If you want to distinguish yourself from the competition, it’s important to identify and develop your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Put simply, your USP is a summary of what is unique about your business and how your business adds value to your current or potential customers.
Your USP can also help you identify and narrow monthly or yearly goals. When you understand how you’re different (and hopefully better) than the competition, you can establish goals and marketing initiatives that help you grow.
Your USP: Why It’s Necessary
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Sometimes there are too many choices, making it difficult for you to know who to trust with your hard-earned money. Do you choose the first option to pop up on your Google search? Or, when doing your research, do you choose the company that will add value that its' competitors can’t add?
Understandably, your business’s USP is vital because it shows the customer why you’re the right company to choose and in what ways you’re different and better than the competition.
#1 Conceptualize Your Business and the Competition
Before you can develop a USP, you’ll need to spend some time brainstorming. Ask yourself — and then write down — what makes your company unique, what your ideal customer’s pain points are, and how your product or service addresses those problems. If you’re struggling to figure out what makes your company, product, or service unique, just throw down ideas whether or not you assume them to be “good” ideas. You might find that your business is unique for some seemingly insignificant reason, like the way you interact with your customers, your commitment to community service, the simplicity of your pricing, or even your methods of production.
Your next step is to research the competition and compare what they’re offering to the list of ideas you’ve just compiled. Do you see any differentiation? Are you offering something that they’re not? Look at their ads, their social media presence, their website, and their offerings. Ask yourself: in what way can we set ourselves apart from them?
#2 Narrow Your Audience and Speak to Them Directly
This one might make you nervous, but hear me out. Determining your target audience makes marketing to them that much easier. In other words, if you know who you’re talking to, you’ll know just what to say.
Think about the customers who would benefit most from your product or service and sell to them, but make sure that your marketing focus is setting your business apart in their eyes. For example, if you know that your target audience is frustrated by confusing pricing and expensive add-ons, speak to this pain point and explain how your pricing is never-changing with no charge for extra add-ons (or whatever marketing plan addresses this pain point best). Your USP should directly correlate to the needs or frustrations of this audience, which makes differentiation much easier.
#3 Make Your USP Your Motto
Work on paring down your USP into a short, memorable phrase that your audience can latch onto. Then, center everything you do around this messaging. Put it in your ads, email campaigns, on your website and social media, and embody this uniqueness in your relationship and communication with customers.
#4 Focus on Repetition
Now that you’ve got your USP defined and pared down into an effective motto, make this messaging the focal point of your marketing campaigns. If you’re doing a good job of conveying your USP through all of your customer-facing messaging, your customers should be able to tell others what makes you stand out.
Don’t just BE unique; TELL your audience HOW you’re unique. It’s all about communicating that same message over and over again until your USP becomes synonymous with your business name.
Your Uniqueness Sells!
Your USP sets you apart from your competition, and that means more sales. When customers begin to see that choosing you means they’ll get value that they can’t get anywhere else, you’re sure to keep them coming back for more (and, hopefully, telling their friends and family all about your business). Your uniqueness sells, so make it the center of all you do!
Let me help you
My entire focus is on (USP coming) helping small business owners look better online, and on the job, to beat the competition.
With Gung Ho Local, you can concentrate on the million other things needed to run a successful business, in this crowded marketplace.
Sean M. Fitzgerald - Local Marketing Strategist
Gung Ho Local, LLC