Making your business stand out in a crowded market can be a challenge, but differentiating your business will be key to attracting the right customers and giving them a reason to choose you over a competitor.
That's why it's important to identify your unique selling point (USP), so you have a differentiator to communicate in your marketing and sales activity.
Giving your company a real differentiator
Not all companies are created equal. Every business will have a unique slant on how it develops and delivers the same product or service. Your USP focuses on what you do better, bolder, faster or more effectively than your competitors - giving you an edge over the other businesses that are clamouring for your customer's attention.
For example, Apple's USP was always that the company 'provides a lifestyle with our products' by making cutting-edge technology that's as simple to use and integrate as possible.
To make your USP work for you:
- Define your USP using your products/services - think about your products and/or service offerings and consider where you're adding value that's specific and unique to your business. You might be more ecologically sustainable, more budget-friendly, or easier to use than your competition. Own this difference, feed it into your development and think about the end benefit for customers.Tip: 'People don't buy products, they buy solutions' - Put yourself in your ideal customer's shoes to understand their needs and how you meet them.
- Market the company around this USP - understand where you add value as a business and condense it down to one selling point. While you may be able to list many benefits, boiling it down to one thing will be more compelling. Make sure it's short, simple and straightforward to communicate, so you and your customers quickly understand this USP. For example, the USP of M&Ms is that 'the milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand'. ABUS Locks have dominated security solutions with 'security built on quality' and this position has enabled them to broaden their product range beyond padlocks. A USP doesn't have to be a tagline but when it clearly caputures your point of difference it can become one, such as the Bunnings Warehouse tagline: 'Our policy - lowest prices are just the beginning'.
- Ensure your competitors aren't catching up - to be a true USP, your differentiator has to be unique. The business world doesn't stand still, so if competitors now offer the same customer benefits as you, it's important to review, reassess and adapt your USP. Keep innovating and developing your product/services, so you offer a genuine USP and keep the competitors from nipping at your heels.
If you're unsure what makes you stand out in your market or industry sector, think about the key benefit you offer your clients. It could be the unique features of your product or service, or the way you do business. A strong USP will help you attract prospects by reinforcing your position as the best choice for them.