Creating Your Unique Selling Proposition
While almost anyone can start a business, few of them are successful in the long run. The reason for this is largely due to the fact that many individuals or companies lack a unique approach to selling.
“For those programs that had the best results – the ones that went from good to great – it was because we took the time to develop the unique selling proposition.” – Gary Hennerburg
Developing a unique selling proposition, or USP, is one of the most important procedures any business can use in creating an effective marketing plan. This article will offer a few crucial tips and tricks to create a unique approach to selling and affirm a unique selling proposition that is profitable and easy to carry out for your company.
What Exactly is a USP?
While it may sound complicated, creating a unique approach to selling is essentially what makes your business, company, or product stand out. The principle is the use of marketing to make a particular phenomenon more present in the minds of a buyer, and make them more likely to buy or invest in the product.
A unique selling proposition should essentially answer the question: “Why should a buyer order and purchase your product?” Whether it is a service, material good, or written content, this should be a way of presenting content that is pleasing to the eye and catches attention quickly.
How to Develop Your USP
For businesses and organizations that are smaller and don’t have the benefits of extended infrastructure or tradition, creating a unique approach to selling is an integral part of not only marketing a product or service, but a factor that can help define the company in general.
While you may be disadvantaged against bigger businesses from a structural standpoint, there is one way in which you can trump them: your unique personality and characteristics. In marketing a small scale product, creating your own spin on what you sell and why you do it is a crucial part of making that product unique and desirable to a consumer.
A great example of using personality to develop a small scale product is Ike’s Place, a sandwich company based out of San Francisco which can be seen here: http://ilikeikesplace.com/story. This company started out small but had a great product. Through the development of Ike’s mission statement, which stresses his dream to provide food that allows for the individuality of each customer, this business expanded from a small cart on a busy San Francisco street to a thriving organization with more than 7 locations across California.
Ike’s Place is now an organization that has become essential to the San Francisco eatery scene. Through perseverance and the development of a unique mission statement based around the hopes and personality of the owner, Ike’s Place created a unique selling proposition which resonated with its target audience, demographic, and geographical location.
This brings us to another important part of creating a unique approach to selling that can help you effectively market: know and then narrow your target audience! Whether or not you believe you know who you are marketing to, it is very likely that you are trying to pander to too large of an audience. Part of the appeal of creating a unique approach to selling is that you can market to a niche demographic or group of people: by better understanding this smaller group of people and practicing and perfecting marketing strategies, you may be able to expand to a larger group in the future.
Using the example of Ike’s Place, Ike fully understood not only the food culture of San Francisco, but the general mindsets of those living in the Bay Area. Knowing that voicing opinion and expressing oneself was at the forefront of many individuals and groups in the Bay Area, Ike integrated these principles into his approach; he wasn’t trying to appeal to all eaters, but only San Francisco eaters. By marketing to a smaller group of people, you can set your business up for growth and development in the future.
If your business or type of work allows it, it should also be considered to combine two different topics in a unique way. You may be lacking marketing power or website traffic because your product or service is too similar to other, more well-known businesses out there. By adding a unique twist or idea to the main service that your company or site provides, you are giving users a particular, quantifiable reason for visiting your product and considering purchasing it.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel or incorporate an idea that you don’t know anything about; it only requires thinking about your product and the service you provide in a slightly different way. Another way of thinking about this principle is calling it “exploring the intersection of different ideas”.
More Than Just Promotion
A big mistake that many sellers and marketers make on the Internet is having too much of an emphasis on the direct promotion of a product. While demonstrating the benefits and bells and whistles of your product is important for your audience to grasp, over-promotion can turn off many audiences to a product, and promotion can only increase traffic and sales to a certain degree.
The emphasis in a marketing campaign should not be in how much promotion is done, but rather how uniquely that promotion is given or how memorable it is to the consumer. Generating traffic to your website or content doesn’t merely come from the presentation of a final product; all phases of an operation, such as a mission statement or customer service initiative, can be primary components of why users are compelled to view your content.
Keep in mind that promotion should stem from the full culmination of all aspects of your business. It should not be something merely tacking on in the end. Potential customers on the web appreciate honesty and conscientious thinking more than oversaturation of a type of medium with content that is unimaginative.
Don’t Be Unique to a Fault
Although we have been stressing the importance of delivering a message and product experience that is unique and desirable to a customer, it is entirely possible to go overboard when creating a unique approach to selling. In some cases, companies try to hit a niche market or demographic that simply isn’t profitable. They may also deliver their message and product in a way that is overly bizarre, informal, or unprofessional.
It is still important to market yourself as a business in order to retain principles of reputability and professionalism that a potential customer can see and then trust your product and organization. It’s also crucial to be clear with your product and message; being unique can sometimes lend itself to a message and marketing technique that is convoluted and difficult to conceptualize. Make sure that you stick to basic wording that is easy for anyone to understand.
Even though creating a unique approach to selling is an important aspect of marketing to a target audience, it isn’t profitable or wise to worry too much about perfecting or completely developing this concept. Many companies and organizations are profitable and successful without being unique or pandering to a finely crafted target audience; overall, quality of product and the management of revenues and costs are also central factors in shaping a good business model.
If your product or service is in a market that has an extremely high demand, then the need for a USP is not as high, and you can rely more on what you offer as quality and affordable. However, this information shouldn’t undermine the importance of creating a unique approach to selling; while it isn’t absolutely necessary to have one, possessing a USP that is clear and direct will help your business in a variety of ways and greatly strengthen your marketing image.
Many aspiring entrepreneurs are eager to begin their business but have a lot of trouble getting their feet on the ground in regards to marketing and establishing a base group of customers. This is where a USP comes in.
Creating a unique approach to selling differentiates your service from others and creates a marketing strategy that appeals to a specific group of people, or target audience, effectively. A USP also involves putting a unique spin on the service you provide and improving the quality, not quantity, of your promotion techniques. A unique selling proposition is certainly a vital way to solidify the brand and message of your business.
What other approaches have you applied to your own unique marketing techniques? What comments would you provide to struggling marketers?
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