Standing out from the crowd makes good business sense for any business, particularly if you are a small home business with a limited budget. Your USP is your ‘unique selling proposition’. It’s that particular ‘something’ that makes you stand out from your competitors, and it’s one of your most important marketing tools.
“A mechanic’s a mechanic.”
Heard that before? That’s exactly the kind of consumer mindset you’re aiming to overcome with your USP.
Offer your potential customers a unique and distinct advantage that your competitors can’t. Find a point of difference that matters to your ideal clients, and make it your selling point. If what you offer is unique, you have no competitors. It’s as simple as that. Without a unique reason for customers to choose you over others in your industry, all you’re left to compete on is price.
Your point of difference could be based on any number of things: location, processes, ingredients, availability etc. Can you deliver your product faster than the competition? Do you use higher quality ingredients? Are you more accessible than your competitor’s? The more relevant and compelling your USP is to your customers, the more effective it will be.
The best way to find your USP is to look at your business and product through the eyes of your customers. Ask a few questions of your business. Who are you? What do you do? Try to think not only of the competition in your immediate industry, but any competition from broader industries. Be creative. Try to identify your target customers’ biggest needs and frustrations, and offer a distinctive solution.
Some examples of USPs are: ‘Delivered in 30 minutes or it’s free’; ‘Melbourne’s newest’; ‘100% organic’; ‘Free 30-day trial’; ‘Wholly Australian-owned and made’. “It’s the fish John West reject that makes John West the best”, for instance, is the John West slogan based on their USP which fosters in the mind of the consumer the belief that John West’s processes are of a higher standard that competing brands.
Once you’ve identified your USP, allow it to seep into all areas of your business. Make sure all aspects of your marketing and advertising reflect it so it becomes inextricable from your company identity. Incorporate your USP into your advertising, your slogans, jingles, business cards and brochures to make your business the obvious choice in your industry.