Have You Been Thinking About Business Value Wrong?

What value does your business offer?

Many entrepreneurs and business owners are accustomed to talking about the Unique Value Proposition (UVP) of their business. A UVP, also called a Unique Selling Proposition, essentially describes the benefits your company offers and how you differ from the competition. While it can be very useful to define your UVP, there is another way to think about business value.

Customers don’t actually buy products or services for the products and services themselves. This might seem like a bizarre statement, but it’s true. Customers purchase things that will meet a core, underlying need or desire for them, and these needs and desires are tied to the customer’s value system.

In other words, Jim doesn’t subscribe to a laundry service because he needs his laundry done. He subscribes because he values time and freedom—two things he will have more of if he outsources his laundry to a company. Similarly, Jill doesn’t buy a name brand purse because she needs a bag to hold her items. She likely purchases it because she values the respect and feeling of importance she will feel owning a designer handbag.

Coca Cola is a great example of value-based marketing. Coke commercials rarely try to sell soda. Instead, they sell a feeling of community, togetherness, and happiness. Their marketing motto is “creating brand value through content excellence,” and their campaigns certainly reflect that statement. For instance, the Share a Coke campaign encouraged customers to share a Coca Cola with a person whose name was written on the side of the bottle. Not only did this campaign produce viral video content, but it traded on the individual consumer’s personal connections to boost sales.

Companies that know the deeper value of their product in addition to the top level, immediate benefits can market and sell their brand far more effectively. Identifying and targeting core customer values and needs is the key to convincing them to invest in your product or service.

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