Business Marketing 101: Unique Value Proposition (UVP) - MaaS
The Unique Value Proposition (UVP) is simple to define. We all understand what it is, why it is important and why every organization needs one. Right?

Well, as I have sat down to write about the UVP, something I talk about all the time, I have stopped and re-started this article four times now. So, maybe it is not so simple. Or, maybe, it is simple to define, just not simple to create, and then live with…yeah, that’s it!

Defining the UVP

Let’s go backward for a moment.  Here is a brief definition from Michael Skok, in an article he did for Forbes:

“In its simplest terms, a value proposition is a positioning statement that explains what benefit you provide for who and how you do it uniquely well.”

This is a solid explanation; it is short, direct and clear.  Many other descriptions are similar to this one yet add something about “differentiation” from competitors.

So, here is my struggle, my logical brain is telling me that the UVP is what is defined above, but my creative brain is screaming at me, “where is the soul in that”?  (Alright, this must be the right track, I just got the whole body tingling, energy rush thing again.)

The best UVP is so much more than a mere statement; it breathes life, energy and spirit into a small subset of words and creates a sense of wholeness.   When we present our UVP, we are looking for another person to get it.  We want them to immediately come to an understanding about our company, why we are relevant and how we stand apart.  We want them to have the proverbial “a ha” moment.  So, we need to evolve the UVP beyond fact and appeal to one’s humanity.  Ultimately, it’s about Sales.  It’s about working to elicit the action we are looking for and motivate our audience to act.  With the UVP, we want our audience to see us as special and outstanding and to be stimulated to learn more about us!

TIP:  The UVP is about Sales.  It is a tool used to elicit your audience to a desired response.  With the UVP, your goal is to get your audience to:

1. Understand what you do

2. View you as beyond the competition

3. Stimulate them to want more information

Creating Your UVP

Your UVP is an integral component of your Brand Identity (Identity). Remember, from the Article 1, we said that the Identity tells the world who you are, what you stand for and what to expect from you. Well, the UVP extends and presents that Identity in a very intentional way.

Developing your UVP should be part of the Brand Identity Discovery process. You should involve folks from across your organization and make sure your team is not too heavily skewed with engineering minds. Again, you want to evolve beyond the facts. Take the time to brainstorm, and have a whiteboard discussion. After the discussion, take a photo of the whiteboard and have someone consolidate from whiteboard to structured notes in a Word doc. From there it’s a matter of analyzing what you have on paper and iterating your UVP.

When you like what you have come up with, test out your UVP with folks who don’t understand your business and see how your UVP performs in relation to the 3 statements in the Tip, above.

Living with Your UVP

We know that change is a constant in business. The best organizations consistently challenge the status quo and are always working to better understand the market, and to identify opportunities to evolve their business. However, there is something to be said for brand integrity and consistency. You can use your UVP as a quick litmus test to evaluate and discuss new ideas.

Ultimately, your UVP can help you stay true to your brand and to your strategic direction…but don’t let it be an anchor and inhibit you becoming something new and even more exciting. Sooner or later, it will be time to evolve your UVP just like the rest of your business.

I hope this was helpful,

Colin Millstone

Colin Millstone

Founder / President

A seasoned, multi-dimensioned entrepreneur, consultant and business professional who helps organizations get to the next level. With three decades of experience in business, marketing, technology, operations, sales and finance, I bring a results-oriented, collaborative, strategic, passionate, and budget-minded approach to leadership and organizational success.

As a pioneer in Managed Marketing Services and Marketing On-Demand, and the Founder and President of Marketing as a Service (, I work daily with organizations which are creating, distributing, selling and servicing some of the most impactful products in the world

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