With millions of products and services being offered to consumers every day, how do you distinguish yours from the rest? This is an extremely important question that you should be asking yourself on a fairly regular basis. If you don’t know why someone should pick your service over the competition’s then your target market probably doesn’t know either. For this reason, it is important to establish a unique selling proposition, or “USP.”
A USP is a marketing term that is defined as the factor presented by a seller as the reason that one product or service is different and better than the competition’s. Basically, you’re saying to your potential customer “Here’s why you should buy from me instead of someone else.” While this might seem like a basic concept, you will find that it might be a little more difficult than it seems. When asked what sets their business or product apart from their competitors, many business owners responded by saying things like, ”it’s more affordable” or “it’s better” without really identifying specifically what makes them different.
One of the best ways to do this is by putting yourself in the position of the customer. Ask yourself, “What do customers say when they think of my business?” Are you a “bargain” brand or a “luxury” brand? What is the one thing you most want your customers to experience when they buy your product? By asking questions like these, you will be able to communicate with your customers why you are different. Remember also that while price can play a factor, it is often times the value you add to competitive pricing that entices a client. Quality, convenience, cleanliness, courtesy, friendliness, and customer service can all be reasons why someone would choose your services over the competition’s.
It is also important to know what marketing messages are being sent by your competition. You will find more success if your USP is in fact, unique. If you are saying the same thing that everyone else is saying, then you are not giving your clients a reason to choose your services. Keep in mind, however, that you need to make sure you are communicating what truly makes your services stand out. If where you provide your service is not in pristine condition, don’t claim to have immaculate ambiance. This will end up hurting your business more than helping it.
While these are just a few ideas when it comes to establishing a USP, the most important thing to remember is to be honest with yourself and understand what your clients are looking for. You might come to find that they are looking for an oasis from their crazy lives, but without looking into it, you could be sending the wrong message.
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