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.