The Key Foundation for Your Marketing Strategy: What Makes You Different?
The USP is probably one of the most talked about marketing principles in theory, yet one of the most ignored in practice. Most management and/or ownership teams know and understand that they need to be different from others in their marketplace. They understand that there should be a reason for a customer to choose them over and above their competitors.
However, these same executives often default to competing on the basis of price. That is the case whether or not they offer discounted pricing upfront or sale pricing. Later on in the relationship, attracting customers because you have discounts can be smart if it doesn’t take up the entirety of your marketing strategy.
Regardless of how much discounting you expect to do, you will need to find out what makes your customers buy from you. Do they come to you because of your service? Do they come to you because of the hours that you’re in operation? Do they come because of some kind of added bonus that you give them? You must consider these factors because they tell part of the story as to what makes you truly unique in the marketplace.
A USP or unique selling proposition is not a branding statement. In fact, it doesn’t really matter how much you want to say about yourself and your company. What matters most is a customer’s perception of you.
In order to find out what your customers truly think of your company and why they purchase buy from your business, you may need to survey them to understand their viewpoint. As you begin to get the survey information, make sure that you understand their reasoning in their words. When you begin to see patterns in the wording of their responses they will form the building blocks of a successful USP.
Once you understand what your unique selling proposition is you want to use it as more than a tagline. You must be able to deliver on what your USP routinely. And you must market that routine to those who potentially would want to buy your product. Instead of a branding statement, your USP is a reflection of the way that you do business. And since every business’ processes are different, that ‘way’ is impossible for another company to copy.
When you can market in a way that your competitor cannot copy even if they offer the very same product, you will be developing a relationship with your client based on your differentiation. Ultimately, if you build your relationship on that basis, then you have a good chance of remaining in the forefront of their minds between their purchases.
Another easy way to determine your unique selling proposition is to ask your questions of your staff. Why should a customer buy from us? What is it that they get from us that really matters to them?What are they buying from us that they aren’t willing to go to our competitors to get?
When you can answer these questions and fit them into the data from your customer surveys, you will be developing a unique selling proposition. Although that USP is likely to change, you will have given your customers and prospects a good reason for doing business with you.