What is your unique selling point? What makes your company unique and different to your competitors? This is an important aspect of a business that is almost forgotten by business owners, but customers love.

Identifying your USP requires a deep assessment of your business. To draw inspiration you should look at your competitors, and established businesses that you respect, and study how they use their USPs to their advantage. If you study what they say they sell, not just their product or service characteristics, you can learn a lot about how companies use their USB as leverage to distinguish themselves from competitors.

The Ultimate Guide to Finding Your Unique Selling 2Even, if your company sells everyday items such as matchsticks, there is a reason why people buy your brand of matchsticks. For example – do they burn brighter than other brands? Do they burn longer than other brands? Are they cheaper? Are they of a better quality? Do you get more matches in each box than other brands? This unique selling point is what you use to market your product, and it is what helps you build a loyal customer base.

Large brands often use their USP and market position as a way of announcing this position, and endorsing their brand identity to the world. Television advertising guru Rosser Reeves created the phrase USP.   He believed that a USP had to make a compelling proposition that says to the audience “buy this product, and you will get this specific benefit.” Here are a few examples of compellingly expressed USPs:

  • FedEx – “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.”
  • Coca-Cola – “Have a Coke and smile”
  • DHL – “Competition. Bad for them. Great for you.”
  • EBay – “The world’s online marketplace.”
  • Goodyear – “The best tires in the world have Goodyear written all over them.”
  • KFC – “Nobody does chicken like KFC.”

Why  Do You Need a Unique Selling Point?
Your USP differentiates you from your competitors, and helps your customers make a decision on what deserves their time and money. Some might choose your product, but some won’t. But your job is to make that decision easier by highlighting what your business has to offer that your competitors don’t.

Finding an Ideal Customer
In order to promote your USP, you need to find your target customer. This is not easy, and can be an ongoing process, which can be determined by trial and error, with a lot of luck and good timing.

Once you find your target group, the next question is often – do you exhaust all your resources to reach out and market to them, and risk alienating potential customers who aren’t sure about your product? Yes, absolutely you should! You can’t appeal to everyone, and today’s market is driven by choice. Your target market has too much choice, all of which can be fulfilled easily. Having a USP is one of the few strategic ways you can stand out and appeal to them. Seize the opportunity whilst you still have their attention

The Ultimate Guide to Finding Your Unique Selling 3Can I be the USP?
Yes of course you can, but approach this with caution.

Trying to replicate or imitate Steve Jobs, Jay-Z or any other widely recognized CEO, may not fit in with your brand’s objectives. This sort of personality that is aligned with what is being sold is impossible to imitate. That is why they are who they are. Be yourself, or stay behind the scenes and make things happen.

How much should I Spend on Developing my USP?
Not much! First of all you must understand that USP is not the same as branding. I will discuss this further in a future blog. Most profitable business in Nigeria is done without the benefit of brand recognition, as brand recognition has little affect on small brands. Majority of small businesses grow without huge investment on advertising. In modern times a sophisticated and strategic advertising campaign can be carried out through social media. If used correctly, social media can be utilised to generate awareness, direct traffic to your product and create business leads. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn can be enough to confirm and promote your unique selling point.