Many business owners — particularly those who own smaller companies — spend so much time trying to stay competitive in business by focusing on eliminating weaknesses. Doing such, they never fully capitalize on their strengths. One way to do so is to identify and explicate your unique selling proposition (USP).
In a nutshell, a USP states why customers should buy your product or service rather than a similar one offered by a competitor. A USP might be rather obvious if you offer a type of state-of-the-art technology or specialize in a certain kind of service that’s not widely available. Many businesses, however, will need to dedicate some serious thought and discussion to identifying their USP. In addition, they may need to do so every year or two to adapt to market changes.
Involve employees from every level of your company in brainstorming sessions to develop your USP. During these meetings, consider the answers to questions such as:
As you might have noticed, benchmarking and knowledge of your competitors is critical to developing a strong unique selling proposition. You can’t differentiate your business from theirs unless you’re familiar with what competitors are selling, how they sell their products or services, and how they support those sales in terms of customer service. To this end, you may need to undertake some “competitive intelligence” efforts to gather needed information.
Your Unique Selling Proposition should be a powerful, concise statement that customers and prospects will immediately understand and recognize as fulfilling their wants or needs. Among the most commonly cited examples is package delivery giant FedEx’s “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” Although the company doesn’t use this slogan anymore, it remains a perfect example of a USP that’s clear and memorable.
Of course, your USP must be more than just words. Once established, it should serve as a sort of “mantra” for your sales team. That is, after identifying your customers’ needs during the sales process, they should use the USP (or an iteration of it) to explain to customers why your product or service is the right choice. Just be careful not to overuse your USP in sales and marketing materials, including on your website.
Given the monumental changes that have occurred in the U.S. economy and in many industries because of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are one of the many companies affected by COVID-19, now may be an imperative time to reconsider and relaunch your unique selling proposition. We can help you evaluate your sales numbers, as well as return on investment in marketing initiatives, to carefully craft the right approach.