Attracting customers in a crowded market can be a challenge, but clearly communicating what makes your business stand out from the rest is the key to attracting the right customers and giving them a reason to choose you over your competitors.
Identifying your unique selling point (USP) will give you an important differentiator to focus on in your marketing activity.
Giving your business a real differentiator
Not all businesses are created equal. Every business will have a unique slant on how it develops and delivers the same product or service. It's the way you do what you do. Your USP focuses on what you do better, bolder, faster, more effectively or more consistent with your customers beliefs 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 – 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 your 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. For example, the USP of M&Ms is that 'the milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand'.
- 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 offering, 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, the way you do business or your company values. A strong USP will help you attract prospects by reinforcing your position as the best choice for them.