Tested Methods to Create Your Unique Value Proposition

I think you’ll agree with me: it’s difficult to brag about ourselves; whether it’s the ‘About’ page on our website or crafting a Unique Value Proposition, it can be super-hard.

However, if we can’t define what’s special about ourselves and our business, how will we convince customers to spend their money with us?

Unique Value Proposition/ Unique Selling Proposition, It’s the Same Thing

The tricky word in these statements is Unique, so take a look at the definition in the Oxford Dictionary of the English Language:

Being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else. Belonging or connected to (one particular person, place, or thing). Particularly remarkable, special, or unusual.

What Makes Your Business Unique?

Remarkable? Special? Unusual? Not easy, but take a look at what Seth Godin said about it.   He can take a complicated concept and make it clear like nobody else. To quote him, “What do you do that’s worth talking about?” It’s what he calls, “The Purple Cow,” and it gets attention.

Your Purple Cow can be hard to come up with, so keep reading for a couple of tips.

 Why are you doing what you’re doing? (if you didn’t need the money, why would you do it? What do you love about it?)

  •          Your answer to this question often reveals your passion. Without question, loving your work is not too common, and it differentiates your business.

For instance, if you own a bookstore and are a raging bibliophile, you will be able to recommend titles better than a clerk who had worked at only a hardware store! Amazon still doesn’t talk to you and share their favorite book as you do.

Look at what The Strand Bookstore in New York City did to emphasize the level of knowledge required to work there! And it just so happened they got a write-up in the NY Times, too.

 What one thing do you do better or different than your competition?

  •  Without a doubt, you better come up with something here, or your business will be in trouble! For instance, you may not be the biggest or cheapest, but you can be more experienced or friendly.

So, brag about yourself!  If you run a pizzeria, talk about how you use Grandmama’s recipe, organic fresh-picked San Marzano tomatoes, and cook every pie in a wood-fired oven for taste ‘just like you’re in Italy.’ And nobody else in town does all these things just like you do, especially the franchise on the corner.

  What do your customers like about you, your product or service?

  •   Actually, you can ask them! Conduct a brief survey of existing customers and find out why they choose you.

Ask things such as: What do you like most about my service or product? Why have you kept returning for five years? If you were to encourage your best friend to come here- why?

You may be surprised at the answers, but it will give you an insight into what your customers like about you.

The Unique Value Proposition of Bob’s Auto Repair

Let’s go back to the example I used in the Mission Statement article.

Bob’s Auto Repair is an auto-service business serving Central Texas. Our passion is providing honest, efficient service and repair at a fair price.

Here’s Bob’s answer to question one about why he loves his business. It gives us  a clue about how his business is Unique:

“I  love diagnosing broken autos and figuring out how to repair them. I am restoring an old Bronco at home in my  garage. It makes me happy to see people excited to get their car back, running again.”

He believes his Unique Advantage is, “I am crazy about what I do, and I love having satisfied customers. They know my shop is honest, reliable, and efficient.”

His response to questions two and three shows us how it provides the Value Proposition:

“Customers tell me over-and-over they trust me and my honest mechanics. My shop almost always gets their vehicles back when promised. If there are unexpected delays in getting a part, I keep them updated. I often hear other shops suggest unnecessary repairs and pad their bills with extra charges.”

Bob describes his Unique Advantage as “I am passionate about what I do and about having satisfied customers. People realize we are honest, reliable, and efficient.”

Put all these elements together, and he might come up with a Unique Value Proposition like this:

You love your car- so do we! Fixed right, on time, every time;  no hidden charges.

Or, he could go with a headline and a few bullet points:

You know what you need. So do we. Every time, all the time.

  • Fast service
  • Expertly done
  • Honest prices

Remember, You Have to Sell Yourself Before You Sell Your Product

The upshot of all this is, start considering your Unique Advantage. I guarantee it will be useful to you as we discuss how these three things will make your marketing more efficient:

Know Your Target Audience.

Define Your Mission Statement.

Nail Your Unique Value Proposition.

Let me know if you get stuck or if you need help with these essential business elements; I love to talk business!








How to Craft an Easy, Meaningful Mission Statement

You hear it all the time- you need a Mission Statement to focus your marketing.

Yet, your eyes cross and your brain screams, “Overload! Overload!”, every time you try to figure it out.

Without a doubt, you need a Mission Statement.  It not only defines your company’s purpose,  it provides a framework on which to build your marketing strategy.

In every business I’ve owned, I tried to come up with a clear, though simple, statement and never got it right. All I ended up with was a bunch of meaningless buzz words strung together or a vague sentence that meant nothing.

Awhile ago, I came upon an excellent article by Kathryn Aragon.  Immediately the process came into focus.

In brief, we struggle because we don’t know the answers to three easy questions that will give a clear message to our customers. Specifically, we need these answers:

  1. I am a _________________ (what you sell or do).
  2. I provide this service or sell ____________to_____________________ (target customer).
  3. So that ______________________________ (key benefits).

Okay- What Goes in My Mission Statement?

To complete this exercise, you need to:

  • Summarize your target market in one sentence.
  • List the three biggest and most important problems these customers face, relevant to your product/service.
  • Describe how you solve their problem with real solutions.
  • Show the actual results they will get.
  • Reveal the deeper core, emotional benefits they will receive.

For example,  Bob  owns an auto repair business and his target market is:

Auto owners within 50 miles of the shop, including those who are using their warranty.

The customer’s problems are likely:

  1. “My vehicle is broken or needs routine service.”
  2. “I need to get it quickly repaired at a fair price.”
  3. “I worry about being taken advantage of by a dishonest mechanic who tries to sell me unnecessary repairs.”

You can solve her problems when you:

  • Provide quality repair services done by well-trained, experienced mechanics.
  • Run a professional shop, so she retrieves her car quickly at a reasonable price.
  • Display your Better Business Bureau and satisfied customer testimonials and offer a  guarantee on all repairs.

She will get the results of:

A repaired vehicle.

Picking it up when promised, fixed by the expert, honest mechanics.

The customer gets the added emotional benefits of:

Confidence that her vehicle will be fixed quickly by qualified technicians.

Peace-of-mind knowing you will not be suggesting unneeded additional repairs.

 Now we can use these statements to fill in our three Elements of a Mission Statement:

Bob’s Auto Repair is an auto-service business serving Central Texas. Our passion is (2) providing honest, efficient service and repair at reasonable prices so (3) customers are confident in trusting us with their vehicles.

Now you have your Mission Statement and you can shape all of your statements to reinforce the main benefits to your customer.

For example, your website content and blog post can highlight the ongoing training that your technicians receive, customer testimonials that reinforce how satisfied they are with your service and informative articles that illustrate your expertise.

Try the three-step method I have outlined and see if it helps you crystallize the goals and marketing for your business; I’m sure it will.

When you need writing to communicate your business message and reinforce your company’s identity, send me an email and let me know how we can work together to build your successful and profitable business.





The Truth About Finding the Job You Want

Preparing for a job interview

Good communication, including reading, writing, and speaking, is the number one skill that employers want.  

Understanding what others are saying and responding appropriately is essential in every job. The ability to express yourself clearly and confidently was the number one skill employers were looking for, according to a recent report.  

Other communication skills are important, as well. For example,  I interviewed a  manager who told me,

“An applicant’s initial response to a job posting is their chance to make a good impression.  Did they follow the basic instructions by answering via email as requested,  and including a resume? Did they spell correctly and include their contact information? If they can’t follow directions up to this point I hit the ‘delete’ key because it doesn’t look promising for their future with my business.”

Continue reading “The Truth About Finding the Job You Want”