The earth is about 4.543billion years old, so the chances of original thought are slim to none. Yet, there’s still enough room for all players to come into the market. It all comes down to how you deliver or package the idea. Thar’s where your USP comes in. Unique Selling Position or Unique Selling Proposition (USP) can be defined as the element of factor that makes the brand stand out or appear better than the competition. This stance or consideration that your business aligns itself with, ties into your brand image to produce something specific that you are known for. For example, you’re a brass jewellery brand that specializes in affordable pieces.
How do you channel this force to leave a lasting impression and reputation with your audience?
Step 1: Put yourself in your Customer’s shoes.
Step back from your daily operations and set aside your own personal feelings towards your brand/product. What exactly does your target market need from you? What satisfies them or motivates their buying behaviour? This is where customer demographics such as gender, income, age and race come into play.
Then, figure out what you offer that makes them keep choosing you over your competitor every single time. Remember, it’s not all about price. Your competitive advantage could be exceptional customer service they crave, or the fact that your reliable and convenient. Perhaps it’s the quality they love. Once you’ve figured it out, build your sales and promotional efforts around it.
Figure out what you offer that makes them keep choosing you over your competitor every single time. Remember, it’s not all about price.
Step 2: Avoid the Superstar Effect
Trying to provide everything to everyone means that you won’t be known for anything. Your brand will just blend into the crowd that no-one can really place a finger on. Especially if you’re a small brand, it doesn’t make sense to try and compete in the market with just your quality and price tag. Narrow down to an area of specialty; in particular, focus on an industry gap that no-one else is perfecting or attempting. For example, you could be a bridal designer but you’re particularly known for hand-embroidery or for catering to the plus-size bride. Define the emotional and physical needs that your customers need addressed and see which of your biggest benefits in your service or products can fulfill them.
Narrow down to an area of specialty; in particular, focus on an industry gap.
Step 3: Communicate your stance accordingly
Uniqueness can sometimes get lost in translation. For starters, your USP must always address a demand. Secondly, it should immediately be understood. One way of ensuring this is to communicate it often and clearly through design, branding and messaging. This includes a tagline that concisely delivers details of what you offer in one sentence, a catchy name and design that brings the USP all together. Continuously advertise this to the market through all your marketing materials to embed it in the consumers’ mind. This will be easy to accomplish if you use your USP as a driving force for your marketing strategy, be it logo, business cards or website creation.
Your USP must always address a demand.
Step 4: Test and Tweak
It may take a couple of tries to refine your statement to perfectly convey your USP. Don’t be scared to get feedback from your customers and potential ones on way you could be positioning your brand. Taking the time to interview them could not only give you the most compelling reason that should be your USP, but it can also define your best positioning statement. Once you’ve found the right fit, try to keep it for as long as possible as it will become synonymous with your brand. Do however keep tabs on trends and industry events to ensure these changes don’t affect your brand’s perception.
Try to keep it for as long as possible, as it will become synonymous with your brand.
Step 5: Keep your USP Promise.
Creating the USP is only half the journey. It has the power to not only keep your existing customers, but pull in prospective clients. However, for this to work you must deliver on what you’ve been advertising. Develop an experience that will keep your customers coming back, spreading the word and looking forward to updates from you. Fail to deliver on your promises and you’ll be given the boot. If your USP is overnight delivery and you constantly miss the targets, you’ll quickly be recognized as a fraud and probably lose all your customers. In fact, it’s advised to offer up to date, and assessable, proof of your USP as part of your marketing.
Deciding your USP could possibly be one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make for you brand. Standing out from the crowd gives your brand that added advantage in business. Client’s will easily spot your brand, and your loyal fan base will most likely spread the word; helping your grow. The old-fashioned method of relying on an excellent product to grow your business can still work but will take you a little longer to reach your objectives. So, if you haven’t defined your USP yet, don’t panic. You can always start today, by researching, planning and gradually implementing your idea until your USP is refined.