Discovering Your Unique Selling Proposition
Very few businesses are one-of-a-kind. A quick look around and you would see several businesses with similar products and services all operating in the same geographical location. Now for any business to survive and thrive in this environment, that business has to be unique, the business must be able to stand out from others. The key to effective selling in this situation is what advertising and marketing professionals call a "unique selling proposition" (USP). Unless you can pinpoint what makes your business unique in a world of homogeneous competitors, you cannot target your sales efforts successfully.
Unique Selling Proposition refers to the unique benefits exhibited by a company, service, product or brand that enables it to stand out from its competitors. It is a feature that highlights product benefits that are meaningful to consumers, serving as the theme of all your marketing efforts, setting your products and/or services apart from your competitors. It is necessary to go to for your customers, the main reason why they trust/rely on your store as against your competition.
Your business may have superior service or product offerings, but unless you can get the message out to potential customers they will have no reason to choose your business over others.
A clear USP helps consumers to understand differences between brand offerings in a category, helping them form a positive attitude towards the brand and may ultimately contribute to improved levels of brand recall.
In order to determine an appropriate USP for your business, you must undergo some extensive, hard soul searching and marketed related creativity. You should be able to locate your own space in the market, ensuring that the feature is something that is unique, and also something that is valued by potential customers. Try to express the passion and commitment you feel about your business to the customer, drawing their attention to your own unique difference that makes stands you out loud, firm and strong.
Examples of USP.
Hallmark: When you care enough to send the very best.
M&Ms, "The milk chocolate that melts in your mouth, not in your hand."
The Men's Wearhouse (George Zimmer): You're going to like the way you look–I guarantee it.
FedEx Corporation: When it absolutely, positively has to get there overnight.
Here are steps to help you uncover your USP and use it to power up your sales
- Start by putting yourself in the place of the customer: Take a step back from your daily operations, take a look at things, scrutinize it from the view of the customers (remember this should be segmented by factors such as gender, age, income level, race, religion, education, etc.) and ask yourself, What does your typical customer want? Does your customer base want a lower price, better customer service, a particular location, convenience, home delivery? Once you get this, you would begin to shape your marketing and business operation strategy to that effect.
- What does your business offer that other business doesn’t: What motivates your customers, why are they buying one product form the other, how do they buy and when do they buy them? What is it that my product or service offers that my competitors' products or services don’t offer?" Then ask yourself what specific benefit this provides your customers. If you can't give exact answers to these questions in a few sentences you probably are not doing enough to differentiate your business offerings from your competitors in the marketplace.
- Discover the real reason why your customers buy from you: For an online Business platform this is where the feedback forms come to good use because there is no better person to ask about your customer service experience than your existing customers. As your business grows, you'll be able to ask your best source of information: your customers.
Once you've gone through these steps in the market intelligence process, you have to take the next step in all honesty, what features of your business jump out at you as something that sets you apart? What can you promote that will make customers want to patronize your business more? How can you position your business to highlight your USP? Once you are done this, you are good to go.
Thank you for reading and do have yourself a unique selling week ahead