What is Your Unique Selling Point, and Who Cares Really

June 15, 2011

What is your unique point of difference (USP)?
If a customer asked what your Unique Selling Point is, could you tell them?

 

If your company appears in the search engine results with ten of your competitors, why would a customer pick you?  What is it you do that nobody else does, what makes you stand out in a crowded and competitive marketplace?  For those of you who have not identified your unique selling point (USP), this article will explain why it is important, how to identify and finally, how to market and show your customers how your product or service is different (and dare I say it, better!).

 

Why is your unique selling point important?
We are currently coming out of a global recession and it’s a tough and competitive market.  There are companies embarking on price wars, new products constantly being introduced and brand loyalty replaced by the best deal  on the day as consumers grow increasingly careful with their money and make smarter decisions.

 

Knowing your competitive advantage has two important benefits:

  1.  In a cluttered and aggressive market your point of difference allows you to position yourself uniquely in the market, to be seen as more appealing to your target market than your competitors.
  2. Developing a compelling message based on your point of difference is a powerful communication tool to be included in your marketing strategy.  Talk to your market about how your competitive advantage will directly solve their problems.

Maybe you don’t have a unique selling point yet?

Then all is not lost! There are many internal and external analysis tools (SWOT, Benchmarking, Competitor Profiles, Porters 5 Force – to name a few) which will help to highlight either a point of difference you may not have been aware of, or an opportunity for you to develop.  Contact me for more information on these tools.

 

Strategies that many businesses consider are:
  1. Cost Leadership: Is there an opportunity through purchasing, warehousing or distribution to create a price advantage.
  2. Focus: Particularly useful for smaller businesses trying to compete with the ‘big players’, by focusing on a niche or smaller market you may be able to create a better, more tailored product or service than your competition.
  3. Differentiation: Your product or service may be the same as your competitors but part of your process or delivery may result in a superior outcome.  A classic example of this is McDonald’s who took the humble hamburger and created an added value to promote the burger to a world stage.  There are better burgers available, but McDonald’s stands alone.

How do you identify your unique selling point?

Consider the following when thinking about your products or services:

  • Price
  • Range
  • Features
  • Benefits
  • Availability
  • Convenience
  • Customer Service
  • Flexibility
  • The company itself (how, why or where you do business)

Still having trouble?  Dig a little further:

Analysis

  1. Draw 2 columns on a piece of paper.
  2. Head up the paper with the name of a competitor.
  3. In the 1st column, note how similarities between your products/services.
  4. In the 2nd column, note how your products/services are different.
Repeat these steps for up to 10 of your competitors.  Look for recurring points in the 2nd columns, these are your Unique Selling Points.

 

Ask
It’s that easy, ask some customers why they purchased from you.  Did they consider buying from the competition (if so, why did they decide to buy from you).  What do they like about dealing with your company.  What’s good about your product or service.  Ask as many questions as you can to as many customers as possible – again, recurring comments will be your Point of Difference.  Consider sending a survey to 50 of your customers.
Ok, we know our unique selling point…now what?

 

Finally, marketing your unique selling point

 

Now you need to let your existing, and potential customers know why they will benefit from buying from you.  Mention your advantage everywhere
  • Website
  • Social media profiles and backgrounds
  • Business cards
  • Tagline
  • Brochure
  • Bio (Company Profile)
  • Packaging
  • Logo
  • Email signature
  • Adverts
  • Promotional giveaways

When you define your points of difference and market them well, getting your business noticed is easy.   


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