Ocean Of Sameness, Lake Of Differentiation
By Elon Law | December 9 2015
Peter Drucker once said “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”
The reason why 99% of all new businesses fail within the first 10 years of their life is due to one single factor – They cannot SELL. Selling gives you the cashflow needed to sustain your lifestyle and business operations. If your businesses cannot sell a single product or service, how can you then earn the necessary cashflow to run your businesses?
Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is that distinct, appealing idea that sets your business apart from every other “me too” competitors. There can be many kinds of USP successes. It is best, however, to adopt a USP that dynamically addresses an obvious void in the marketplace that you can fill.
You should have an idea of the need to carefully integrate your newly adopted USP into every part of your marketing plans – the headline and the body copy of every ad you run, and in every direct-mail piece you send out. You must integrate it into every form of your marketing.
Extend the USP to your salespeople to call on prospect; everything they say should clearly reinforce your USP. They should explain the USP to customers in clear statements, and should live and breathe USP.
Developing your USP (Sales)
Do your homework and express the essence of your USP clearly and powerfully in less than 60 seconds, and then compellingly state how it benefits the prospects. Furnish your prospects with examples and testimonials on how you honestly deliver your USP. Salespeople should refer to the USP benefits or advantages, and show the prospects why its vastly superior to take advantage of your USP rather than your competitor’s USP if he even has one.
Basic forms of USP
Overall, there are generally 3 kinds competitive advantages that are in the marketplace. Businesses that have USPs generally base the USP on their competitive edge, generally in one of the following 3 areas:
b) Overall cost leadership
And of course, vast majority of the businesses are stuck in the middle, finding it very tough to differentiate themselves on what unique benefits they can offer their clients.
There can be many kinds of USP successes:
1) Some companies position themselves as having the best selection or broadest array of buying options. Their USP is “broad choice”.
2) Other companies may offer more limited selection, with their USP as “low price” or “low markup”.
3) Another company may decide on offering the best quality at a higher, reasonable price. Quality or exclusivity — even snob appeal — is its USP.
4) Another might offer a product at reasonable prices, but their distinct selling appeal is that they offer better service, assistance or installation help.
Find Your Niche
When you are looking for a product or service, wouldn’t you tend to favour businesses that strongly present one of the basic forms of USP?
However, remember this axiom: You will not appeal to everybody. In fact, certain USPs are designed to appeal to only one segment of a market. There is a huge gap between the upscale clients and the bargain seekers, and you probably can’t reach them both. So, which do you want to stake out as your market niche?
In conclusion, don’t adopt a USP you can’t deliver. Analyse the market potential of various USP positions in terms of volume, profits, and repeat business. Your USP must not only fill a market void, but result in adequate volume, customers, action and profit to suit your psychological and financial needs.