How to make a unique value proposition

Great sales begin with small things…except a unique value proposition is not a small thing. It’s a product of your research, the ability to analyze and explore, and the combined effort of your team. How do you build your unique value proposition right? And how many steps do you need to take before your unique value proposition is ready? Find out in this How-To Guide!

How to make a unique value proposition

We talk about the unique value proposition non-stop and for a good reason.  Up to 65% of B2B companies take the time and care to establish value propositions. Yet, according to Statistics Lab, around 90% of your potential buyers hadn’t made their mind about the brand they want to do business with before they started searching for vendors. 

Your unique value proposition is crucial to your email sales template customization, lead generation, sales team organization, and all sales-related processes at your company. 

Let’s dive in and explore that vital element. And dig a little deeper into how you make it shine. 

What is a unique value proposition?

Before we talk about what unique value proposition is, let’s talk about what it isn’t. This is important because people keep confusing it with different components of sales campaigns or marketing. 

Your unique value proposition is not: 

  • Your slogan. Slogans are a part of the brand image. They don’t communicate the entire value. Their goal is to attract attention and be memorable to the target audience. 
  • Your mission statement. Even though you outline yourself and your strongest points, your positioning statement stems from your unique value proposition. It doesn’t act like one. 

In other words, the unique value proposition is not exactly part of your outbound marketing. While it affects your promotion campaign significantly, your unique value proposition is something bigger than a message for turning your prospect’s heads in your direction.  

It’s a differentiator

Your unique value proposition shows how you are different from your competitors. It shows what is so special about you, how you can offer something that other companies cannot.  This is why people confuse the unique value proposition with marketing so often — both of them seem to do one and the same thing. However, they are not that similar. While the job of your marketing message is to offer a new, creative, and memorable presentation of your services, your unique value proposition goes beyond the surface, showing what is so special about you and your way of solving problems. 

It’s relevant

Your unique value proposition doesn’t just inform your prospects that you are a good vendor. It lets them know that you are the perfect vendor just for them. It speaks their language and hits them where it hurts by addressing their latest concerns. 

Once again, unlike marketing messages, your unique value proposition doesn’t just bring up The Paint Point of the Month and end with a CTA. It mentions specific issues that many of your customers encounter in their work and provides insight in a professional manner. 

It’s all about value

While slogans and mission statements communicate the general usefulness of your company, your unique value proposition outlines very specific benefits for your potential customers if they choose to work with your teams, use your tools, and rely on your assets.  A unique value proposition is often specific — it mentions, numbers, regions, industries, and even names.

 

What does a unique value proposition look like?

Here comes the trickiest part. There is no established look for a unique value proposition. Since the content differs depending on the industry, it’s hard to create a template that would meet the needs of all audiences across all industries. 

Nevertheless, you need to visualize your unique value proposition and know how to structure it. Here’s an exercise. 

  • Make a headline. Think about how you would describe your business in one sentence. Mention the most important part of your company—is it your product, your service, or your client?
  • Develop a sub-headline. Here, you write the following—who your product is for, how it helps your target audience, and at what stage of their product development cycle or sales cycle your service assists your clients. 
  • Create body text. Dive into the details—the story behind your service, your level of expertise, your approach to work, and your relationships with your customers. 

This is not for your potential customers. This is for you. If you can create at least a paragraph describing the main features that are specific to your business, it will be much easier for you to incorporate your unique value proposition into your emails and B2B customer communication. Moreover, if you work with different segments of your target audience, you probably know that each group has a different set of needs and values. While your business covers all of them, you need to communicate the unique value of your services to each segment individually. 

Before you do that, you should be aware of your core strength and distinctive features. So, before you start planning on reimagining your email messages, sit down with a list of paper and try it out. 

Building a unique value proposition from scratch

If you’re a new B2B company and your corporate image and the way you present yourself to your target audience are still WIP, you probably haven’t shaped your unique value proposition yet. Or, at least you feel like it’s missing something important and doesn’t look relevant enough. This is normal. It takes a lot of research to bring out the true uniqueness of your proposition. 

The creation of your unique value proposition combines an understanding of your business and your potential buyers, not to mention an understanding of the market you are selling to. 

But how do you research your unique value proposition the right way? Let’s go through this process step by step. While some of the tips may seem obvious, sometimes it’s the most obvious things that set your campaigns in motion and bring you more understanding when explored in greater detail. 

Identify your target market

When a screenwriter pitches their idea to a producer, one of the main questions they hear is “Who is your movie for?” Ultimately, movies are for everyone, but this is not the response the producer wants to hear.  If the writer creates a sci-fi piece that will probably be enjoyed by everyone, there is the core segment that the feature should appeal to the most. The idea only gets the green light once the writer demonstrates they understand that segment comprehensively.  

