Top 5 Tips For Writing the Worst Unique Value Proposition Ever

Written by Craig Morrison - Get free updates on new posts here.

Your landing page’s unique value proposition is the most important thing you can write to get people to sign up for your product.

You know? The thing that explains to people why they should buy what you’re selling!

Yeah, you already know that. You’ve already got the most kick ass value proposition for your startup.

So, in an effort to be the best at everything, including being the worst, let’s check out the top five tips for doing it wrong.

Bonus: Download this free eBook outlining how to easily increase landing page conversions by influencing where your visitors focus their attention.

5. Write a Tagline Instead and Don’t Include Any Value At All

This is by far the easiest way to write a terrible UVP. Products like Pepsi, Coke and even Downey paper towel use tag lines, and they’re selling like gang busters!! If it works for them, it’ll work for you!

Writing a tagline like this doesn’t even require much effort. In fact, it doesn’t even need to include any specifics. Just write a generic statement about how great your product is.

Try copying phrases like “The Fastest Way to Get [blank] Done, Period.” or “The Wait For Faster [blank] is Finally Over”. See? It’s effortless!!

Write a Tagline Instead and Don't Include Any Value At All

I… I actually don’t know that much about alarm clocks.

The Problem?

Visitors don’t connect with tag lines. They barely include any details about your product, they don’t communicate any value, and they sound like “ad speak” which can cause a feeling of distrust.

Tag lines only work when people already recognize the brand and understand the value up front.

Tag lines CAN be effective, but not in place of a UVP, and only if they can communicate a clear benefit to the visitor. 

4. Just Mention a Feature or Two and Leave it at That

Features are awesome, right? Your product has some of the best features you’ve ever seen, forget crafting the perfect value proposition, just mention your features!

You’ve spent hours, weeks, months building these things, this is your time to shine. With all the work you’ve put into this, the product will sell itself!

Try something like “The highest caffeine content per oz ever achieved” or “The alarm clock that punches you in the face”. People will LEAP out of their chairs.

Just Mention a Feature or Two and Leave it at That

Only 30mph? I was looking for something in the range of 40 – 50.

The Problem?

The problem here isn’t with the features, it’s the complete lack of benefits. People are selfish. They want to know right away, how will this product benefit me? What’s in it for ME? MEEE MEEE MEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

When you present them with a list of features, you’re leaving it up to them to relate them to how they benefit personally. This is hard for them because they’re on the web, and their attention span is about zero seconds.

The quickest way to get from a feature to a benefit is by asking yourself… So?

Oh your alarm clock punches me in the face to wake me up? So?

Well… it means you’ll never sleep through your alarm again. So?

Well… it means you’ll always be on time. BINGO. You’ve just achieved a benefit. Rinse and repeat.

3. Write it like a vague, know it all, industry asshole.

Look, you’re a professional business man and this ain’t Business 101. If you want to Always Be Closing, you’ve gotta sound like you know your shit.

You should be able to just spit one of these out without any preparation. Just remember, use as many jargon words as you can.

I’m talking “optimizational tactics utilizing the synergy of the ever fluctuating post recession market… on your mobile device.”

The point here is to make your visitors feel really stupid, but only inside their own heads. On the exterior, surrounded by their peers, they’ll say something like, “oh this sound perfect, let’s buy it” if only just to appear as smart as you.

Write it like a vague, know it all, industry asshole.

Wait what does- Just shutup and buy it Jerry it looks smart!

The Problem?

Most of the time, the only person who understands this value proposition is the person who wrote it.

Jargon and industry speak are completely unnecessary when writing a unique value proposition.

Even if it actually makes sense and isn’t all fluff, it’s still bad practice. Jargon requires your visitor to think harder about what you’re trying to say.

Always write in a clear and straightforward manner. Communicate your idea and benefits as simply as possible, using common words that everyone can understand.

2. Leave out the one thing that sets you apart from your competition.

You’ve been tirelessly building your product for months now. You’ve been ignoring your competition the whole time.

You’re not getting caught up in the comparison trap, because execution is everything! Screw them and the horses they rode in on!

Why start paying attention now? Don’t bother doing any research on your competitors to see what kind of advantages they’re offering. Your product is too kick ass for that!

Even if you’re the fourth, fifth, hell sixth place your visitor has looked, they’re sure to chose your product based solely on the awesome factor.

“Writing made easy with our awesome blue pens” or “Always know the time with this gold watch” should have you covered.

