A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) – Why You Need One
By Yvonne A Jones
Business owners need a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) in today’s competitive business market if they wish to stand out from the crowd. This is especially true in the online marketing world. What is a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)? Let’s analyze what it is, why you need one, and what are the essential elements of a USP.
What is a Unique Selling Proposition?
A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is a statement that explains clearly to your target audience what makes your business unique, and how it’s different from everyone else in the marketplace. It tells your customers and prospects how you can better meet their needs and what makes you special.
It is not always easy to do because it takes time to analyze your business and yourself. You may have been doing the same thing for quite some time and been successful at it, but never stopped to consider what specifically is contributing to your success.
In addition you must take time to analyze the people whom you serve in order to identify who your target audience is. It is never “everyone.”
In the book “Reality in Advertising”, television advertising pioneer Rosser Reeves defined the unique selling proposition. Two of the three parts of that definition are:
1. The proposition must be one the competition cannot or does not offer. It must be unique-either in the brand or in a claim the rest of that particular advertising area does not make.
2. The proposition must be strong enough to move the masses, i.e., attract new customers.
Why Your Business Needs a USP
- A unique selling proposition will contribute significantly to your success. Careful analysis will help you determine your strengths as well as any weaknesses that could negatively impact your reputation and standing in the marketplace.
- Why are people buying from you, or using your services rather than someone else? What do you do for your customers that create loyalty so that they buy from you again and again, and refer their friends and family to you? What is it you do that makes you stand above the rest in the marketplace who are doing the same thing?
- Identifying what you do that’s different from others in the market will take time to measure as it will likely involve doing research on your competition, studying what they’re doing, and determine what you do or can do differently.
- Your USP must offer a strong benefit and value to the customer so that current customers can readily recognize this, and prospective customers will be able to determine what you do that others do not.
- Your USP helps to establish your brand in the minds of your customers and creates top-of-mind-awareness.
Once you’re able to clearly identify what makes you different, you can continue to build on that as the business owner, but you can clearly bring it to the fore so your customers and clients think of you first when they need your products or services.
Two Essential Elements of a USP
1. A good USP is hard to forget. When people need products and services that your business offers, you want to be the first one that comes to mind. This means that your USP has to be consolidated to convey your uniqueness without being too wordy. It must say a little but convey a lot. Do keep in mind that your USP is not the same as your tagline.
2. It needs to resonate on an emotional level with your clients. Good USPs speak to the fears, worries, desires, and frustrations of your target market. It also provides guidance in terms of how they can solve their problems.
It is vital to your business success that you take the time to create your USP through diligent research and analysis. Additionally, creating a fabulous USP is only the first step. Your service offerings and products must mirror the promises you articulated in your USP. Delivering anything less will negatively affect both your business and reputation while costing you the customers that you worked so hard to attract.
You may be new to online marketing, or you may have been building your business for some time, but you feel stuck and out of balance. I invite you to claim your “Entrepreneur’s Success Kit” at http://www.blueprintforbiz.com. In the Success Kit you will discover three areas of business that many entrepreneurs overlook and what to do about it. You will also be helped to manage your time on social media, and what you must do with the clients and customers you attract online.
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