BEFORE YOU START SELLING YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE MAKE SURE YOU CAN FIRST SELL IT TO YOURSELF.
The key to starting a new business is effective selling. You will need a (USP) Otherwise known by marketing professionals as “Unique Selling Proposition” Or “Unique Selling Point.
Definition- The unique selling proposition (USP) or unique selling point is a marketing concept first proposed as a theory to explain a pattern in successful advertising campaigns of the early 1940s. The USP states that such campaigns made unique propositions to customers that convinced them to switch brands.
To make your new business a success you are going to need to pinpoint what makes your business unique. There are very few businesses that are one of a kind. Just look around you there are lots of shops selling clothes, Indian restaurants on every corner and more beauty shops than customers. You get my point!
One way to start is to look at how other companies use their USP to their advantage. You need to spend some time looking at ads and marketing messages. Look at what they say they sell. Not just their product or service features. How do they distinguish themselves from the competition?
Unique Selling Point Examples
Before we create your USP, take a look at these excellent examples.
- Dominos: "Pizza delivered in 30 minutes or it’s free".
- FedEx: "When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight". (Signifies speed)
- M&Ms: "The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand".
- Target: "Expect More. Pay Less".
- Enterprise: "Pick Enterprise. We’ll Pick You Up".
Before we move on let’s just have a quick look at some not so good USPs.
- “Good Quality and Low Prices.”
- “Affordable Quality Since 1984.”
- “Service with A Smile.”
- “Excellence in Quality And Service.”
These USPs are too vague and they offer nothing that is unique.
Now you know what makes a good USP you can write your own unique selling point.
Establishing your USP.
Step 1 choose your category
USPs are usually grouped into one of these areas:
Step 2 Identify your strengths
A good way to establish your USP is to start by assessing your strengths and weaknesses, understand why your customers will want to buy from you above all your competitors. An easy way to start thinking about this is by using the following statement.
Customers will buy from me because my business is the only ……
Step 3 Concepts
Broad concepts for example,
If you choose “Speed” as your area, you have to say more than “We Delivery Fast”.
Make you USP convincing and unique. Again, take the FedEx example. They sell themselves as offering just one solution (overnight packaging delivery) but they offer full logistics services.
The USP must demonstrate at least one feature of the product that stands out as different from the competition. This is then usually a feature that conveys unique benefits to the customer.
The aim is to communicate it to the customer:
- The business proposition needs to say “Buy this product for this specific benefit”.
- The proposition must be one the competition cannot or does not offer.
- It must be unique – either in the brand or a claim, the rest of the advertising area does not make.
- The proposition must be strong enough to move the masses i.e. attract new customers as well.
- Persuasive Writing for Business Author Patrick Forsyth - reviews how to define your message clearly and present it powerfully and persuasively.
- How To Write a Business Plan that Gets Results Author Wendy Kipling - writing a business plan isn't just a good idea, it's a necessity. They aren’t just ‘one-time’ tasks. Business plans detail the income activities contributing to business success.
- How to Style Your Brand Author Fiona Humberstone
To be successful in a noisy world you need to stand for something. Put yourself in the customer's shoes. You are going to have to give them a reason to buy. If you are just starting out you are not going to have many customers to ask. Hence you need to check out the competition.
"Your brand will grow with time and experience. Make sure you are alert to any changes in your market". Wendy Kipling The Virtual Mentor
What does a USP mean to you and your business? Please feel free to leave your comment below.