A USP is a Unique Selling Point – it’s what makes you stand out from your competition. It can be anything from higher quality, lower price, better customer service or locally sourced ingredients. All successful companies will possess a unique selling point and use it to attract and keep their customers. A clearly defined USP can help the long-term growth of your business, read on to learn how to find yours.
Define your USP
Deciding what your USP is could be one of the most important decision you can make as a business owner. If you do not have a viable USP then attracting new customers and maintaining your current client base will be a constant struggle. Being able to communicate a clearly defined USP can set your business up for sustained success.
1) Knowing your target audience
First up, you need to determine your target audience. Start by brainstorming what you already know about them. Then make a list of all the needs that your product or service could meet.
Next speak to your existing client base and get feedback on your current product or service. Talk to them directly or create surveys asking them about their needs. Then follow this up by sending a short survey out to the rest of your customers to generate a wider pool of answers. You then have an idea of what an ideal product or service looks like to your customers.
2) Do your research
Secondly, you need to find out what your customers really want. Industry research is a necessity, so check out the competition!
Do an analysis of each one of your main competitors. What products/services already exist that are similar to yours? What selling points do they promote? It is important to see how they market themselves and how their customers perceive them. Look at the reviews left online by their users. The comments will outline what their audience likes about their product or service. If there are common problems mentioned then write them down too.
This will give you a clear idea of the flaws of your competitors. You might be able to spot a gap in the market for you to explore.
3) Finalise your USP
Now you are ready to define your own USP. Compare the features and benefits of your current product or service, the feedback from your customers and research into your competitors. How is your business model different? Where are your strengths? Where are the competitors weaknesses?
Once you have a good idea what your USP is, ask yourself a few questions:
1) Does it have a strong benefit for the customer?
2) Is it clear in its message?
3) Can you actually deliver what it promises?
4) Is it different from your competitors?
A good USP should tick all of the above. Some companies pride themselves on being the cheapest, others for having great service or a high quality product. Some talk about speed, others for being a one-stop shop for everything.
You might find that you match up well against your competitors and end up with more than one USP. Once you’re happy with your USP, whatever it is, it’s time to get it out in the world!
Market your USP
It is important to include your USP in all of your messaging. This includes on your company website, social accounts, sales pitches and marketing campaigns. Make sure all of your employees and partners understand the key messages and use the same language.
You could even offer a guarantee to your customers based on your USP. It could be anything from “Find it cheaper and we’ll refund double the difference” to “Pizza delivery take more than 30 mins? It’s on the house!” Such offers are a time honoured way of not only getting your USP across, but giving a proof-point that you can back up what you say. This highlights that you believe in what your business stands for, and gives your customers a reason to believe in you too.
Eventually, your USP will become integral to your message, your reputation and your culture. It will help build your brand, attract more customers and take your business to the next level.