How to Always be The Best - Know Your "UBA"


Jack Trout said businesses must "Differentiate or Die".  Whether you call it a Unique Business Advantage (UBA) or Unique Value Proposition (UVP) or Unique Selling Point (USP) it doesn't matter - if you have one you will survive and hopefully thrive.  If you don't, read on....

In any market there can only be one lowest-cost player, so if this is not your UBA then you must differentiate.  Examples of UBA include:

  • being first or number one
  • owning a particular product attribute or quality in the mind of a customer
  • product leadership (technical, patent)
  • impressive history or heritage (experience)
  • a market niche or speciality (expert)
  • related to influential people or groups (popularity, fashionable, trendy)
  • unique ingredients
  • being popular or hot or "new generation"

Your UBA must be easy to articulate and meaningful to your target market; you must be able to support and give evidence for this UBA; you must be able to sustain it and you must be able to communicate it.  This is STEP NUMBER ONE in any successful business.

You have to brainstorm, discuss and then write your UBA down otherwise you will find every other step becomes harder and your business will lose focus.  Here are questions you should ask to help you develop your UBA:

  • Why is my product or service desirable?
  • Why would a customer buy from me rather than anyone else?
  • Can you provide evidence of your UBA (e.g. before/after, testimonials)
  • How will you maintain this advantage?
  • Apply the "so what" test: will it make people feel better or will it solve a real problem

Here are some examples of UBA:

  • Federal Express: "When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight"
  • Dominos Pizza: "Pizza delivered in 30 minutes or its free"
  • Real Estate: "Our 20 step Marketing System will sell your house in less than 45 days at full market value"
  • Dentist: "We guarantee that you will have a comfortable experience and never have to wait more than 15 minutes or you will receive a free exam"
  • Nyquil: "The nighttime, coughing, achy, sniffling, stuffy head, fever, so you can rest medicine"
  • Jeweller: "Don't pay 300% markups to a traditional jeweller for inferior diamonds! We guarantee that your loose diamond will appraise for at least 200% of the purchase price, or we'll buy it back."

Here is Brett McFall asking "Why Should I Do Business With You Over Anyone Else" in order to uncover the UBA and turnaround a business:

Here is a useful video on developing a value proposition in the legal field:

So, put your UBA in the form of a short story that you can articulate in under 60 seconds - write it down.  Come up with a "headline" for your story or UBA.  Great.  Remember it.  Review it.  Live it.


Chris Pattas

Chris Pattas lives in beautiful Melbourne, Australia. He is happily married with two children. Chris is a successful business leader who enjoys helping organisations reach their full potential. Whether it is driving greater profit or sales, growing market share in competitive industries, inspiring executives to achieve great things, negotiating compelling business deals or working as a board member implementing exciting change programs, he knows how to get the most out of any organisation. Chris has worked in various product and service industries including: advertising, software, IT&T, travel & tourism, utilities and telecommunications. His interests and expertise include: leadership & strategy, sales & marketing, online & social media, science & technology, travel & tourism, photography and music.