That approach may look unfair, but this is how things work for basically any product or service. When you try to appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no one. 

It’s tempting to be liked and needed by as many audiences as possible, but you don’t achieve such results in a month or even a year. It’s the product of tentative baby steps you make from Day 1. One of those crucial steps is to figure out the customers that will drive you to the top. 

How do you do it?

  • Rely on your existing base. When we started Belkins, we had a base of clients willing to use our lead research services. They knew us already and also they needed the exact kind of customized research that we were offering.  It allowed us to map our first Ideal Customer Profile and start looking for the customers capable of sustaining us throughout the first months of our work. 

To understand how to appeal to your potential buyers, speak with your current clients. You can either send them a quick survey they could fill in or ask them directly during one of your regular calls. 

Questions to ask: Why did you choose us? What is your general experience of working with us? What do you find the most helpful about our services? How do you compare us to the vendors you used to work with? If you were to suggest us to other people how would you describe us? 

Pay close attention to what your clients are saying and the advantages they bring up the most often. Communication, time management, teams — if any of these components are valuable to your existing customers, then your potential customers crave it as well.  

  • Explore your mission. Why do you do what you do? Is the area of your expertise your passion? Are you a person who has been in the industry for a while and decided to take the initiative? Were you not satisfied with the quality of services delivered by other companies? Did you want to provide a better option for your region? Did you design a solution and decide to share it with people? 

Answering those questions is not that easy as you think. You may have all the right words and phrases in your head to describe everything you stand for, but it takes a while to coax them out and put them on the paper. However, this is an important exercise for honing your ability to communicate the unique value of your business. 

Once you know why you work and what kind of goals you pursue, compile them into a list and then proceed to the next step. 

  • Study your competitors.  You stand out from your competition when you know your competition.  A common mistake of rookie B2B business owners is they include big players in the list of their top competitors. It’s not that they’re wrong, but the big companies are not their priority competitors. It’s the brands of approximately the same size and located in the same region. In general, there are several types of competitors. 
DirectIndirectPerceivedSERP
Offer the same services as you, operate in your region, target the same segments.Provide the same services as you, but additionally offer other assets and products. Don’t provide exactly the same product, but still competes for your potential customers. Take up the keywords you want to use for ranking. Represented by popular websites and platforms.

 

By segmenting your components into these groups, you can then outline their following features:

  1. Their mission statement. How do they position themselves on the market? Does their positioning differ from yours? Who is their message for? What core values do they bring up? 
  2. Their team structure. How many experts are on their team? How many departments do they have? 
  3. How people view them. Explore what your competitor’s customers have to say about them. Find them on review platforms and social media mentions to see what kind of values the clients bring up in the first place. 

It seems like a lot of legwork, but it’s necessary. Only when you know what your competitors are made of, can you show what makes you different from them. And understand how to show those differences to your audience. 

Even if you think you don’t have competitors, you shouldn’t rely on assumptions. Nowadays, thanks to independent funding platforms and many opportunities for running a business, competitors are going to emerge sooner or later. If you want to keep your unique value proposition relevant, do some competitor research. 

  • Check industry pain points.  If you decide to start a business of your own, you probably did so to fix a particular pain point that other companies and services were unable to fix. It makes sense to explore that direction. This is where we go back to writing things out before you turn them into your lead generation tool. Just grab a piece of paper or go over to the flipchart and start listing the pain points your services solve and why you’re better at it than anyone else. 
B2B Outreach pain points

- Expensive in-house teams

- Need for timely data cleansing

- Time-consuming hiring

- Lack of data enrichment tools 

- Not all sales campaigns bring satisfying results

- Deliverability issues and emails ending up in spam

- Too much pressure on sales teams

- Finding exclusive data takes months

Once your list is complete, take a close look at your competitors. Don’t forget that they offer the same services as you do. If there is the same pain point your competitors address as well, cross it out. Whatever remains, in the end, are the unique features that you can highlight and use for your unique value propositions.  

B2B Outreach pain pointsBelkins solution
  • Expensive in-house teams
  • Time-consuming hiring
  • Deliverability issues and emails ending up in spam
  • Too much pressure on sales teams
  • Finding exclusive data takes months
  • Remote teams at a fraction of the cost
  • Experts who are ready for work
  • Monitoring and recovering domains from spam lists
  • Take the load off the sales teams
  • Deliver hand-curated data in a week

To make sure you don’t waste too much time on it, you can build a competitive matrix by using a set of ready-made tools or by segmenting competitors from your competitor analysis in an Excel doc. Organize your competitors by name, company size, and their unique features. Also, you can add a list of keywords to see whether you use the same search inquiries and who are your biggest competitors in the race to page one of Google Search results. 

