Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How to Create a USP - Your Unique Selling Proposition

How does your business stand out in a competitive marketplace? Whether you’re selling cupcakes or carpet cleaning services the answer to that question becomes your company’s unique selling proposition or USP. A solid USP goes hand in hand with elevating your company’s brand. Do you know what is “the greatest show on earth?” Do you know which take-out pizza will “deliver to you in 30 minutes or less?” Do you know what soft drink is “the real thing?” Those are all the USP for Ringling Brothers Circus, Dominos Pizza and Coca-Cola respectively. They’re also perfect examples of the type of effective marketing strategy you should be striving to develop in terms of creating your own USP. Here are some ideas about how you can create a powerful USP:

·         Define Your Target Audience

The more specific you can be with your marketing campaign the stronger your return on investment will be. Simply put, there are some products or services that are going to appeal to just a specific segment of the population. Research who your audience is and find out what their needs are. That’s where you need to target your USP development.

·         See What Works

It’s hard to find a truly unique business or product. Consider how many dry cleaners, nail salons, garages etc. there are in your own community. No matter where you start your business you’re entering into a crowded arena. The first step you should take towards developing your USP is to check out the competition. Have they got an effective marketing campaign in operation? Perhaps you can become inspired by their efforts to develop your own plan. Better yet, you might find a way to improve on their USP by making it your own. Fast delivery and special discounts are two ways to accomplish that task.

·         Solve A Problem

The best USP is one that solves a problem even when a problem doesn’t necessarily exist. You might not need to send an overnight package out every day but when you do chances are you’ll think about FedEx because they promise to deliver when your package “absolutely has to be there overnight.” If you can translate your goods or services in a way that solves a problem, you’ll be creating a USP that can gain traction among your potential customer base.

·         Make a Promise

In practical terms your business USP is a promise to your customers. This goes hand in hand with solving a problem. To accomplish this, you need to make sure you can live up to keeping those promises. Domino’s Pizza was only successful when it first developed a way to cook pizzas very fast in order to deliver them within 30 minutes or less. In other words, don’t make a USP promise you can’t keep.

·         Less is More

When it comes to an effective USP, less is more in terms of words in a slogan. You might have to finesse, massage, cut and rewrite your USP to hone it down to the basics. It’s all part of the process and can yield positive results.