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Close your eyes and think of a brand you frequently patronize. It could be in any industry or vertical — sports, technology, clothing, or even fishing, if that floats your boat. Have you got one? Great! 

Now, ask yourself: What exactly makes the brand attractive to you? Why do you prefer to buy from that brand as opposed to similar brands? Is it superior product features? Responsive customer support, maybe? Or is it the easy-to-use interface (if you’re thinking of a software business)? Or it could be the way the product makes you feel, in general. 

If you have several answers (and I bet you do), it’s by design. 

To build brand awareness and get customers, brands highlight the compelling features and benefits of their products in their ads and marketing materials. But beyond that, they create a statement that embodies the essence of their products (and brand, by extension) and they infuse it into everything they release — from blog posts and emails to website copy and videos. 

This statement is known as a Unique Value Proposition, and it is central to effective marketing. In this piece, you’ll learn: 

  • What a UVP is;
  • Why it matters;
  • Steps to create a compelling UVP;
  • Examples of compelling UVPs; and
  • How to incorporate your UVP across marketing channels. 

Skip ahead:

What is a Unique Value Proposition and why does it matter? 

A Unique Value Proposition (UVP), also known as a Unique Selling Proposition (USP), is a concise statement that communicates the unique and compelling benefits of a product, service, or brand to its target audience. It’s a key element in marketing and branding strategies, and is designed to evoke a feeling in prospective customers to convince them to buy the product. 

Instead of a brand saying outright that its product is the best in the world, it creates a slogan that convinces its target audience to believe that it’s the best brand. 

One of the most popular and most effective UVPs in the world is Nike’s Just Do It

On its own, the statement is vague and dull; it has no exciting meaning. But when ushered in with an impeccable ad campaign, like the one Nike did in 1988, Just Do It evokes a strong feeling in the minds of Nike’s target audience, mostly athletes and fitness enthusiasts. 

The 1988 Just Do It campaign featured athletes like Bo Jackson, Michael Jordan, and Roger Federer — people who’ve weathered storms and moved mountains to become some of the best athletes to ever exist; people who embodied what determination and perseverance looked like. 

With the combination of these athletes, Nike’s stellar products, and a well-crafted ad campaign,  Just Do It became about more than just shoes. It became a slogan that encouraged people to pursue their dreams relentlessly, no matter the hurdles and obstacles they encountered. 

At its core, a UVP inspires. Whether it inspires belief in yourself or trust in the brand, a good UVP leaves you thinking, “That’s the right brand for me.”

Here are a few reasons why brands should create UVPs: 

  • Differentiation. In a crowded marketplace, businesses need to stand out. A well-crafted UVP helps distinguish a product or service from competitors by highlighting what makes it unique or superior. 
  • Clear communication. A UVP succinctly communicates the most important benefits of a product or service. It helps customers understand what sets it apart and why they should choose it over similar options. 
  • Brand identity. Just like the slogan Just Do It has become synonymous with Nike, a strong UVP contributes to shaping the overall brand identity. It becomes a central part of how a brand is perceived and remembered by customers. 
  • Conversion and sales. A compelling UVP can influence purchasing decisions. When customers see a clear and unique value in a product or service, they are likelier to choose it, leading to increased conversion rates and sales. 
  • Market positioning. The UVP helps companies carve out a niche and position themselves as leaders in specific areas, catering to a particular segment of the market.
  • Customer loyalty. When customers experience the unique value promised by a brand in its UVP, they’re more likely to become loyal customers. Not only will they keep buying (or subscribing to) the brand’s offerings, but they’ll also recommend the company to others, which results in more business and bigger revenue.

Steps to create a compelling Unique Value Proposition

It’s easy to think that creating an effective UVP means you only have to think very hard about a quippy and memorable tagline to describe your brand. That’s not all there is to it, though. Behind every great UVP, no matter how brief, is a thorough research, brainstorming, and iteration process that considers the target audience, competitive landscape, and the unique aspects of a product or service. 

