What is Your Unique Buying Proposition?

exultant businesswoman Toss Out the Company-Centric USP and Bring In the Customer-Centric ‘UBP’ to Underlie Your Content Marketing Strategy.

Don’t get me wrong.  The unique part is critical.  But the age old concept of a unique selling proposition views the problem of positioning almost backwards.

The idea of a unique selling proposition is that you need to differentiate yourself from the hundreds or thousands of other vendors with whom you compete.  Theoretically, if you have a really good USP, you can stand apart from all the same old same old that everyone else is selling. 

I think it’s much better to focus on the buyer with a unique buying proposition as the basic foundation for your content marketing strategy. Your UBP is what will get your customers excited  about doing business with you and your company

What is a unique buying proposition and why should you care?

A UBP is a first cousin to a USB.  The difference is that a UBP is all about the buyer and what the buyer will gain from doing business with you.  Thus, your buyers don’t care that you are the only maker of green widgets in the United States.  They do care if your green widgets will enable them to double their sales or cut their manufacturing costs by 50%.

Therefore the structure of a UBP should be something along the lines of: You will achieve X positive outcome by taking advantage of our solution Y which is precisely designed to solve your most challenging problem Z.

Here’s an attempt at a UBP that pretty much misses the point

For a moment this morning I thought I had invented the concept of a UBP.  However, when I got on Google to search for the term I discovered one firm,’ Marketing Insights,’ that leads off its homepage with what it calls a unique buying proposition.  Forget what they call it.  I think it’s still an attempt at a unique selling proposition. Even worse, it doesn’t come across as being meaningfully unique. 

Here’s how they describe their UBP:

With Market Insight Consultants by your side, you are completely convinced of being a winner with –

  • Exceptionally superior quality and novel survey designs
  • Fair and high excellence research
  • Insightful reports
  • Distinctively customized intercession to serve your business needs
  • Long lasting partnership
  • Higher extent of awareness
  • Eagerness to move ahead towards implementation
  • Responsibility to deliver the best
  • The UBP they could have used

    Rather than a clear concise UBP, they use a hodgepodge of phrases, some of which make average clichés look hackneyed–"fair and high excellence research, long-lasting partnership, eagerness to move ahead towards implementation."  They suggest that you are "completely convinced of being a winner" but they don’t even begin to explain what that means.

    Wouldn’t it have been more powerful to use a UBP along the lines of:

    "Our research will enable you to understand, target, and dominate your market." 

    When you hear that phrase, you are inclined to respond, “Terrific, Tell me more.” After all, that’s what we really care about.  How will the research that Market Insight conducts empower us to achieve a clear business benefit?

    So, as you were working on fine tuning your positioning (as are we all, all the time), focus on a unique buying proposition that is all about your customer and not all about your company.

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    One Comment

    1. Posted June 27, 2009 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      I think you are right when you say we should pay attention to what the buyer wants and not on what we are selling. But I also see the unique statement (The revised UBP statement at the end of the blog)as one that sets the buyer up for disappointment if they don’t understand,target and dominate their particular market.

      I have purchased services that I was extremely pleased with that allowed an open discussion prior to purchasing for the purpose of honest, open dialogue as to what the unique buying proposition really is saying. As oppposed to believing some made up hype that winds up as a disappointment in the log run. Lets face it not everyone, no matter how smart and savvy, will end up dominating their particular market.

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