What’s next? 

Your research may be over, but your work isn’t. Remember what we said about adjusting your unique value proposition to appeal to various segments of your audience? This is when you start working with the information you gathered. 

  • Write down your value proposition as a headline, sub-headline, and body text. This is where you shape your unique value proposition for you. It will help you understand the purpose of your brand and your uniqueness. 
  • Once your unique value proposition is ready, look at each of your audience segments. You should know as much as possible about any of them:
  1. What element of your services is the most important for them?
  2. What do they value in your workflow? 
  3. What industry pain points are they challenged by?
  • Following your research, write several versions of your unique value proposition. Then take a break, cool down, and review what you wrote. Note that it’s not a one-man army scenario. Bring your team together and brainstorm on the strongest features of your brand. Always look for a third-person perspective, after all, your prospects will be the ones to decide whether your unique value proposition is compelling or not.
  • Test your results. Yes, you will be doing a lot of testing before you find the unique value proposition that both reflects your brand and appeals to your audience. Adopt your unique value proposition for your website and your marketing materials, your customized email templates and monitor the results. In the case of email campaigns, it never hurts to launch A/B testing to find out the best option.  

What should you keep in mind when composing your unique value proposition?

  • Speak your customer’s language. The best unique value proposition is the one that speaks to your potential buyers and resonates with the questions they ask themselves and meets their expectations for the tone and the pace of the dialogue. 

Don’t think that using popular slang or trendy expressions is enough to get your prospect’s attention — clever expressions every now and then can only take you so far. Some brands also overdid wanting to look hip and up-to-date. They end up turning their potential buyers off their offerings. It’s the price of following trends and turning away from the audience that would actually buy from you. Guessing won’t do you any good here, either. You need to be confident about how your customers speak and what type of language they prefer. This is where talking to your customer base and venturing into social media will help. 

  • Keep things clear and simple. Your unique value proposition shouldn’t raise eyebrows. It should be brief, concise, up-to-the point, and emphasize facts, not emotions. Don’t try to hype, shame, or cajole your audience into working with you. Don’t waste time describing the benefits your prospects will miss if they don’t work with you. Provide your potential customers with advantages that will leave them thinking. Create a message that lets them imagine how it would be to work with you. 

           

Quick question, does {Company} have a capacity for new clients?  

Belkins is a leading provider of B2B prospects and qualified appointments, catering to the Machining Tool, Plastics, Metal Processing, and Assembly Machinery industries. 

Since we have a strong foothold in {State}, we’re currently looking for the companies we can generate sales appointments for.

If this is worth 15 minutes of your time, let's have a quick intro call next week to see if there is a fit.

Thanks,

 

  • Connect with your prospective audience in a smart way. Don’t only appeal to your prospect’s pains. Appeal to their achievements and advantages. Show how your services help prospering businesses to thrive. Don’t make your entire operation look like a life-saving procedure. Turn into a collaboration between competent experts and show that working with you a transformative experience. 

Your prospects appreciate being a part of something bigger and something that has an impact on the entire direction. For instance, we make no secret about practising a new, more human approach to B2B sales communication and personalization. We invite our potential customers to join us and observe the way B2B grows and changes from the best seats. 

Unique value proposition: final tips and takeaways

Your unique value proposition is a foundation for your marketing efforts and sales campaigns. This is why it’s the first thing you should work on when setting your B2B business in motion. The keys to building a compelling unique value proposition are understanding, analysis, lots of patience, and lots, lots and lots of testing:

  • Understand yourself and your competition. Know your current place in your market, industry, and among your key competitors. Know how your competitors present themselves and which segments of your audience they target. Communicate and articulate your mission statement as many times as necessary until you’re confident that each word you use to describe your business fits it like a glove. 
  • Get ready to refine your unique value proposition over and over. You will have to go over your unique value proposition more than once, getting rid of the expressions that may rub your prospects the wrong way and removing cheap, salesy slogans such as “Quality you have never seen”, “Amazing opportunity”, “Groundbreaking service”’, etc. And don’t stop until your prospects can understand your message in 5 seconds. 
  • Never stop testing and reviewing. Everything changes with time. The same goes for your business as well. If you grow, you will start gathering more potential customers from other industries and segments. Since these potential customers will have different values, the necessity to change, and adjust your unique value proposition would be imminent.  As long as your business is active and people show interest, the work you put into expanding and honing your unique value proposition is never truly over.

We hope that guide answered your questions about the unique value proposition and the ways it affects your business. And that this set of tips will guide you in developing a unique value proposition of your own.

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