Free Value Proposition Templates and Examples: Download Now

Here are the steps to help you craft an effective UVP: 

  1. Understand your target audience 

The first step is to figure out the people you aim to reach with your product or service (if you haven’t already). To do that, you’ll need to conduct surveys, interviews, and focus groups to gain insights directly from your audience. You should also pay attention to customer reviews, comments, and social media interactions to understand their opinions and experiences. 

Here are some data points you should collect: 

  • Demographics. Identify your audience’s basic demographic information, such as age, gender, income, education, marital status, and geographic location. 
  • Psychographics. Explore the attitudes, lifestyles, interests, and values of your audience. This will help you understand their motivations, aspirations, and the factors that drive their decision-making.
  • Behaviors. Analyze the behaviors of your target audience, both online and offline. What websites do they visit? Do they prefer to shop online or offline? What kind of media do they consume? The answers to the questions will determine how you’ll incorporate your UVP into your marketing channels.  
  • Needs and pain points. Identify your audience’s specific needs, challenges, and pain points. This way, you’ll know the problems they’re trying to solve and the goals they’re trying to achieve.
  • Communication channels. Determine the preferred communication channels of your target audience. Are they active on social media? Do they prefer email communication or traditional advertising? This helps you figure out the best channels to use to draw attention to your brands’ UVP.
  • Competitive awareness. Analyze how your target audience interacts with your competitors. Find out what they’re looking for in alternative products or services so you can highlight your product’s ability to provide that in your UVP. 

Pro tip: To help organize this data, create detailed buyer personas representing different segments of your target audience. Personas should include fictional characters that embody the traits, preferences, and behaviors of real customers.

  1. Know your competitors

Since your goal is to stand out among your competitors, it only makes sense for you to do a comprehensive analysis of businesses in the same or similar markets as yours so you can understand the competitive landscape, identify the strengths and weaknesses in your industry, and formulate strategies to differentiate your product or service.

Here are some crucial things to do when researching your competitors: 

  • Identify your competitors. Clearly define who your direct and indirect competitors are. Direct competitors offer similar products or services to the same target audience, while indirect competitors may address the same needs but with different solutions.
  • Product or service offerings. Analyze the products or services your competitors offer. Understand their features, quality, pricing, and any unique selling points they emphasize. This helps you identify gaps or opportunities for improvement in your offers. 
  • Strengths and weaknesses. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. This includes factors like brand reputation, distribution channels, customer loyalty, innovation capabilities, and financial stability. Identify areas where you can capitalize on their weaknesses or differentiate yourself. 
  • Customer reviews and feedback. Examine customer reviews, testimonials, and feedback about your competitors. This information can reveal customer satisfaction levels, common pain points, and aspects of their products or services that resonate positively or negatively with their audience. 
  • Pricing strategies. Evaluate the pricing strategies adopted by your competitors. Compare prices, discounts, and value propositions to assess how your offerings stack up. This will help you set competitive prices for own products or services

Pro tip: Conduct a SWOT analysis for each competitor. This structured approach helps you systematically evaluate their competitive position and identify areas where you can capitalize on opportunities or mitigate threats.

  1. Identify what makes you unique 

After dissecting your competitors’ products, turn your attention to your own. Thoroughly explore the distinctive qualities, features, and characteristics that set your product, service, or brand apart from others in the market. 

Here are some things you should pay attention to: 

  • Strengths. What are you exceptionally good at? This could include specialized skills, unique resources, or a particular expertise that gives you a competitive advantage. 
  • Unique features. If you’re selling a product, identify any unique features or attributes of your product or service. This could be innovative technologies, exclusive designs, proprietary formulas, or any other elements that make your offering stand out. 
  • Quality. Evaluate the quality or performance of your product or service. If it exceeds industry standards or offers exceptional value, this can be a key differentiator. For example, Wiza, a B2B sales prospecting platform differentiates itself from competitors by highlighting that its email verification tool has a 99% accuracy.

