After months of development, your product hits the market, complete with larger buttons, intuitive user interface and backlit display. But no one’s buying. Because in today’s healthcare market, cool features don’t sell products. The fact is, they’ve become meaningless.

The key is to identify your product’s highest order benefit—especially if it comes with a premium price tag or it’s not essential to the consumer. Enter the unique value proposition, a.k.a., the UVP.

Your UVP should focus on what your customer really wants and values: How will your product make someone’s life better—and will it do it better than the competition already does? The answer has to be grounded in something real. One of the tools that helps our clients focus their message is a UVP distillation filter.

It works because it’s simple and specific.

Salient. Your product has to offer something your customer actually cares about. Tease out a benefit that impacts someone’s well-being and you can justify the reason to buy.

Meaningful. Unless you can articulate how your product overcomes a challenge or improves an outcome, consumers aren’t interested. Explain how your hand hygiene tracking system supports HAI prevention protocols—with no additional demands on staff.

Defendable. Sleek, quiet and compact can be desirable attributes, but if you want to lead with superior performance or compliance, make sure you can back it up. Link the design or functionality of your remote cardiac monitoring system with real-world results.

Believable. Where you land has to consistent with your brand or you risk confusing or even alienating your customers. If your health system is known for providing highly personalized patient care, the promise of efficiency could set off alarms.

Ownable. You won’t win as a “me too” product. Find a way to deliver on that highest level benefit in a way that no one else can. If all existing stents are thin enough, why would an interventional cardiologist switch brands?

Sustainable. Never position a product on a feature, because as soon as a competitor launches a better version—which will happen—yours becomes irrelevant. If your wound healing device weighs seven ounces less than any other option, focus on how that attribute contributes to greater compliance, fewer hospitalizations or reduced cost of care.

Now that you’ve nailed your unique value proposition, give it a good gut check. If it passes, you’re well on your way to developing a unified marketing message.