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UPP – Unique Passion Proposition

Unique Passion Proposition

How to present yourself in the new paradigm

The Unique Passion Proposition is my upgrade to the moniker; USP (Unique Selling Proposition). This idea dawned on me during an interview I conducted with Hamish Gordon (from The Driver’s Tipple) for The Alchemy Experience Podcast. Hamish was relating the story of how he was able to successfully get his non-alcoholic gin replacement into key retail points across England, including the most prestigious Harrod’s! He shared one encounter with a purchasing manager who said, “Hamish, I will be honest with you, the thing that really puts your product at the top of the list for me to buy, is your passion for it.”

If you have read my earlier articles on the subject of “business in the new paradigm”, you will find that I define a healthy business as one with a collection of passionate people that are in pursuit of a common, well defined purpose. That purpose is a passion, not a revenue, statement. Businesses with a pure revenue based objective model is bound to failure as there is no cohesive drive of the passion in the business, everybody is there merely for a pay check. In a business where the passion statement permeates the organisation and is reflected, as a priority, in every business decision, people come to work to achieve something that is aligned with their higher purpose. Such goals are easily understood and adopted by any stakeholder at any level. Conveying a monetary goal to anyone who is not directly affected by it is not realistic, they can’t embody it, whereas a purpose oriented goal you can get deep buy-in at any level where individuals resonate with it. The beauty is, those that don’t resonate with it will move on and find places they do resonate with, and the business is left to attract people with a good fit. 

Traditionally, a USP has been used to describe what sets a product apart from its competition; price, quality, place of manufacture, eco friendliness, etc. That is all good and well, but when you describe the unique selling propositions you focus on the intrinsic values of the product and what the company has decided are the key aspects to bring forward to the stakeholder to set it apart from the competition. It becomes an impersonal statement of the corporate recorded message that is conveyed to the stakeholder, it becomes very forgettable. Whether the person delivering the USP has buy-in or not is irrelevant, the person is merely a mouthpiece for the corporate message. If the person can convincingly convey a level of passion, i.e. an effective sales person, the USP can be conveyed with conviction. The risk is that the passion is not authentic because the person delivering it is conveying passion for effect, not because of an genuine belief in their own passion for the product or service. 

The unique passion proposition that comes with a product or service from a business that is conscious and self-aware, is being delivered by a person who has committed to the passion of the business and thus the passion for the product or service because it aligns with the person’s own higher purpose. The person who delivers the UPP will do so with authenticity and conviction, simply because that passion is what brought them to the business in the first place and they were given the opportunity to grant their buy-in from the very beginning. Sales people that go out with a UPP will have a vastly higher sales success and better efficiency in the sales process, with the same product or service as opposed to the USP. The passion statement has to reflect that of the business as a whole, otherwise there there will be dissonance and you lose the benefits of the intrinsic buy in. 

The UPP is easier for the receiving stakeholder to understand and resonate with, if the stakeholder aligns with those values. The business doesn’t have to tailor it’s USP for the stakeholder either, it is universal because it reflects the business as a whole. A USP in a business that prioritises monetary goals will have to be tailored to fit the stakeholder; i.e. an investor wants to know how much money the product or service is going to make them, a customer could look at how it reflects on its brand and the community could look at how it treats the environment. Often times these objectives will stand in opposition to each other and thus the messaging from the business becomes disparate, lacking the cohesiveness of a business with the passion oriented goals. 

How are you going to define your personal UPP and how would you like to see your business or employer embody these ideas to create their own UPP? Changing the business culture allowing it to shift into the new paradigm starts with you and how you show up; it is a grassroots movement, bottom-up. Good luck in changing the world. 

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

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UPP - Unique Passion Proposition
Article Name
UPP - Unique Passion Proposition
Unique Passion Proposition is my upgrade from USP allowing any stakeholder to align fully with a company's product or service.
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The Alchemy Experience
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  1. clembke

    Thank you Barbie. Yes, this is one of the concepts I want entered into every book about business, swapping out the outdated USP concept.

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