How to determine your unique selling proposition
Standing out in the modern marketplace is a challenge every business must overcome due to the increasing saturation of similar businesses within the industry. A business should find what is known as a unique selling proposition (USP) to stand out amongst competitors.
What is a unique selling proposition? A unique selling proposition is a marketing strategy that distinguishes a product or service from businesses with similar offerings. By evaluating which aspect of your business to highlight throughout your branding, you can effectively market your business and convert leads into sales.
Unique selling propositions are the driving factors toward increased sales and success. Entrepreneurs can utilize their strategically developed USP during the marketing process to set themselves apart from other competitors. A great USP will highlight the value of a brand while encouraging sales through a unique promise to its customers.
Achieving the attention of potential customers is the first goal of a business, and retaining it is the second. No matter how innovative your business may be, you should create a marketing strategy to demonstrate the benefits of your product. There are many aspects to marketing that contribute to the overall success of a business—advertising your product assists in the exposure of your brand, especially when thoughtfully constructed using a unique selling proposition.
USPs are more than a marketing tool – they’re the fundamental aspects of your business that distinguish your brand from others in the same industry. Taking the time to develop your USP can be the leading factor that determines the success of your startup, so it’s necessary to consider the following factors.
Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses
Entrepreneurs must specify the aspects of their product that distinguishes it from the rest, especially in the developmental stage of the business. This process requires deep reflection from a distanced perspective – if you knew nothing about your business, what might convince you that it’s the best? Before you can sell this idea to your customers, you must understand your business’s strengths and weaknesses.
The first step requires acknowledging the strengths of your business. By listing the features that make your business great, you can pinpoint the unique strengths that distinguish it from the competition. A business can utilize this information to focus on aspects that will influence customers to choose your business over its competition.
There are several directions to focus your marketing that can help you reach your ideal clients. Does your startup solve a problem innovatively? Is your product the cheapest, or is it the highest quality? Is it all-encompassing, or is it strategically specific? Is it fast-acting, or long-lasting? No matter which niche your business falls into, determining the direction of your focus will help you center your unique selling proposition around this factor.
Next, knowing your weaknesses is a necessary step so that you know what not to highlight. People often overlook this step. However, you must identify and accept your weaknesses before avoidance leads to an unexpected problem. By understanding the weaknesses of your business, you can develop a strategy to improve them or market yourself to highlight why it’s unimportant. It’s common for a benefit to coincide with a drawback, such as a bargain price for a lower-quality item. Every business has strengths and weaknesses, and by being aware of yours, you can set yourself apart from the competition and use it to your advantage.
Think like a consumer
Although your product or service may truly be the best available, it will require convincing before a customer will take a chance and agree with you. Before you sell anything to someone else, you must first step back and brainstorm the aspects of your business that should allow you to stand out. While your startup may be revolutionary to your field, you must identify exactly which aspects of your business set you apart from others that can lead to your success.
It’s important to remember that there is a difference between price and value. While some brands strive to be the most affordable, most consumers know that higher quality products often coincide with a higher price. A product’s value is determined by how the customer perceives it, and every business should have a clear idea of which value to focus on for their unique selling proposition.
Begin by imagining what your customer desires and how your product may serve the customer. Your USP should highlight the overlap between what your business does well and what your consumers want. Additionally, it’s beneficial to consider the risk a customer would take if they purchased your product. Entrepreneurs should be aware of a customer’s perceived risks, such as a defective product or a non-refundable purchase. This awareness allows you to address the consumer’s hesitation immediately and make them feel more comfortable.
Developing a rapport with your consumer is vital, especially in an online marketplace that removes human interaction. For this reason, developing a strong USP is necessary to express the value your company offers in hopes of developing trust. An effective marketing strategy will highlight how a product or service can help the consumer in a convincing, understandable manner.
Consider consumer psychology
There is always a motivation behind making a purchase, so business owners should be aware of the psychology behind a buyer’s motivation and utilize that information to their advantage. While consumer behavior is a field studied by professional psychologists, learning some of the basics can be instrumental in developing your unique selling proposition.
Many factors that aren’t always logical can influence the decision to make a purchase. Consumers buy items in response to emotions, hoping that a product can fix a problem they’re facing. For this reason, businesses must focus on how a product can benefit the customer rather than the product itself. People have egos, so considering how a product can benefit the customer can increase the likelihood they’ll decide to purchase your product.
