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Entries in USP (2)

Monday
Mar112013

Creating A Unique Selling Proposition

We live in a world where our customers are bombarded with thousands of advertisements a day leading to confusion as to which messages are important and which should be ignored.

To compound this, there is so many options (me-too’s, like products etc) for a customer to choose from. In fact in a lot of fields the customer will tell you there is “too many” options making it hard to tell them apart.

This is why we need to create a USP, or a Unique Selling Proposition, for your product. If you make it easy for the customer the message is more easily assimilated into the brain as it is only the information that we are certain of that we remember well.

A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) tells the consumer about your product as well as why it differs from all of the other competitors and why it is better. It takes work on the part of the marketer to develop a strong USP, and this is the reason why most companies do not develop USPs. The work proves to be daunting, so is avoided by most marketers. Take the time, for these efforts will set your product ahead of your competitors.

A great USP will allow your brand to define and own it’s own space in the consumer's mind - always better to play in a market of one!

Emotion must be a consideration in any marketing campaign that you develop. More than 80-90% of all purchasing decisions are based upon consumers’ emotions, even if it is only that they rationalize their decisions. This should be an important element when developing your USP.

There is an effective approach for creating a USP:

Start with reconnaissance,  examine your marketplace in great detail. You need to list your competitors, and then find out what they are telling consumers about their products. Why would anyone purchase your competitors’ products?  Each of these competitors has tried to create USPs for their products, so review what they tout. What are the strengths and weaknesses of your competition? What have they failed to do for the consumer? Is there a particular demographic that your product falls into?

Take this information that you have collected and analyze it. Look for the weaknesses of your competitors and for areas in the marketplace they have not filled. What do they do well and where have they failed?
Now consider your own product in the light of this information. What can you do for consumers that your competition fails to do?  This can be the beginning of your USP: how are you differentiated from your competitors? Do consumers view you as better, more expert, more efficient, unique in the market? Why is your product special? Do you fill a marketplace void? Consider emotional aspects: do you make the life of your consumers better? Do customers have any hopes or fears when purchasing this product? What do you do for them that no one else can?

Focus on the positive aspects of your product that you have uncovered. This is the time to create a USP for your product. Consider the features of your product in light of all of the information you have collected, including how these features will benefit your consumers. Then develop a simple phrase that extols the best aspects of your product in an emotional context.

Using the information above and follow these steps to create your own USP -

Step 1: Use your biggest benefits
Step 2: Be unique
Step 3: Solve an industry “pain point” or “performance gap”
Step 4: Be about the consumer - no self indulging chest beating here
Step 5: Be specific and offer proof
Step 6: Condense into one clear and concise sentence
Step 7: Use everyday language - you are selling not showing off your scholarly attributes
Step 7: Integrate your USP into all marketing materials - repetition is your friend
Step 8: Deliver on your USP’s promise

These are some my favourite USP’s and why they worked so well are -

“Absolutely positively has to be there overnight” - FexEx. This is a bold, confident  statement separating FedEX from it’s competitors. And think if they can make it overnight what impression does that give you about every other service they offer?

“1,000 songs in your pocket” Apple Ipod. In a high tech industry where the consumer cannot be expected to know the features and benefits Apple made this real simple -  no thinking required (from the company they used the slogan Think Different)

“The Gadget Guy” Peter Blasina. Most people would feel awkward about a creating a personal USP, but you still need to create a space in the consumers mind.  

Now you have created a USP for your product, a competitive edge most companies never achieve. Utilize this uniqueness in every marketing campaign, for the hard-won information that you have gathered is like gold.  

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