Standing out among the crowd in the vast business world needs all the help you can give it. You have to make your business unique to your demographics in order to be found. One way to do that is with your unique selling proposition (USP) which basically means having a unique place in your market niche.
Your USP is what convinces customers of the value of your company, its products or services. It’s what sets you apart from your competition. Using it throughout all your marketing campaigns is what will, in the long run, make them successful.
Many of your prospective customers may have trouble determining which company deserves their money, time and trust. It can be daunting for those customers who aren’t experienced in knowing what separates the different competitors in an industry.
That’s why your company needs to help them by having a unique selling proposition that is different, obvious and easy to remember.
You want to be able to show them your unique value and how they can benefit from doing business with you.
As Theodore Levitt, author and professor at Harvard Business School, says:
“Differentiation is one of the most important strategic and tactical activities in which companies must constantly engage.”
One way to tell what a good USP is to look at some from other businesses. Some examples of USP’s you might recognize include:
“When it absolutely, positively, has to be there overnight.” FedEx
“The nighttime, coughing, achy, sniffling, stuffy head, fever, so you can rest medicine.” Nyquil
“We Try Harder” Avis Rent a Car
“Finger lickin’ good.” Kentucky Fried Chicken
Your USP is not necessarily your slogan. They can and often are different. Your USP tells what makes your company unique and the benefits it offers its customers.
A slogan is usually a quick, easy to remember phrase used for branding.
Think of McDonald’s slogan: I’m lovin’ it.
That doesn’t’ tell you what the company is about.
A solid unique selling proposition lets you stand out from your competitors. It allows you to focus your time and resources on creating things that specifically cater to your ideal customers.
Finding your USP
Finding your unique selling position and the value you add to your customers might come easy for you or you might need some help. There are several ways you can do this. One way is to ask yourself certain questions. Another is to make a list. Either method will help you come up with ideas of the value you can offer.
It might take you some time to develop a good USP and it may even involve more than one person. Discuss it with your partners or other people whose feedback you value. Don’t forget to include your customers.
Questions you should ask yourself:
1. What products or services are you selling?
2. Who is your target audience?
3. What does your business do well?
4. What is your most important customer-focused business goal?
In depth questions:
1. What are you or your products unique strengths? Its weaknesses? Its unique benefits?
2. What is lacking in your market?
3. What does your market want?
4. What about your solution to your market’s problem is better than or different from your competitions?
5. What specific emotional needs are being met by your service?
6. What aspects of your product make it difficult for your competitors to duplicate or imitate?
7. How can you answer your customer’s primary concern: “What’s in it for me?”?
8. What pain or discomfort does your product or service alleviate or take care of?
9. What does your product do better than your competition? Are you faster, more thorough, or more knowledgeable? Are you more reliable or have better terms?
10. Do you offer a better or longer or more comprehensive warranty than is normal in your industry?
11. Does your company make it easier for the customer than your competition? How? What about in these areas:
– More customer education and teaching?
– Free consultations?
– Better customer service and follow-up?
– Preferred treatment for preferred customers such as frequent buyer’s clubs, etc.?
Find Your True Value …
There are different angles you can take as well. The one you take depends on your strengths, your market and your interests. Here are a few idea starters to get you thinking creatively:
The Information Provider: Are you someone who provides a wide variety of information to your market? You might publish a lot of articles on a variety of topics within your niche.
The “Exposer”: Are you working in a market with a lot of misinformation and people spreading this information for their own agenda? While you may not want to be out to pick fights, you might be the “exposer” who shows your readers the truth and their options.
The Example: Are you living what you’re teaching? Have you lost 50 pounds or have you helped a lot of clients get free publicity? If you’re living what you do, you can pass on your knowledge through example.
The Analyst: Do many people in your market skim over the details, but you like to take the time to analyze and explain them?
The Step-by-Step Teacher: Does a segment of the market crave step-by-step help…a map laid out for them? Do you have a knack for explaining things in logical steps and process? Do you like to create step-by-step tutorials, videos and other help?
The Cheerleader: Does your market need encouragement and is this something you like to do? Do you like to interact and give your readers that extra push to accomplish their goals?
The Knowledgeable Service Provider: Are you a service provider who can offer additional information that is useful to your clients? Perhaps you work as a bookkeeper, but provide tips on better managing money, working with a bookkeeper, etc.
The questions might be hard to answer and might even seem daunting, but remember that’s the kind of reaction your customer’s might be feeling when choosing who they want to work with or buy from as well.
Take your time to do some soul searching and drill down how you can benefit those you serve when trying to come up with your USP.