Paul Hines | paulhines

Do You Know What Your Unique Selling Point Is?

Aug 12th 2010 at 9:11 PM

USP is your unique selling point. Also called your unique selling proposition, it

is what sets you and your business — or you as an individual — apart from your

competition. It can be an actual fact or a perceived difference or specialty.

Every business needs one.

Your USP may be expressed as a summary of what you do and how you do it better or

differently than others. Often, a USP can be summed up in just a few words that

become something of an advertising jingle or catch-phrase. No matter how you

express it, your USP should focus on how it benefits the customer. Here are a few

well-known examples:

    * Burger King: Have it your way
      They build on the premise that it's easy for a customer to request changes.

Benefit to the customer: Satisfaction. No hassles (for trying to change the

standard burger offerings) and a hamburger that's just the way you like it.

    * Enterprise: Pick Enterprise. We'll pick you up.
      While Avis made a name for itself with its "We're number two, We try

harder" slogan that emphasized customer service, Enterprise focuses on one key

selling point - customer pick up. Benefit to the customer: Convenience. You don't

have to worry about taking a cab or bother with finding some other way to go get

your rental car. It comes to you.

    * Bounty: The Quicker Picker-Upper
      Many products, such as paper towels or toilet tissue, have similar

qualities. Bounty makes their mark by saying that their product absorbs spills

faster. Benefit to the customer: Time-Savings. You get the dirty work done sooner

and can get on to other more important matters.

What's Unique About You
When you're doing desktop publishing, on the surface you're offering the same

thing that thousands of others are offering. How do you set yourself apart? Look

at what you do and how you do it. Look at your current customers (or those you

wish to attract).

    * What do you do? If you have a broad offering, can you focus on one or two

key services that are most in demand? List your specialities or niche areas.

    * How do you do business? Is there something special, unusual, or significant

about the way you do business? Do you offer 24 or 48 hour turnaround? Do you

deliver for free?

    * Who are your customers? Look at the demographics - age, interests, location

(local, all over the world).

    * What do your customers want? Is it low-price, your personality, your

location, your reputation, or something else that attracts customers to your

business? List the benefits that customers derive from you.

      There may be very little difference between your product and your

competitors' — but if you can't find a way to communicate uniqueness and connect

it to a need of your target, you might as well quit fighting your competition and

sell out to them. —

Your Assignment
Answer the four questions, above, about your business. Pick out at least one key

point from your answers to each question. Which one stands out in your mind? Run

your ideas past a few trusted friends to find the one that best expresses what is

special about what you offer. Now, take what's unique about your business and

express it as a benefit to your customer.

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