Your Unique Value Proposition – Set Yourself Apart from the Competition

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Consultant explaining Unique Value Proposition

A unique value proposition, or UVP, is a concise, clear statement of what service and value you give your clients. It also represents how your consulting or professional firm is unique and defends against competition.

Defining your UVP may take days or even weeks of brainstorming and word searching, but once you discover it, it acts as a guiding star for you to follow to success.

Different Types of Value Propositions

In the sometimes-crowded marketplace of consulting and professional services, you want a UVP that clearly identifies what you do and differentiates your services from those of your competitors.

Having a UVP that matches your client’s primary needs moves you to the top of a crowd of competitors. For example, if your UVP is process-based, you have an immediate advantage over non-process-based firms.

Here are different types of UVPs you can use to when developing your Unique Value Proposition,

Expertise UVP: Expertise showcases your deep knowledge or specialization in a specific industry, function, or problem area. Consultants can highlight their unique qualifications, certifications, or experience that makes them experts.

Outcome UVP: An Outcome UVP focuses on the specific, tangible results that clients can expect. This could include case studies, testimonials, or data points demonstrating past successes, like increased revenue or improved efficiency.

Process UVP: Process UVPs differentiate you based on the unique way your services are delivered. This might involve proprietary methodologies, tools, or approaches that promise a better or more efficient client experience.

Service UVP: A Service UVP focuses on the exceptional service you provide. This could include 24/7 availability, personalized service, or a satisfaction guarantee.

Relationship UVP: Relationship UVPs build on the promise of a personalized, trustworthy partnership. Consultants might highlight their commitment to understanding each client's unique needs and working closely with them to achieve their goals.

Innovation UVP: Innovation UVPs emphasize a forward-thinking, innovative approach to solving problems. This could involve leveraging the latest technologies or thinking creatively to find solutions others haven't considered.

Cost UVP: Cost UVPs offer value through cost-effectiveness. This doesn't necessarily mean being the cheapest option but offering the best value for the money through efficient, targeted services.

Niche UVP: Niche UVPs specialize in a particular niche or segment of the market. This allows consultants to become the go-to expert in a specific area, appealing to clients looking for highly specialized assistance.

Finding Your Best and Most Defensible UVP

Successful UVPs align both your strengths and your market's needs.

Like Ikigai, you need to consider how your UVP balances all the different aspects of your services, your client needs, and your needs. Some of the areas you need to balance are,

Self-Assessment: Start by evaluating your strengths, passions, and the areas of your work that you most enjoy. This can help you identify where you naturally excel and what you love doing.

Market Research: Understand the needs of your target market and the gaps in the current offerings. Look at what competitors are doing and identify areas where you can offer something different or better.

Feedback from Clients: Ask current and past clients why they chose you and what they see as your strongest assets. This direct feedback can be incredibly insightful for understanding your UVP.

Testing and Refinement: Don't be afraid to test different UVPs to see what resonates most with your target audience. Use marketing materials, proposals, and sales pitches as opportunities to refine your UVP based on feedback and results.

Alignment with Goals: Ensure your UVP aligns with your long-term goals and the direction you want your business to grow. Your UVP should not only attract clients today but also help you build the kind of business you envision for the future.

How to Write Your Unique Value Proposition

Writing your UVP is not difficult, but it often takes a long time as you consider which words to use to describe how you serve your clients.

Before you begin writing, think about what you do better than your competitors and what your clients find valuable. Here are a few areas to ponder about your Unique Value Proposition,

  • What does your consulting or professional service do better than your competitors?
  • What processes do you have that are unique and give special value to clients?
  • Do you have close personal relationships with my clients?
  • How does my pricing compare to competitors for the value I give?
  • Can you guarantee an increased value to my client?
  • How does my expertise compare to competitors? Does my expertise increase client value or reduce client risk compared to competitors?
  • Is your brand bigger and more trustworthy? Are you more well-known, or do you have a high-visibility brand that makes you more trusted?
  • Are your services more innovative, giving your clients a leap ahead of their competitors?
  • Are my services and deliverables more accessible? Am I geographically closer or can I be reached 7 X 24?

One of the easiest ways to write a Unique Value Proposition is to use this UVP template,

 “[We] help [our clients] do/reach [task/goal] by doing [your service].

 A more robust way to write your Unique Value Proposition uses the template proposed by Geoffrey Moore, author of the groundbreaking book, “Crossing the Chasm.” His UVP template includes more details,

“For [target clients] who want/need [goal], our [service] is [type of service] that gives you [benefits].

For example,

For medical device firms who want to introduce a new product into a crowded market, our unique marketing campaigns have proven they quickly build market share with medical professionals and the public.

Once you have written your Unique Value Proposition, test it with your target audience. Read it to them and ask them to tell you what you do and what value you give. If they are part of your target audience, ask them if it is relevant and interesting. Would it prompt them to choose you over your competitors?

Client Grabbing Unique Value Propositions

Here are a few client-grabbing Unique Value Propositions. They border on slogans, making them memorable, but they also define what is unique and valuable for each company.

Note: Creating a catchy, slogan like UVP can take days of pondering and mulling over words. Take it easy, relax, and carry notecards or use your phone to record ideas.


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