Leave out the one thing that sets you apart from your competition

All our members get a cool Pen 15 tattoo on the back of their hands!

The problem?

Let’s say you craft a really awesome value proposition, one packed with benefits, features, a little about the product and even your target market, what really sets you apart from the next guy?

They could have read the same blog posts, and put the same amount of time into their value proposition as you did. So, who should I buy pens from?

Unless you’re telling me what you’re offering that the other guys aren’t, you’re not going to win as many sales.

This is an important distinction between the value proposition of your product and the value proposition of your company.

Products don’t offer 100% money back guarantees. They don’t offer free shipping or zero set up fees. Those are things offered by your company, but they can be the defining element that makes someone choose you over your competition.

1. Don’t write one at all. People will understand once they see your product.

Do you know how much time and money you spent developing how this product looks and works? You’ve spent hours on UX. Worked with Information Architects, hired the best Visual Designers money can buy.

Your product was build to function and dazzle. Why waste an opportunity to show it off?

People don’t need an introduction, they simply will want to use it when they see it. Just put them straight into a demo of the product.

Better yet, replace your UVP with a video. Once they play the video, and see the product, they’ll sign up on the spot, right?

Don't write one at all. People will understand once they see your product.

A video? No thanks, I have Ego Waffles in the toaster.

The Problem?

The problem here is that when a potential user lands on your site, you’ve got about 7 seconds to sell them on your idea. 7 SECONDS!! This is the entire point of having a unique value proposition.

You can’t sell your idea in seven seconds with a video. You can’t sell it with a live demo. And you can’t sell it with screenshots of your product.

Even an average value proposition will at least convince a visitor to stick around and check out more stuff, like your explainer video. But they’ll only do this when you’ve explained to them, within the first 7 seconds, how you’re going to make their life better.

Let’s Summarize

Hopefully your sarcasm detector is off the charts after reading this post, but I tried to bring up some of the most common mistakes people make.

To boil it down, the most important thing to keep in mind when writing your value proposition is who you’re writing it for. This is not an opportunity to brag about what you’ve built, nor is it a description of your product.

People don’t care about your product, they care about what your product will do for them.

Structure your entire value prop around that statement and you’ll be ahead of your competition before you know it!

The alarm clock that punches you in the face?

I pulled that off the top of my head but now I think actually really want need one.

Give me your worst UVP for my upcoming alarm clock that punches you in the face to wake you up. Try using one the methods above and leave it in the comments below.

  • Clint326

    Ouch! My nose! But, at least I’m awake 🙂

    • Don’t worry! It should heal right up and be even better than before! 😉

  • “We are revolutionizing the way you wake up.”

    Great points, Craig. This has given me some food for thought for my own product/company 🙂

    • Revolutionizing! Nicely done Stephanie!

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article. More to come!

  • DotCrosse

    “The iPunch 3.
    Punching Alarm Clocks. Reimagined.”

    • Yes! I love it. The iPunch, killer name.

      Makes me think the alarm clock gets up and you have to fight it and win in order to shut it off.

      • DotCrosse

        *Resurrecting this thread after two years*

        “The iPunch 7
        The best punchy alarm clock designed. Ever.”


  • “Pen 15 Club” Well played sir.

    • Finally! I was waiting for someone to pick up on it.

      • Lyn Bowker

        I saw it but played the “ladylike” card and refrained from commenting (until now 🙂

    • VWFeature

      In 1918, a newspaper writing about the WWI Armistice, which President Wilson approved of, published the article under the headline,

      “Wilson’s Pen is Ready”

      but some joker in the print shop deleted a space….

  • I think I may have seen number 3 used on a presentation by a certain well known consultancy.

  • mike legrice

    I will take the “Pen-is Mightier” for $200 Trebek.

  • VWFeature

    “They’ll wonder why you have a black eye.”

  • This article needs more jargon. I could understand everything I was reading without having to use a special marketing industry dictionary. I don’t feel as though my mind has been revolutionized efficiently for the most effective reading ROI :).

  • Dave Brennan

    Outstanding post, almost snotted myself laughing. Especially liked #3, reminds me of when I was a stockbroker in Silicon Valley in the 80’s & 90’s… the original Bullshit Generator was in 1998 and still slays me…

  • “Hopefully your sarcasm detector is off the charts after reading this post.”
    Couldn’t have said it better. Yes.

  • Greg Karraker

    PunchyClock: Redefining and narrowing the boundary zone between REM Sleep and Terrified Wakefulness.