  • Customer-centric approach. Consider how your business prioritizes and meets the needs of your customers. Exceptional customer service, personalized experiences, and/or tailored solutions can be powerful selling points. 
  • Market niche or specialization. If your business serves a specific niche or specializes in a particular aspect of the market, highlight that in your UVP to position yourself as the go-to provider for a specialized audience.  
  • Brand personality. Assess the personality and values of your brand. If you have a distinct brand identity with a compelling story, mission, or set of values, emphasize these elements as part of what makes you unique. 
  • Social responsibility. If your business emphasizes sustainability practices or engages in socially responsible initiatives, highlight these efforts. Showing that your company is eco-friendly and environmentally conscious can endear people with the same values.

Pro tip: Conduct a SWOT analysis of your brand, too — the same way you did for your competitors. 

  1. Craft a clear and concise message

At this point, you know who your target audience(s) is, the ins and outs of your competitors, and what makes your product unique. The next step is to distill all this information into a brief and impactful statement that communicates the unique benefits and value you offer in a way that’s easily understood and memorable. 

As you iterate through different UVPs, here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Simplicity and clarity. Use straightforward language that’s easy to understand. Avoid complex jargon or technical terms that might confuse your audience. The goal is to create a statement that people immediately understand when they read or hear it. 
  • Focus on core value. Zero in on the key value proposition you want to communicate. Keep your message focused on the primary benefit or advantage that matters most to your target audience and sets you apart from competitors.
  • Eliminate unnecessary details. Your UVP will likely be way too long on your first attempt, but that’s okay. Once you have a first draft, streamline it by removing unnecessary details. Instead of making an exhaustive list of features, highlight the most compelling reason why customers should choose your brand. 
  • Emphasize the customer. Your UVP is not about your brand; it’s about your customer. So instead of saying your brand does “X” and “Y” exceptionally well, clearly articulate how “X” and “Y” can solve a problem, fulfill a need, or improve the lives of your target audience. 
  • Use powerful language. Choose words that evoke emotion and resonate with your audience. Persuasive language that conveys a sense of urgency or exclusivity can be particularly effective at helping you create a memorable impression. 
  • Consider the medium. Tailor your message to the medium through which it will be communicated. Whether it’s a website headline, a social media post, or a verbal pitch, adapt the language and length of your UVP to suit the medium while maintaining clarity. 
  • Test for understanding. Test your message with a sample audience to ensure that they easily understand and resonate with it. Adjust your wording based on feedback to improve its effectiveness.
  • Repeatable. It’s best if your UVP is like a catchphrase: repeatable and memorable. Ideally, your audience should be able to recall and communicate your UVP to others. This increases brand recognition and word-of-mouth marketing. 

Incorporating your UVP across marketing channels

Let’s go back briefly to Nike’s UVP, Just Do It. It started as a marketing campaign in 1988 and its enormous success caused Nike to adopt it as a tagline for the business. Now, Just Do It is on Nike’s website, on multiple products, and their social media profiles. 

Integrating your Unique Value Proposition into your website, social media, and other marketing channels can help you build brand consistency, reach a wider audience, and reinforce the unique benefits of your product or service. 

Here’s how you can do this: 

  1. Website

  • Hero section or homepage banner. Feature your UVP prominently on the homepage using a compelling banner or hero section, so it’s one of the first things visitors see when they come to your site.
  • About Us page. Provide a detailed explanation of your UVP on your About Us page. Share the story behind your brand and how your UVP addresses customer needs.  

  1. Social media 

  • Profile bios. Update your social media profile bios to include your UVP (or a concise version of it). Use the character limit judiciously to convey your message. 
  • Posts and updates. Infuse your UVP into your regular social media posts and updates. Use visuals, hashtags, and captions to center your UVP, as Nike did with this tweet: 

  1. Email marketing 

  • Subject lines. Incorporate elements of your UVP into email subject lines to grab your subscribers’ attention. Relate your UVP to the value they can expect from opening the email.
  • Email copy. Integrate your UVP within the body of your email messages by articulating how your product or service can address the recipient’s needs or problems. 
  1. Content marketing

  • Blog posts. Integrate your UVP naturally within your blog content. Use storytelling or case studies to illustrate how your product or service embodies your unique value. 
  • eBooks and whitepapers. If you create longer, more in-depth content like eBooks and whitepapers, weave your UVP into them by clearly demonstrating how your solutions differ from others in the industry.
  1. Product creation 

If you sell physical products, incorporate your short and memorable UVP into your product design. For example, if you make custom shirts, emblazon your UVP across the front, back, hem, or arms of the shirt. If you can’t put the UVP on the product, include it in its packaging. 

