Sunday, February 7, 2016

Unique Value Proposition

When people talk about brand positioning, they often talk about the brand's promise and its relevant differentiated benefits. A brand should promise relevant differentiated benefits. These benefits can be functional, emotional, experiential or self-expressive. Further, the brand could promise shared values instead of a benefit, though shared values often result in a self-expressive benefit. Then the brand promise requires proof points and "reasons to believe." Finally, and most importantly, the brand needs to deliver on these benefits.

However, there is a term I like equally as much as brand promise. That is the brand's "unique value proposition." Why do I like this term? It is succinct and captures the three most important parts of a brand's promise. Proposition is equivalent to promise, so it is the first two words that modify the third word that make all of the difference. The promise or proposition must be of value to its target consumers. "Value" says everything. If it is not valued, it is inconsequential. Value implies relevance. Next, the valued promise or proposition must be unique. Contrary to common usage, there are not degrees of uniqueness (such as mostly unique or totally unique). Something is either unique or it is not. That is a high standard but anything less may not be enough to create a strong brand. 

So whenever you think about your brand, be sure you know exactly what its unique value proposition is. If you don't, it's time to get to work. 

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