How to Create a Unique Value Proposition in a Crowded Market

How to Create a Unique Value Proposition in a Crowded Market

Struggling to create a truly unique value proposition that sets you apart from your competition? You’re not alone.

In fact, 88 percent of marketers and sellers we surveyed aren’t confident their buyers understand what makes their solution unique or valuable.

most value propositions aren't unique

In well-defined categories, many companies can solve the same problems with similar capabilities and pricing. If you hope to get prospects to choose your solution (and not haggle over price), you must articulate your unique value clearly and effectively.

But how do you create a unique value proposition when so many other solutions look and sound like yours?

Three Popular Value Proposition Examples

Most organizations follow the popular adage to “sell benefits, not features,” believing the shorter and crisper your descriptions, the better. Others dress up their capabilities in superlatives, trying to make their solutions appear better and brighter than others.

Here are three examples of popular types of value propositions:

  1. Features: This type of value proposition describes a list of capabilities that help resolve an identified customer challenge. It represents a messaging approach that implies value through the capability itself, rather than describing benefits.
  2. Benefits: This approach focuses on describing the benefits of each capability. These benefit statements are meant to help the buyer understand what the feature will do for them and what that means in terms of business impact.
  3. Superlatives: This kind of value proposition adds common cliché adjectives to describe features, including typical superlatives such as: “all-in-one,” “one-stop-shop,” “streamlined,” comprehensive,” etc. This is a common approach that companies use when trying to express uniqueness between otherwise similar capabilities.

Despite the popularity of these three approaches, a new research study from B2B DecisionLabs and Corporate Visions shows how these typical “best practices” are missing the mark.

The Best Way to Create a Unique Value Proposition (According to Research)

B2B DecisionLabs ran a behavioral study to observe how 400 B2B buyers responded to four different types of value propositions.

The study’s premise was simple: What if you took the same feature set from the same company and positioned the capabilities differently? Can one version of the story consistently and materially defeat a different version of the story—even when both value propositions are based on the exact same capabilities?

Turns out, it can.

According to the research, the best way to create a truly unique value proposition is to use an approach called “Telling Details.” The Telling Details pitch beat every other message, individually and in the aggregate, across every variable tested. And it wasn’t even close.

research shows the most unique value proposition

What Makes Telling Details More Compelling and Unique?

The Telling Details approach adds specific information and more detailed, emotional language to describe the prospect’s business problem, the capabilities to solve that problem, and the value of those capabilities.

Research shows that the most compelling and unique value proposition is:

  • Buyer-focused – It uses language like “you can” and “that means” to frame each feature in terms of how it applies to the buyer.
  • Specific – It includes more specific information, including quantitative values to describe each feature.
  • Detailed – It elaborates on each feature with additional details that enhance and complement the value.

It’s worth noting that the Telling Details pitch was twice as long as other messages in the study. But it’s not just adding more words for the sake of it—those additional details bring clarity and focus to an otherwise fuzzy value proposition.

research shows the best way to create value propositions

Using more specific and detailed language adds depth to your message, making it more concrete and believable. The extra details enhance your story and help your prospect better “experience” what you’re describing. That, in turn, boosts their confidence that your solution offers the most value.

Avoid the Parity Trap

Positioning the same features in a different way can completely change your buyer’s perception of value and preference for you.

If you want to create a unique value proposition, don’t just talk about features or benefits. Don’t use empty language to try and spice up your pitch. Instead, use specific, Telling Details to make your message more concrete, increase your impact, and avoid the parity trap.

Get the research report, Avoid the Parity Trap, and learn how to make your solution stand out in highly competitive categories.

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