Why must my business have a USP?
Unique Selling Proposition
What is a Unique Selling Proposition?
The Unique Selling Proposition ( USP ) is a marketing concept first used to explain a unique proposition made to customers that convinced them to switch brands.
It is recognised that most businesses have many almost identical competitors. What happens if a business fails to differentiate itself from its competitors? Usually what happens is that all the competing businesses get a share of the available market spend, based upon basic business parameters such as location and price.
To gain greater market share, the competing businesses must market themselves.
Without uniqueness, the business with the biggest marketing budget wins the greatest market share.
Do you have the biggest marketing budget of all the competition?
Even if you do, do you really want to take this sledgehammer approach to marketing? Be unique in the minds of your marketplace.
Uniqueness does not have to be material, it may be a perceived uniqueness. This is not dishonest. In reality, most people distinguish between businesses, their products, and their services on an emotional level, not using rigid logical parameters.
Neuroscience and psychology teach us that people make decisions based upon their emotions, their feelings, not on logic, because the emotional circuits of the brain short-circuit the logical circuits. In other words, logic only gets a look-in, if emotion lets it. With our time-starved, attention-deficient modern life-styles, very few of us have the luxury of making logical decisions. We just don’t use logic as our primary decision-making faculty!
Why must I be Unique?
Firstly to survive.
Secondly, marketing is changing. More and more, marketing is moving onto the Internet. Most purchases are now made using the Internet, even if it is only for research.
And … most market sectors are now moving a significant percentage of their commerce over to the Internet, so many retail and service businesses have have websites providing the facility to purchase goods online.
And … the younger generation now spends increasing amounts of time on the Internet and especially in Social Media. They now use Social Media as their preferred interface with suppliers.
And … Social Media is interactive. This is a subject for another time.
How does this affect your business?
It is quicker than ever before to get the feel of a business. Your prospects want to find a reason to buy from you in seconds and online. If your uniqueness does not come across in seconds, they are gone, perhaps never to come back. Online marketing professionals reckon that you may have as little as 9 seconds to make that impact.
Those who study even traditional advertising, would agree that it must make its impact in a similar amount of time.
What are the parameters of Uniqueness?
They are all in your customers and prospects minds. You will not find them anywhere else, especially not in your mind!
You must devise ways of getting these parameters out of your customers’ minds and into your business.
Use customer reviews. Ask customers visiting your business, visiting your website. Start a Social Media presence, monitor your sites, and respond quickly and positively to people’s comments.
Many large businesses use Twitter and Facebook as ways to help customers with product, services and support queries in a most effective manner.
How do we generate Uniqueness?
Let’s get right down to it.
Price is not a USP, and with the Internet, neither is Location!
Here are the key words for uniqueness:-
purpose values vision imagination difference risk guarantee positioning change response standards quality choice options bravery relationship service customers speed reliability support safety convenience image assumptions frustrations exclusivity
How do you know when you have become Unique?
Your customers will tell you: “I come to you because ….”.
Keep asking, keep changing, keep serving. Be brave with your changes, and remember that without your customers, you would not be in business. You owe it to them to be the best!
Even if you are in a product-based business, your customers still expect service. Without good service, your products remain on the shelves.
Uniqueness is not just a marketing concept!
It is found anywhere from your marketing to your after-sales or support service, and everywhere in between.
Can you do it all?
Yes you can. You can be unique, provide the best service, and do it at a lower cost than your competitors.
By being the best, attracting the most customers, and having them up-sell themselves out of choice, so although you are one of the cheapest, your customers don’t want the cheaper products or services because they recognise the value of your premium services.