When you have a solid competitive advantage (or unique selling proposition – QSP) and can effectively communicate it, you have a real asset that belongs in every online marketing property, every piece of printed material, and in every verbal message you communicate to your marketplace. USP’s separate you from the competition and give your prospects a real reason to buy from you.
Your USP is a selling message or slogan you use to ensure customers understand quickly and easily the benefits you offer that your competitors don't. It should be succinct, direct, and if you can make it “catchy” - all the better. Unless your clients hear your USP, they may never know why yours is the business they should buy from.
Identifying Your USP
4 Steps to Identifying Your QSP
- Determine who your competitors are, what they are known for, what they do well and what they don’t do so well. You can identify these things by observing them, learning about them online, asking your contacts what they know about them.
- Now, figure out what your business does better than anyone else. Think about these using 3 criteria…Process – Expertise – Unique Product/Service.
- Process – do you have a process that delivers better results and/or greater satisfaction than your competitors?
- Expertise – do you have a level of expertise that’s superior to your competition and can result in better performance?
- Unique Product/Service – is your product or service particularly unique to a certain target customer and/or industry and produces better results?
- Determine how what you do better than your competition benefits your target customers. Customers only buy to avoid pain and/or to achieve some benefit. They buy what the product or service can do for them, not the features of the product or service itself.
- Write a short paragraph describing what you have revealed in steps 1-3. Read through the paragraph and distill it down to one or two short sentences that can be easily remembered and communicated verbally. An example – “We are the only Google Certified Adwords and Analytics Partner in central VA. This unique expertise produces better, more sustainable online marketing results for our customers.”
Communicating Your USP – Selling Direct to Consumers
The best ways to communicate your USP are dependent on how your customers research, evaluate and buy the products or services you sell.
If you market and sell direct to the public (Business-to-Consumer), you are likely using mass marketing of some sorts to communicate your message. This might include radio, TV, print and online marketing. Your USP should be near the beginning and/or the end of your verbal messages. If you are doing TV, it should be reinforced in print on the screen, and be prominent in all printed materials. On your website, your USP should be prominent without being obnoxious.
Communicating Your USP – Selling to Other Businesses
If you are selling to other businesses, it is likely you are involved in direct marketing and/or networking with your target market. This environment normally involves more direct verbal communications – be it during cold calls, networking conversations, initial interactions with customers, etc. In this environment, our USP is critical to gain the attention of the person to whom you are speaking. Example statements sound like…
- At a networking event when asked what you do – “I’m with WebStrategies. We’re an online marketing company, and the only Google Certified Adwords and Analytics partner in Central VA. Our customers find our expertise produces better, more sustainable online marketing results for our customers.”
- During a cold call or direct marketing conversation you might say – “I’m with WebStrategies. We provide online marketing services to firms like yours and are the only Google Certified Adwords and Analytics partner in Central VA. Our expertise produces better, more sustainable online marketing results for our customers.”
Your USP is a powerful marketing asset that will capture the attention of your target market. Follow the steps to identify what you do better than anyone else and craft a statement that is succinct, direct and rolls off your tongue naturally.