What's a USP and why is it vital to your business success?

When the market is crowded, and your products or services look a lot like those being sold by your competitors, how do you stand out?

As a business owner, you have one key objective – to make a profit through selling your product(s) or service(s). But unless you’ve invented that elusive cure for the common cold, or you’re offering seats on the first manned spaceship to Mars, it’s likely you will face competition.

How do you stand out?

When you’re just another supplier of products or services that are broadly the same as those of your competitors, you give your customers no reason to choose you over them. This means their decision will be made purely on price; if there’s nothing to choose between you, customers will pick the cheapest. You might be the cheapest for a while, but a competitor will soon decide they can sell cheaper. But in a price war, nobody wins.

To avoid this, you need to identify and promote what makes you special. You need to offer something your competitors can’t, or provide your service in a way that makes you stand out. In one way or another, you need to be… unique.

USP: Your Unique Selling Proposition

Your USP is the reason why somebody will buy from you rather than your competition. It can come from many things, for example:

  • Something unique about the product(s) or service(s) you are selling
  • Something about the way you sell, or the standard of service you offer
  • Partnerships and alliances that provide a unique offering for your customers
  • Something extra that you offer your customers, that nobody else can do
  • A level of experience, expertise, qualification, skill or specialisation
  • Something relating to quality, ease-of-use, availability, or speed of supply
  • Something about the way you do business, your philosophy or corporate strategy

Having a USP makes it easy for your customers to see what makes you different. It makes it easy for them to remember you, and easy for them to recommend you too. Just like your logo or your strapline, it’s a vital part of your brand.

29th Nov 2016

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