Paradoxically, "unique" is the only excluding word or adjective. "Unique" means that there is no other equal. Throughout history, this adjective has been applied to denote singularity, exclusivity, prestige, rarity.
What happens when we use "unique" applied to person? Some time ago I wrote a post on this blog entitled "What makes you unique". There I explained the need that we have to promote this uniqueness.
"Today I want you to check three ways to treat "uniqueness"in your personal brand management (personal branding): The USP, the SMP and the value proposition. If you have little time, here is a one minute video-summary (in Spanish):
The USP or unique selling proposition
Any ad person that claims to be it should remember the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) created in the 50 's by the great Rosser Reeves, from the Ted Bates Agency. The unique selling proposition was a commitment of effort and differentiation for brands. With a good USP followed by a good investment in advertising and distribution, brand success was guaranteed.
In this Colgate example, Reeves compared directly Colgate with its competition to create a unique selling proposition.
The SMP or "unshakable value" proposal
Times are changing, and years later, in the Decade of the 80, the Saatchi brothers slightly modified the concept, creating the SMP (Single Minded Proposition). The SMP was more looking for the singularity, although it was not "unique", a matter of preference, more emotional than rational.
For example, the campaign for British Airways signed with "The World's Favourite Airline", whose 1987 TV commercial won several international awards:
If this campaign had been signed by Rosser Reeves, possibly the announcement had been plagued with text comparing international flights booked British Airways with other airlines, their prices, on board services, punctuality statistics…
The SMP comparison SMP is still there, but it appears more as a singularity (emotional) not as a rational choice.
The Value Proposition
It was Michael Lanning the creator of the Value Proposition (TVP), about the 90, although his book dates of 1998. Lanning puts the customer's value contribution first as a key element of choice.
10 years later, Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur placed the Value Proposition in the center of their Business Model Canvas. The same authors published "Value Proposition Design" (Wiley John + Sons, 2015). There, the value proposition was used to satisfy gains or problems (gains & pains) of consumers.
This value proposition model is perhaps the most easily applicable to people, not only to corporate brands.
I like to work the value proposition with a simple formula: It first explains the benefit to your customer and then explains what you do to achieve this.
Here are some examples:
- Eva Vila-Massanas: I help companies to compete successfully in VUCA environments through internationalization, diversity and technology
- Jorge Mas : I drive innovation and growth in retailers, associations, sales communities and international business, creating more profitable projects
- Eva Collado Durán: I valorize people and organizations to develop , and project , their best version in a digitalized and changing environment
- Francesc Albiol: Creative Analytics Marketer. Accelerating SaaS Startups with Growth Marketing #EmbraceChange
- Marta Mouliaa: My commitment is to build loyalty and attract talent in organizations by implementing personal branding programs in volatile and increasingly digitized environments
- Christian Fernández: Managing cultural change and empowering people in organisations
What if the Value Proposition is unique??
If we search the Book Guinness of Records, possibly we would find many unique proposals. If they are of value or not, each one should value it. I wonder how important can it be to be the only man in the world who swims with polar bears, at least from a business model point of view.
The exercise to be carried out is to complete the following sentence:
I am the only person in this world who...
Don't think that it's so easy to make it relevant. It can happen to you like swimming with polar bears or like Nigella Lawson: "possibly the only woman in the world who could make felt horns look attractive".
Searching the web, I found one unique and singular Value Proposition, the one of the director and actor of X rated movies Keiran Lee. Lee writes inTwitter bio profile “the only man in the world with a penis insured for $1 million dollars”.
In this case, can it be relevant to his audience? Why not, possibly for a performer like this, the 'tool' is important. Anyway, I think, his true value proposition should be like this:: the only man in the world with enough profits to secure his penis in a million dollars.
Ok, maybe this example is not actually inspiring. In any case, you already have- a challenge for the season 2019/20: to answer this complex question.
If you have clear your unique value proposition, leave me a comment in the post, Maybe you can inspire many people.
Stock Photos from Dmitry Guzhanin / Shutterstock