business, marketing, mentoring, strategy

How to Discover Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Rosser Reeves considered by many as the father of modern advertising was quoted as saying “adverting is the art of getting a unique selling proposition into the heads of most people at the lowest possible cost”

Your unique selling proposition (USP) is what makes your business stand out from the crowd and tells your customers what is special and different about your product or service. Your USP is the factor or benefit that makes your product different from and better than other equivalent products on the market. Identifying your USP takes quite a bit of time and research, but without the research you are selling just another commodity.  If you are unsure how to identify your USP then here are some tips to help you.

Understanding your Target Audience

First and foremost, understand your target audience.  To develop your USP, you need to begin by identifying who they are and what it is they want from the market you are operating in. Is the market meeting their needs and if so, how so? In other words, are they looking for a product to deliver efficiency, industry expertise, a trustworthy supplier or something else. Ask your customers, colleagues and friends and then make a list of all the reasons why someone might choose to buy your product or service.

Understanding your Competitors

Before you can discover what makes your product unique, you’ll need to know what else is available for your prospective customers. That means understanding in what way your competitor is meeting the needs of your target market.  What products exist and more importantly what is the USP used by your competitors to promote their products over yours. There’s no shame in reviewing their marketing materials, especially websites and social media and try out as many competing products as you can to get a feel for how they work and why they might be better or worse than yours.

Some Research

Once you have identified your target market and know the USP being used by your competitors, then it’s time identify the possible USP’s for your products or services. A good way to help you with this is to listen to your customers and what they have to say about your product. If you’re selling B2C products and services, then customer reviews online can be a goldmine of feedback. These comments don’t just talk about the product’s good and bad points, but also service issues like delivery costs, bad tech support experiences and billing complications. Search for reviews of your competitors’ products as well as your own. If you see a particular feature or problem mentioned frequently for a given product, write it down. This will give you an excellent feel for why your customers buy from you and will help to identify your area of strength that you can promote as your USP.

Identify your USP

Success comes when you settle on one single area of strength and turn that into a USP. Screen these USPs against trends and competitors. Now remove the USPs that are already being well met by competitors. Don’t forget that your USP is a unique selling proposition so you are looking for a gap in the market.  This must be a quality that is important to your customers. Ideally, your choice should also be a feature or quality that will be both memorable and difficult for someone else to copy. Come up with a strong statement that conveys each USP.

Promoting your USP

Once you’ve picked your USP, it’s time to share it with your customers. Add the same tagline to your email signature and social media marketing accounts. And work your USP prominently into both your cold call pattern and your main sales pitch. Your USP should be driving the development of your company and your marketing strategy whether you are creating a website or a logo or embarking on an online advertising campaign. Always ask yourself if your image and activity clearly communicates the benefit you are offering.

Examples of USP’s at their best:

M&Ms – The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.

DeBeers – A diamond is forever.

Domino’s Pizza – You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less or it’s free.

If you would like assistance with identifying your USP, then contact MentorUs Business Solutions today