Understand your target audience
Entrepreneurs often hesitate to limit their brand to a specific niche due to the fear of not reaching enough people. Nevertheless, it’s better to narrow down on a target audience rather than keeping your marketing strategy broad to include all groups. A business should develop a clear image of its ideal customer profile, and brand specifically toward that group.
Business owners should consider demographic factors when identifying their ideal customers, such as age, gender, income, employment, and nationality. People in different environments have wants and needs, so it’s uncommon to find a one-size-fits-all when it comes to marketing products. It’s beneficial to develop your USP to target a smaller group of individuals and help them in a meaningful way.
In addition to demographics, it’s beneficial to understand the motivation behind your ideal customer’s purchasing habits. Are they trying to impress their peers? Do they prioritize sustainability and eco-friendly living? Do they mainly focus on budgeting and maintaining an affordable lifestyle? Asking the right questions within your niche can help determine why people will buy your product so you can focus your USP on people who are most likely to benefit from your product.
Listen to feedback from your buyers
When you create a startup, you may be starting from scratch when it comes to client testimonials. However, as your success grows, you must grasp the incomparable opportunity to gather opinions from the most relevant source: your consumers. It would be a mistake to assume you know what a customer thinks, so taking the time to gather feedback and analyze their opinions may be monumental to the success of your business.
While your business may have a thorough understanding of their market and competition, it’s difficult to take an unbiased approach to a project you’re so heavily invested in. Your customer’s opinions may allow you to find a unique strength in your business that you initially overlooked. Additionally, a factor you thought was important may be common within the industry and redundant to mention. Your priority as a business should be to improve the lives of your customers, and allowing them to have a voice will highlight the real reason your product sells so you can focus on that within your marketing techniques.
Compare to your competition
Competition is natural, so rather than letting it discourage you, utilize your competitors as a tool to steer clients in your direction instead. Market research can help you identify several factors that can assist in the development of your USP.
When creating a startup, it’s necessary to learn the demand for your product. Entrepreneurs benefit from becoming aware of similar options already available in your industry as it lets them know where they stand. You may notice that most of your competitors focus on one aspect of your industry while overlooking another. Knowing which products are already available may highlight what consumers need to solve their problems.
Monitoring competition over time can keep you ahead so that your sales are consistently converting. Gathering information and analyzing strategies utilized for advertising and marketing can help you develop unique selling propositions that stand out amongst others in the industry. When analyzing widely, you can observe the strengths and weaknesses of marketing campaigns through websites and social media and utilize the information to develop strategies.
Implementing your unique selling proposition
You can market your business effectively if you utilize these tips to evaluate the purpose of your business, focus on your ideal customer, and compare your business to its competition. Your brand should be cohesive and consistent, clearly highlighting how this product or service will bring the customer value. Branding sets the tone for your business and builds trust as your customer base increases, so a USP is a useful foundation to build upon.
Now that you have determined your unique selling proposition it’s time to develop a plan to implement it into your marketing strategy. The way you present your product or service to your customers is extremely important, especially in today’s society. Before modern technology, businesses relied on billboards, flyers, and newspaper ads to persuade consumers to buy their products. Since the year 2000, the average attention span has decreased from 12 seconds to 8 seconds. Consequently, marketing strategies must adapt accordingly to this cultural shift and catch their audience’s attention immediately. Potential customers likely spend hours a day scrolling through the internet and social media, making it increasingly difficult to catch and hold their attention.
An effective USP stays true to the brand while also setting it apart from competitors, but even more importantly, focusing on the verbiage of your USP will help you captivate the attention of your ideal customers and succeed with the sale. When developing your unique selling proposition, it’s vital to communicate your pitch concisely so that the message is immediately understood by the customer. Within a few words or a short sentence, the customer should understand the purpose of a business and why their product is different.
To succeed in a saturated marketplace, entrepreneurs should create a unique selling proposition for their business that will effectively express why a customer should choose their product over a competing product. By highlighting your business’ unique strengths through thoughtful branding while focusing the marketing campaigns on an ideal client, you are more likely to convert interest into sales and boost the overall success of your business.