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The Queen Is Dead! Long Live The Queen!

February 28, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 203

No, this isn't a blog about Madonna, Lady Gaga, or even Michael Jackson or Elvis. This is an article about the humble USP or Unique Selling Proposition.

The original idea of the USP was that each product or service taken to market should have a specific benefit that was unique to it (hence making it as discernibly different from its competitors as possible).

This benefit needed to be a compelling proposition so that it could move many people to buy the product or service. And when done well, this proposition could be captured by a memorable phrase or line. Do you remember these?

When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight - Federal Express Melts in your mouth, not in your hand - M&M's We try harder - Avis The Fresh Food People - Woolworths

So what is the problem with a USP? Well, there are several, but the most obvious is that a USP only takes into consideration the perspective of the product, service, company, or individual about which it refers. This is soooo 1970's. More specifically, there is no consideration of the customer's perspective!

So if the USP is dead, what is the alternative? Well, here are a few to consider:

POD = Point Of Difference ESP = Emotional Selling Proposition TSP = Tribal Selling Proposition CVP = Customer Value Proposition UVP = Unique Value Proposition CVP = Compelling Value Proposition UPV = Unique Perceived Value

CVP - Customer Value Proposition or Compelling Value Proposition is what most people will talk about nowadays (just note the power in those words!)

The key take-away message is that we have moved away from the narcissistic perspective of the USP, to understand that the audience - specifically their desires, their needs, their likes and dislikes - are what we need to be addressing!

You may well have heard of a particular radio station that everybody listens to 24/7. Don't believe me? It's radio station WII-FM - which stands for "What's In It For Me?"

Whenever you communicate with another person - any form of communication - they have this little WII-FM filter that interrupts your message. And if you can't answer the question to the filter's satisfaction - you won't cut through!

This is why I personally prefer UPV - Unique Perceived Value - as it clearly acknowledges that it is the customer's perception of your unique value - the value they acknowledge when they look through their filters - that is what counts.

Let's face it, with a few exceptions, most clients don't care that much about you - other than what you can do for them (WII-FM). What they are interested in is what can you do that will help them win more business, cut their costs, save them time, be more efficient, deliver a better result, provide better service and make more money. They want to know how you can help them with their value proposition.

And the way to make a Value Proposition compelling? That's simple.

Make it real and tangible - not just a memorable line.

You must believe in it totally, walk the talk and do what you say you stand for.

It should be a declarative statement of intent, belief, action, and a promise to the customer.

The most important thing is to internalise your Compelling Value Proposition, embrace it, live it, and (if relevant) make sure your staff understand it and are empowered to act accordingly.

And the easiest and most powerful way I know to do this is to ensure that your CVP serves your higher purpose!

If you'd like a copy of my complimentary eBook A Simple Guide to Creating a Compelling Value Proposition please shoot me an email and I'll be happy to send you a one.

I work with women entrepreneurs who feel overworked and getting nowhere, so they end up frustrated and unsure of how to move their businesses forward. I help these women build a Higher Purpose Business so that their business works for them, rather than them working for it.

To know more about my approach to business, check out

Source: EzineArticles
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