usp Archives - TAB Corporate

How to Develop Your Company’s Unique Selling Proposition

Unique Selling Proposition
The most basic element of every successful company’s marketing message is their Unique Selling Proposition, or USP.

In running any successful business, it’s important to clearly differentiate the business in the eyes of potential customers and to continually focus on the unique need that is provided by the business’s products or services. A well-defined USP constructs a memorable message of these unique qualities and very clearly answers the question, “Why should I do business with you instead of one of your many direct competitors?

Many business owners, including a significant portion of the hundreds I have personally interviewed for TAB membership, answer the above question with “good customer service.” Unfortunately, there is nothing unique about good customer service—all of your competitors probably feel that they offer good customer service as well!

Good customer service is the implementation of a USP and is a key strategy in keeping your customers—a well-written USP defines how you get customers! If you cannot clearly define the uniqueness of your product or service (and create some enthusiasm for customers to buy), you probably don’t have the basic foundation for a successful company.

A great example of one company’s USP is “fresh, hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.” Domino’s significantly changed the pizza delivery market with the implementation of this USP, and they didn’t even promise that the pizza tasted good.

Here’s another… “positively, absolutely delivered the next morning by 10:30 am.” Federal Express literally created a market for overnight document delivery and became so good at it that the word FedEx was added to our daily lexicon as a generic term for all overnight document deliveries.

One of the quickest ways to go out of business is to attempt to market a product or service that hardly anyone wants, needs or understands. When developing your USP, focus on the factors that are most important to the buyers and end users of your product or service, especially the ones that are not easily duplicated by competitors. Be sure to develop adequate marketing tools to communicate your USP, including media advertising, direct mail, packaging and sales personnel.

The simple test of determining whether you’ve developed an effective USP is whether it sells for you. If it sells your products or services, your USP is meaningfully different.

 

When Being Different is the Best Thing

Your Unique Selling Proposition

Before you can successfully sell your product or service to someone else, you have to sell yourself on it. This is especially true when you have lots of competition and the need to distinguish yourself.

A unique selling proposition (USP) is a description of the qualities unique to your product or service that differentiate it in a way that compels your customers to buy.

A good USP translates features into benefits. (<–tweet this) It needs to answer the “why should I buy your product over a competitor’s?” question from your prospect.

Be unique in your sales proposition!Many businesses do not have a USP. They continue to exist because of the awareness of their service created by the market leaders and the momentum created. Businesses that want to make an impact need a USP. The great thing about having a truly unique USP is that it gives you the potential to open a new category in an existing brand – where you become the market leader.

Questions to ask when creating a USP:

– What product or service do you offer?

– What is the profile of your buyer?  If you’re trying to appeal to everyone, chances are you’ll appeal to no one.

– Why do your customers choose you over your competitors?  If you don’t know, ask them!

– If you have features that distinguish your offering, what does the customer value in those features?

A USP is not designed to compete (“we’re the best…in our industry”) but instead is designed to distinguish you from your competition (“we’re the only“). The difficult part of a USP is creating differentiation. There may be a feature of your product or service offering that is indeed different than anyone else’s offering.

Even so, it is critical to confirm that your customers understand and value this difference. If you don’t have a material feature difference, there are other ways to distinguish your offering: price, quality, exclusivity, the best customer service, or a guarantee that your customers will see results.

One note of caution! The worst thing you can do is claim to have a USP but not deliver on it. If you promote a USP be sure that you and your employees are relentless in delivering on it.

What’s your USP? Share it here, and see if it is indeed unique!