Definition: The factor or consideration presented by a seller as the reason that one product or service is different from and better than that of the competition .
Before you can begin to sell your product or service to anyone else, you have to sell yourself on it. This is especially important when your product or service is similar to those around you. Very few businesses are one-of-a-kind. Just look around you: How many clothing retailers, hardware stores, air conditioning installers and electricians are truly unique?
The key to effective selling in this situation is what advertising and marketing professionals call a “unique selling proposition” (USP). Unless you can pinpoint what makes your business unique in a world of homogeneous competitors, you cannot target your sales efforts successfully.
So, what makes you more unique, more valuable, and more visible in the market? You’ve heard the old saying “Differentiate or Die” right? In our highly competitive world, you have to be unique and fill a special niche to be successful in the marketplace. Yet one of the most harmful mistakes small businesses make is not being unique and positioning themselves as the best choice in the market. How do you show that your product or service is the best?
Use a Unique Selling Proposition or “USP“.
What is a USP?
A USP is one of the fundamental pieces of any solid marketing campaign. Simply stated, it’s a summary of what makes your business unique and valuable to your target market and It answers the question: “Why should I buy from you?” OR, Why should I read your blog when there are millions of others I could be giving my time and attention to?
If you don’t answer that question quickly, your potential customer will move on faster than shit flys through a goose! It’s really that simple.
When you’re just starting out, it’s hard to compete on product or content quality alone and you need to do more than just telling people that you have good stuff too. You need to confidently tell people that we do things differently around here and this is the only place that you’ll get this content this way.
It’s a losing game to try and compete in a shark tank when your a mere guppy. You’re going to get eaten alive playing that game, so you need to change the game to something that you can compete or dominate in.
I remember a Star Trek episode where Captain Kirk was faced with a no win scenario against the computer and instead of accepting defeat like most of his associates did, he cheated and changed the programming in the computer to allow him to win .
Instead of playing a game he couldn’t win, he changed the game.
That’s the power of a unique selling proposition. You want to be the best at something, but you can make it far easier if you define your competitors yourself.
How to Find Your Unique Selling Proposition
So, you’ve bought into the idea that a unique selling proposition is important, but how do you define yours?
There are a lot of different approaches you can take. Your USP might end up being a combination of things. There’s no one right answer. And depending on what business you’re in, even a small amount of differentiation could lead to a much greater shot at success.
Here are a few simple ways to differentiate your business. These aren’t the only ways, but it’s a starting point to get you thinking.
Use Your Personality
If you’re running a very small business (like I do), or are are the primary owner of your business, sometimes your personality alone can be a powerful difference.
You have to have a personality that resonates with some people to pull this off, but by putting your personal stamp on many aspects of your business, you create something no one can directly compete with (there is only one you, after all). Gary Vaynerchuk is a great example of this approach.
Narrow Your Target Audience
Here’s another technique that’s pretty easy to pull off. You can choose a narrow target audience who has never had a business like yours cater specifically to it. For example, become a web designer for plumbers, or a plumber for recreational vehicles, or write about online marketing for dentists.
Think about this from the customer’s standpoint. If you were a dentist and needed help with online marketing, wouldn’t you be inclined to choose the business that specializes in dentists?
The other benefit of specializing in a narrow market segment is that promotion becomes much easier. You know where to find dentists together at conferences and where they hang out online, so you know how to target them.
Narrow Your Topic
Finally, you can also specialize narrowly in one particular aspect of your topic. Instead of being a web developer, become a web developer who translates visual designs into working WordPress websites. Instead of being an auto mechanic, become an auto mechanic who specializes in American-made electric vehicles.
Study What Your Competitors Are Doing
New and established retailers alike spend a lot of time and money scoping out their competitors, assessing their strategies, and adopting what works. You can do some reconnaissance of your own for ideas about how to craft the perfect USP for your video business.
Who are your toughest competitors? Which successful video businesses would you like your company to emulate?
Make a list of 5 or 10 target companies. Go to their websites and pay close attention to how they present themselves and their services. Focus on anything that makes them stand out from a generic video business. Could you adapt any of their strategies for your own use?
A Unique Selling Proposition is nothing more than the thing that makes you a little different than everyone else. If you can identify it and leverage it, you’ll notice a difference in your customer base, your customer’s satisfaction, and your overall bottom line.