The answer to that all important question “Why should anyone buy a product/service from YOU?” should come from your Unique Selling Proposition (USP, sometimes also called Unique Selling Point).
Shortly after publishing yesterday’s article USP: Differentiate Your Site In 30 Seconds, a comment was made asking for any tips to work on your unique selling proposition. So, here goes.
The USP is the one thing that makes your product and your business different from every other product and business in the same market.
How to find your USP?
The USP is a result of a matching process, a comparison between your product and company on one side and the market, more specifically your very specific target group on the other side.
The four steps to find your USP are:
- Evaluate your strengths and significant competencies
Take a good look at the features and benefits of your product or service and at your company and then decide what differentiates you and your business from the pack. Is it the value you provide, how big a problem you solve, your experience, know how, customer service, delivery speed and so on?
Try to quantify the differences as much as possible!
- Analyze your market to find out which benefits are most crucial to your target prospects. What benefits do they appreciate most and which do they actively look for?
Review leading trade publishings, analyze newsletters and search the Net for news and trends about your niche. Here’s another great tip: survey your customers to gather data.
- Compare the answers from steps 1 and 2 and encircle the matches.
Whenever details of both lists match, you can build a USP. If you have no matches, you have to digg deeper until you find them. It’s not always easy to find a USP, but in order to differentiate yourself and your product, you should have one.
Take your TOP match(es) and use it to position yourself and your product in the market.
Summarize the results from step 3 into one, compact, compelling, motivating phrase that will persuade your clients to trade their cash for the benefits presented by your products.
Your significant product benefits and the way in which you structure your offering is your ‘Unique Selling Proposition’ or ‘USP.’
Image credit: lovrin
You can find a USP for every product or service that you sell, but you could also look at your companies product range and develop a unique selling proposition for that. If you take this route and go more general, you’re developing a brand.
If you’re having difficulties finding a good USP, start digging deeper in steps 1 and 2.
A great way to get into the smallest details is to have someone interview you to get the answers to questions like
– what exactly is it that your product or comapny does?
– what services and/or products do you provide?
– to whom do you provide these services/products; who are your customers?
– what makes you better than other companies?
– why do you do that better; how and how much?
– what needs do you fill for your customers?
Then, after the interviewer asks everyone of these questions, have her ask this one, “So what?” You should give more. Both you and the interviewer may come up with unexpected answers and solutions.
Finding a USP can be hard. As a marketer you need to discover and fine-tune or even refocus your USP.
Did I leave something out? Post it in the comments.
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