In our previous blog post I covered the commercialization classes that are increasing in popularity among researchers and research institutions. Now let’s take a moment to talk about marketing and the basics necessary for promoting research projects.
What is a Unique Value Proposition (UVP)?
A UVP is two-three sentences worth of why the research is valuable and unparalleled. This exercise is about setting the project apart in the commercialization process. A strong UVP must be concise, yet understandable, to a technical and non-technical audience.
The UVP introduces the company to the research. It must make a strong first impression in order to garner a deeper look.
For many, reducing complex research into its basic parts while keeping it concise and understandable is one of the most challenging things to be done in the commercialization process. But it doesn’t have to be.
Creating a Magnetic UVP for Commercialization
The word magnetic is used here because, ideally, the UVP should resonate with those in the presentation or pitch and stick with them long after it’s concluded. To create a magnetic UVP ask the following questions:
- What does this research uniquely offer?
- What problem does it solve, unlike others before it?
- Who will benefit from the research? Answering everyone won’t persuade potential funders to look deeper. Isolate a group to increase interest in the research. (Preferably a group that is underserved or unique to others.) For instance, having a cure for lung cancer is not nearly as memorable as having one for stage 4, metastatic lung cancer. The latter speaks to solving the impossible, while the former seems a more common approach in medical research.
- Who is the audience? Knowing something about the audience improves the unique value proposition. A single UVP does not fit all. Just as a resume is tailored for each position and company, so must the UVP for maximum interest.
Using the information attained from posing the questions above, the final step is compiling that information into a concise 2-3 sentence answer that will set the research apart.
Remember to mirror the language of the group hearing the presentation as closely as possible. A presentation given to angel investors should be posed differently than one given to corporate medical researchers.
A final note about crafting a strong UVP: a UVP is not a list of benefits of the research. There is a benefit component from which it’s comprised but all benefits should be framed in context of the problem they are solving. Very few people read entire lists of what something will do. If they do, they rarely remember all of the points. But when the benefit is framed in the context of a problem and a solution, it becomes much more memorable because it becomes identifiable. The UVP gives research a face and that’s where the successful commercialization begins.
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