Your business’ Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is the value or benefit that sets your business apart from others in your industry. Whatever is truly unique or one-of-a-kind about the product or service you offer, it’s vital that you make this clear in order to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Articulating what’s special about your business is non-negotiable from a sales perspective. Customers will choose to buy your product or service over your competitors’ if they understand what makes you the one that meets their needs.
Understanding your USP is important from a marketing perspective also. When you know where to focus your marketing efforts (parading your USP), your business will eventually become known for the value or benefit it offers customers…further improving sales.
For example, Starbucks is successful by being specifically known for making premium coffee beverages. The chain is not known for having the lowest prices, or for its food items (even though food is sold there). Think of some of your favourite companies. Why do you choose to pay them for their products or services? The reasons you’ve identified are probably closely tied to that company’s USP.
Many business owners today are savvy and understand they need to have a clear, strong USP. However, they may not know exactly how to start developing one. Here are five simple steps for getting through the process:
Looking at how your competitors have positioned themselves can give you some ideas about what sets your business apart from theirs. If it isn’t clear what the company’s USP is, their wording may give you some indication. Pay attention to the services or products they stress in their marketing.
Brainstorm ideas about what is unique about your business. Maybe it was started to fill a gap in the marketplace or it’s your approach that makes your business special. Also, read how to make your business stand out to help you create a USP for your business.
Jot down five to 10 convincing USP ideas. Remember to focus on the value or benefit to customers and keep it as short as possible (less than two sentences is ideal).
Speak to staff, current customers, previous customers (if possible), and find out what they think sets your business apart from the competition. This is a great way to get a totally different perspective on your business. Then, compare the list you made in step 3 with the feedback from these informal interviews. Look out for any ideas that appear on both lists, or choose the single most compelling phrase you feel describes your benefits.
Take a look at your final USP. Does it convey a strong benefit to your target audience? Is it really unique or could your competitor make the same claim? Is it memorable? If your current USP is lacking, keep tweaking it until you’re happy with it.
Essentially you can use the USP to develop your organization’s marketing and communications strategy. Communicate your unique selling proposition through multiple channels:
These are all distinct opportunities to impact your audience’s buying decisions and help you stand out from the crowd.
Best practice says you should communicate your unique selling proposition to all potential customers via all your touchpoints. Find out how to maximize your reach and boost your online exposure with our FREE infographic.