What’s Your USP?
Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Characteristic(s) of a product (or service) that can be used to differentiate it from its competitors (Source: Collins English Dictionary)
Do you know why customers choose your products/services over your competitors? Often times, when I ask the question, I get a look…. The look which says; “of course I know!”. But closer examination of websites, brochures, signage and other marketing tools often tells a different story.
Developing a USP for your company, products or services takes time and careful consideration. Once developed it must be used by everyone in the company as part of the marketing and sales strategy. It must be consistent, accurate and realistic.
So how do you uncover your USP?
- Walk in Your Customers Shoes: Write down all the reasons your customers choose to buy from you? What do they like about you? What need are you fulfilling? What problem are you solving? And why do they consistently choose you over your competitors? The answer may be relating to quality, location, convenience, reliability, customer service, cleanliness or availability. Remember, price is rarely the sole factor why customers choose one product over another.
- Understand What Motivates your Customers: Go beyond your product features and think more of its benefits. What are the wider factors motivating your customers. For example, a busy mother might buy take away pizza every Friday night. In this case the product features that might motivate her could be convenience, quality, customer service and price. But the product benefits or motivators in this case are; no cooking, no wash up and basically the night off!
- Identify Why Customers Choose You Over Competitors? Listen to customer feedback. Encourage your staff to do likewise. Ask your best customers. Conduct a customer survey. You can never know too much about your customers or your competitors!
Once you have identified your USPs, make sure everyone in your organisation is clear on what they are. They should be used on all marketing material, on your website, in the descriptions on your social media channels, in your sales proposals and presentations. They should also be used to create a tag line that becomes closely associated with your business.