Breaking Out in a Competitive Marketplace

The-Power-of-WhyThe number one question potential customers ask today is: “Why should I do business with you?” You answer that question with your Unique Value Promise or UVP. There’s no point talking about your products, your service or even your expertise – that’s irrelevant. Instead, talk about the value you will deliver the customer and the benefits and outcomes they will achieve. Express this solely from the customer’s perspective and promise what customers truly crave and you will stand out – no doubt about it.

In today’s dynamic marketplace, just being there is easy. Getting found and having customers decide to do business with you is hard. To reach that point, you’ve got to stand out and have a distinctive presence. That’s why having a UVP which looks at things solely from the customer’s perspective is so important. With a good UVP, you’re in the prospective customer’s field of vision. Without a UVP, you won’t be.

When you make functional and emotional promises to the marketplace with your UVP, you signal that you are solely focused on customer outcomes. That will set you apart from competitors who instead want to ramble on about their products, services, expertise, market dominance, technology, etc. Talking about and enshrining the importance of great customer outcomes will also create a sense of curiosity which can fuel marketing campaigns.


To develop a robust and useful Unique Value Promise, follow these steps:

1. Know the rules – Talk to your best customers and clarify the value you deliver.

2. Conduct face-to-face interviews – because you need to be reading the body language as customers speak. People always respond differently in person than how they will to a written form so take advantage of this dynamic.

3. Listen actively – and capture your customer’s responses verbatim. Taking the time and effort to write down what customers say is vital. It’s their perspective you’re trying to capture so don’t miss any of the clues they provide. Admittedly writing everything down will be slower but your customer should feel flattered you’re paying such close attention to their thoughts.

4. Craft your promise – Assemble your research into a UVP and polish it up.

5. Align everyone with your UVP – Explain it’s a pledge to the customer you must keep.


6. Use only those people who are used to dealing directly with customers to conduct these interviews – because they will have knowledge and trust. Customers will be candid with a sales rep they deal with all the time but will freeze up if they come face-to-face with a high-powered CEO. You’ll only get quality ideas if the customers are relaxed so use people they are used to dealing with.

6. Market your UVP – Promote your UVP to current, lapsed and potential new customers.

7. It’s often a good idea to spreadsheet their answers – to organize and watch for patterns. Spreadsheets also allow you to compare how different customers responded to the same questions so you can identify phrases, themes and descriptive words which may be able to go into your UVP.

8. Sell the advantages – Couch your UVP in terms of what the customer wants.

9. Exceed their expectations – Don’t settle for satisfied customers, create delighted advocates

Once you’ve handcrafted your UVP and got your entire organization aligned behind delivering on it consistently well, your next step is to then promote your UVP to your current, your lapsed and potential new customers. The best way to do this is to generate curiosity rather than running advertising which broadcasts your UVP.

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

View all posts by richmeyer →

3 Comments on “Breaking Out in a Competitive Marketplace”

  1. Great post, Richard! You are so right about the need to stand out. It seems like this is something that is difficult to do in fields that focus more on wanting things using a specific formula, but you are so right about the importance of making sure that people know what value comes to them when they hire you or use your services/products.

  2. This article doesn’t really apply to me, I feel, but I think you have some great tips for business people, and I just wanted to put that out there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.