  1. Online advertising 

  • Ad copy. Craft ad copy that succinctly communicates your UVP. Whether it’s a digital display ad or a print advertisement, focus on the key message that sets you apart. 
  • Visuals. Use visuals that support or enhance your UVP. The images and graphics you post should align with the unique benefits you’re promoting.  
  1. In-person events 

  • Booth displays. If you participate in trade shows or events, design booth displays that prominently feature your UVP.
  • Networking and presentations. Include your UVP in your networking conversations, slide decks, and presentations. This allows you to communicate your unique value to potential partners, clients, or investors. 

Case studies and examples of successful UVPs

Nike’s Just Do It isn’t the only successful UVP there is. Tons of other companies have created effective UVPs that have carried them through the years. Here are three other examples of successful UVPs and why they work: 

  1. Apple – Think Different 

Just like Just Do It, Think Different, on its own, is a pretty vague statement. But when you think about the history of Apple, its innovative former CEO, Steve Jobs, and all the amazing technology the company has put out since its inception, you’ll understand why Think Different makes sense as Apple’s UVP. 

When Steve Jobs released the Think Different ad in 1997, Apple was selling the MacIntosh, which was a simple personal computer. But the slogan promised much more than a PC. Apple used this slogan to tell consumers that it’s taking a novel approach to technology and that buying Apple’s products is a chance for them to become part of the revolution. 

The Think Different slogan also appealed to creative tech professionals who were looking to pioneer a new wave of technology. It said to them, “Come work at Apple; we need people like you who think differently to help us bring our vision to life.”

Fast forward 27 years later and Apple has now established itself as a leader in the technology industry. The company’s dedication to innovation, introduction of mindblowing products, and outstanding customer service have earned it a loyal customer base. 

Lesson: What’s the core reason you provide the product or service that you do? Highlighting this reason in your UVP can help you speak directly to people who share the same values as you. 

  1. Amazon – Earth’s most customer-centric company

Of all of Jeff Bezos’ annual letters to shareholders, my favorite is the 1997 letter, where, after describing the long-term goals of the company, he emphasized how Amazon plans to leverage the Internet to serve its bibliophile customers. 

In the letter, Jeff Bezos writes, “From the beginning, our focus has been on offering our customers compelling value. We realized that the Web was, and still is, the World Wide Wait. Therefore, we set out to offer customers something they simply could not get any other way, and began serving them with books. 

We brought them much more selection than was possible in a physical store (our store would now occupy 6 football fields), and presented it in a useful, easy-to-search, and easy-to-browse format in a store open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day… We dramatically lowered prices, further increasing customer value… Repeat purchases and word of mouth have combined to make the market leader in online bookselling.”

Amazon’s UVP, which doubles as its mission, centers around customer service, convenience, and a vast selection of products — all of which Amazon has aspired to for nearly 30 years as seen in Bezos’ letter. 

Now, Amazon is the go-to marketplace for just about anything — books, toiletries, clothes, skincare, home appliances, etc. — and its reliable delivery service and amazing customer service team only serve to improve the shopping experience for its loyal customers. 

Lesson: Focus on your customers. Every step you take, product feature you release, and service package you offer should benefit your customers somehow.

  1. Uber – The smartest way to get around 

Uber takes the classic “Identify a problem, provide the solution” approach to its UVP. Without explicitly saying it, Uber reminds you of how deeply inconvenient it is to find and book a traditional taxi. 

You’ll have to make multiple phone calls to impassive dispatchers in hopes of finding a taxi, and when the taxi arrives, you have to explain to the overworked driver how to get to where you’re going. when you manage to get there, you have to pay cash — which isn’t ideal because sometimes, you may not have enough cash or the cabbie may not have change. 

It’s a frustrating experience. 

