant.
- Align your UVP with your brand identity: Ensure your UVP is consistent with your brand messaging, tone, and visual identity. This coherence will help build trust and recognition among your target audience.
Offer guarantees or risk reversals: Minimize the perceived risk for potential customers by offering guarantees, warranties, or hassle-free return policies. This can help build trust and make your UVP more compelling.
A strong UVP is essential for any business to thrive, and creating a strong UVP is one of the many challenges in creating an effective marketing strategy. It may take some time, and it might be an iterative process. By recognizing the signs that your UVP may be off the mark and implementing the recommendations, you can continually refine and strengthen your UVP to better resonate with your target audience and ultimately drive more conversions and customer loyalty.