The most important thing in business and career, is standing out more favourably, strategically and attractively in your client’s eyes. You need to present a compelling reason why clients and employers should choose you over your competitor. The more clearly and frequently you communicate why you are a superior choice (offering more benefits, value, and bottom line payoff), the more often they would choose you over your competitors.
But how do you always create that real or perceived superior image in your clients’ and employers’ eyes and mind? In this article we explore ways to develop a personal Unique Selling Proposition to set you apart from your competitors and attract clients by offering them a compelling and unique benefit!
What is a USP?
How do you elevate yourself or your company to a position of notable dominance over your competition? What is that one thing produces results that are drastically superior compared to that of your competition? This is called the Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Your Unique Selling Proposition is that distinct idea that sets your business apart from your competitor.
Make your USP the central theme
Is my USP the main theme in all of your marketing and sales efforts? Your distinct advantage should be integrated into all your promotional, marketing, advertising and selling campaigns. Include it your sales pitch – from every advertisement, newsletter, promotional collateral, brochure to what your salespeople do and say. Your USP should touch most parts of the marketing gamut – price, service, quality or any other aspect of your business.
Make sure consistently demonstrate it, rather than just say it. Live and breathe it at all times!
How do I find my USP?
You can start by looking at the propositions in your competitor’s advertisements and marketing campaigns. Network with various business owners and salespeople and ask them, “What is the main advantage of doing business with your company over your competitor?” Actively listen out to how they structure and convey their own unique selling proposition, then apply these tactics to your own.
Developing, identifying, and incorporating your personal USP into everything you do is gruelling task, but I assure you it is well-worth time. It would illuminate your key differentiation and advantage compared to everyone in your industry. Brainstorm on your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses. Capitalize on their weakness and think about how you can do things better.
Examples of USP
Common USPs are having the lowest price or the widest variety of choices. Another USP is offering the highest quality of ingredients at a premium but reasonable price.
Quality or exclusivity – even snob appeal – can also be a USP. This is especially effective in societies that place a lot of emphasis on status and the image of prestige, like the USA and China.
If you are competing within the affordable range, you can differentiate yourself by offering
superior service, assistance, or installation help. The possibilities for building a USP are endless! Keep in mind the most effective way is find a void in your industry and become exceptional in serving that niche. But beware of over-promising! Only create a USP you can confidently and consistently deliver, otherwise it would be counterproductive.
Clients expect special services, beyond the usual “convenient location” and occasional sales, in exchange for their business. Exploit your unique advantage over your competitors and remember the tiny fraction of all business professionals who adopt a dynamic USP perform vastly better than those without one!
A Step-by-step Guide to finding your USP
Firstly, identify the pressing needs that are going unfulfilled within your industry, such as:
1) A broad variety of selection.
2) Heavy discounts.
3) Customer assistance.
4) Convenience (i.e. location, immediate delivery, multiple methods of return).
5) Highest quality of products or services.
6) Quick and efficient service.
7) Services above and beyond the client’s expectations
8) A more comprehensive warranty or guarantee beyond the norm
9) Any other distinctive advantage.
Focus on that one niche, need, or gap that is most sorely absent – provided you can fulfill the promise you make.
Combine and integrate one marketing gap with another. Make sure you to train all your employees to consistently deliver high levels of quality or service. Put in place a system to have quality control or audit checks to ensure strict adherence to a distributed set of clear guidelines.
If your USP is that your company offers the broadest selection of products or services “instantly available” or “always in stock,”, make sure you can deliver this. If you only stock 8 out of
Your 25 items and only a few of each item, then you fail to deliver your products on time –
your marketing will set to fail. It is vital to have the ability to always fulfil the “big promise” of your USP.
Firstly, what does pre-eminence mean? The fact of surpassing all others, which basically means superiority. Pre-eminence marketing is another great way to develop a USP. Instead of marketing their beer as “pure” like the rest of their competitors, Schlitz beer explained to their clients the full brewing process. By being the first in their industry to show extraordinary and precautionary measures they took to brew their beer, they illuminated the word “pure” into a more tangible benefit. Their skilful use of pre-emptive marketing to develop their USP paid off. Within six months of launching their Schlitz beer USP, they moved from number 8 in market sales to number 1.
“The first person who tells the story, explains how, and the reasons why you execute things in a certain way, will gain pre-eminence in the market place.”
Your Actionable Steps
- List out all the ways you could improve un your competitors’ unique advantages.
- List any niche advantages you already possess.
- List of your most important retailers, suppliers, vendors, and businesses in your professional life.
- What is the main reason you prefer dealing with these stakeholders over their competitors?
- Pinpoint this benefit and see if you could apply it to your own business.
- Record the biggest successes you know or see in any field. What’s their USP to their client market? Is there anything you can directly or indirectly apply to your own business?
Once you understand, start zooming in on and promoting these unique advantages or benefits, you can offer your clients or employer. Get ready to see amazing results!