But Uber offers a more streamlined alternative. With just a few clicks, you can get a car to come directly to you, with the driver knowing exactly where you’re going. And when it’s time to pay, you can go cashless, so you don’t have to worry about not having enough bills.

It is the smartest way to get around. 

Lesson: Distill all the benefits of your product or service into a single statement. 

Unique Value Proposition template

Here’s a comprehensive template you can use to craft an effective UVP for your brand, product, or service: 

[Your business name]

[Your product/service name]

Step 1: Identify your target audience

  • Description:
    • Demographics (age, gender, location, income, etc.)
    • Psychographics (interests, values, pain points, etc.)
  • Needs and wants:
    • What are the primary needs and wants of your target audience related to your product/service?
  • How they use your product/service:
    • Describe how your target audience will use your product/service to solve their problems or meet their needs.

Step 2: Conduct competitor analysis

  • Competitor 1:
    • [List the competitor’s strengths]
    • [List the competitor’s weaknesses]
  • Competitor 2:
    • [List the competitor’s strengths]
    • [Listthe competitor’s weaknesses]
    • [Add more competitors as necessary.]

Step 3: List the key features of your product or service:

  • [Feature 1]: [Brief description of the first key feature]
  • [Feature 2]: [Brief description of the second key feature]
  • [Feature 3]: [Brief description of the third key feature]
  • [Include additional key features as necessary]

Step 4: List the benefits customers get from your product/service: 

  • [Benefit 1]: [Explanation of the first primary benefit to the customer]
  • [Benefit 2]: [Explanation of the second primary benefit to the customer]
  • [Benefit 3]: [Explanation of the third primary benefit to the customer]
  • [List additional customer benefits as necessary]

Step 5: Describe what sets your product/service apart from competitors:

  • [Differentiator 1]: [Explanation of the first key differentiator that sets your offering apart]
  • [Differentiator 2]: [Explanation of the second key differentiator]
  • [Differentiator 3]: [Explanation of the third key differentiator]
  • [Include additional differentiators as necessary]

Step 6: Define your Unique Value Proposition

  • [Create a clear, concise statement that combines your target audience’s needs, how your product/service meets those needs, and what distinguishes it from competitors.]

Step 7: Validate your UVP

  • Feedback gathering method:
    • How will you gather feedback on your UVP (e.g., customer interviews, surveys, focus groups)?
  • Adjustments:
    • Note any adjustments or iterations made to your UVP based on feedback received.

For even more free templates check out the guide below!

Free Value Proposition Templates and Examples: Download Now

Let Thinkific help you find your unique value proposition

There are about 350 million companies worldwide right now, and the products and services each of them offer vary across industries. However, if you offer digital products like online courses, eBooks, and paid communities, Thinkific is a great platform to use to help you decide on your unique value proposition. 

This may seem like a bogus statement to make, but the truth is that the tools you use to make your offers play a significant role in how you position your products in the market. If your tech stack doesn’t allow you to incorporate Virtual Reality into your products, then VR can’t be a part of your UVP. This means that competitors who use VR in their products might have a competitive advantage over you. 

If you choose to use Thinkific to create and sell online courses, and build a thriving community, you’ll get access to a myriad of scalable features that can differentiate you from your competitors. These features include: 

  • Stunning course templates designed by experts;
  • Drag-and-drop course builder, so you can design your courses the way you want;
  • Interactive elements like gamification, simulations, quizzes, assessments, and surveys to keep learners engaged and boost their retention;
  • Customizable website and landing page themes, so you don’t have to create your site from scratch;
  • Marketing and eCommerce features to help you sell and promote your digital products;
  • Optimized checkout options, so customers can pay you from anywhere in the world;
  • Community-building tools to encourage collaborative learning and foster human connections;
  • Ability to monetize your community by selling gated content, selling as an add-on to a course, or selling as a standalone product;
  • Robust analytics to gain insights into student progress and engagement;
  • Custom mobile apps for your online courses and communities;
  • Access to 80+ apps in the Thinkific App Store to improve engagement, boost sales, and customize your learning environment.

Want to check out Thinkific? Sign up for the free plan today