Do your customers know your unique selling position?
Cape Cod SCORE
Question: What is USP? Do I need it? If I do, how do I get it?
Answer: USP is unique selling position. And you absolutely, definitely need it if you want to position yourself with buyers so your sales are not happenstance.
We often say that launching and managing a small business is lonely, 24/7 and you have to be a jack-ofall- trades, since you are chief-incharge of sales, marketing, finance/ accounting, purchasing customer services and the totality of traditional, digital and content marketing. As marketer-in-chief, you may find that your clients are not coming to you, they may not be the right clients or they come and go way too fast. This is where creating and promoting your USP will set you apart so that buyers will specifically seek you out and choose you to provide them with products and services to meet their specific needs.
What is a unique selling position?
Some refer to USP as your value proposition. It doesn’t matter what you call it, as long as you spend the appropriate amount of time and resources to fully define it as you focus on the targeted customers that will generate your business’s revenue. It is a statement about what sets you apart as a unique business. In other words, why would someone buy your brand versus another? It is what defines who you are, what you do and what you offer. It is what creates memory of you, your company, your products and services. USP is based on creating an experience in the mind of the buyer that differentiates you.
Is my tagline my USP? There is some confusion and it is easy to understand why. They are both a few words that define your business. Taglines are normally very commercial in their content and their wording with loaded with “marketing speak.” According to content strategist Melissa Williams, “A tagline is meant to be just a few words. It will stick in your prospect’s mind and can be more clever in language than a unique selling proposition. A USP is supposed to be more benefit-driven – what is the outcome that your clients or customers can expect from working with you? It will be descriptive and instead of playing off word choice or trying to be cute or clever, it will cut right to the heart of what it is that sets your business apart.” What are you going to do to reduce the pain they are experiencing in addressing unresolved problems or challenges?
Creating your USP. First, you might want to create a list of all the elements that are unique to your industry or business sector. In creating the list, don’t leave anything out even if it might seem minor. You are doing this exercise to see what you do that helps you stand out from the crowd of competitors. Look at what you do in the process of customer acquisition, fulfillment and post-sales services that creates differentiation. Ask yourself to what customer pain (problem) do you offer a gain (solution).
What does your product or service
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do to solve customer problems? Can you connect with buyers when they recognize what need, want or desire you are fulfilling? Even if you are in a business which is considered standard, such as accounting or law, you need to put your USP out there as part of your customer acquisition process. What are you doing that either your competitors aren’t doing or aren’t talking about in their marketing communications?
Ask your customers. If you aren’t sure of what differentiates you, then ask your customers for some feedback. If you are just launching your business, you might not have customers yet to survey, so you must try to position yourself with what you are aspiring to deliver. There are times when you appear to be too close to the operations of your enterprise to fully define your USP, so your clients are a natural source of this input. What did they like about doing business with you? What did you offer that others did not? You also can find out what you didn’t do that would have resonated with your customers to make the experience even better. The “ask” can be through a short survey delivered by companies like Constant Contact, a telephone call or even a mailed survey.
Putting your USP together is not difficult. Complete the following: (your business name) helps (insert your target customer) (desired outcome) by (insert what makes your unique) Example: Good Friends Café helps tourists and Cape Codders have a family dining experience by treating everyone as if they are a member of our family. SBaba Skincare helps women of all ages to gain personal confidence by having skin that doesn’t age out. Greenbird Landscaping & Irrigation helps homeowners and commercial property owners, achieve positivity in their property ownership by providing them with customer-focused landscaping and hardscaping services. Once you have created your USP, you have to continually and regularly review and update it to keep it relevant. Now that you have a USP, ask your customers what they think. Ask friends and family if they are in your target market. Take their input seriously. Contributed by Marc L. Goldberg, certified mentor. Source: Melissa Williams, content strategist. For free and confidential mentoring in marketing your enterprise, contact SCORE Cape Cod and the Islands at capecod.score.org, email@example.com or 508-775-4884. We go where you are!