A Unique Selling Proposition is a marketing concept that was first proposed as a theory to explain a pattern in successful advertising campaigns in the early 1940s. In plain language, your USP is the reason that your product or service is different and better than that of your competition.
Defining your unique selling proposition is the first step in creating a business that customers genuinely love. A good USP can help you stand out from your competition, create pricing power, offer products that appeal to your ideal customer, build customer loyalty and allow you to be memorable.
So how can you define your unique selling proposition to make your business stand out? I’ve got five tips to share with you to get you going.
#1 Know Your Customer
There is an old adage in business that states: “When you try to reach everyone, you reach no one.”
This is important to remember. As a business owner or startup, it’s extremely tempting early on to be all things to all people. We all love to believe that our products or services can benefit everyone, but the truth is, you can’t market to everyone. Marketing to everyone is a great way to drive yourself crazy and into bankruptcy quickly.
Identify and appeal to your ideal customer. Who is your product specifically for? Learn and identify your potential customers preferences, shopping habits, and purchasing concerns. Create an avatar and factor all of that information in to its creation. Once you have identified your target audience, now you can produce content, marketing campaigns and products and services that specifically apply to them.
#2 Go the Extra Mile
Develop a customer first or product plus service mindset. Whether you’re in retail, peer-to-peer coaching, physical products or creative services, make sure you go the extra mile to provide a pleasurable and empathetic experience for your customers.
Going the extra mile and really trying to solve problems for your customers will create loyalty and make your future prospects feel special. Word of mouth is extremely powerful, you want to make sure when people talk about your business, that it’s in a positive light.
#3 Be Friendly
Always remember that people buy and do business with other people. Having a strong and inviting personality can really help to place your business ahead of the competition. In an era of automated answering machines and the endless loop of pressing zero to speak to a live person, being accessible, courteous and genuinely caring about your clients, will show them that you are not in it for personal gain, but that your business actually exists to help people figure out solutions to their problems.
#4 Be Different
Don’t ever strive to be “the best”, instead strive to be different. I can assure you that you are not the only one in your field of interest. Sure, other businesses exist, but they are not you! Always strive to bring a unique experience to the table.
Focusing on what makes you different from your competition is a great way to gain loyalty and grow a supportive community around your products or services.
#5 Build a Tribe
Pay attention and interact with your community. Learn from your dedicated customers by asking for feedback. Take that feedback and apply it to your business. Most of the time, if you simply ask your community what it is, they are looking for and willing to buy, they will tell you. Listen and then produce products or services that your community asks for. Building a strong community or tribe not only garners support for your business, but it turns customers into champions of your products and services.
Next time someone needs a plumber or graphic artist, your name will be the one your customers recommend.
In closing, building and establishing a unique selling proposition is important as it will be the factor that provides more value for your customer’s money and will ensure that customers are swayed towards opting for your brand over your competition.
Charles Watson, M.B.A., T.M.
Digital Content Strategist / Founder
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