When I started my first business, I was super-excited. It was a blessing to stay awake and work on something bigger than myself. For 6 months, life was wonderful. Stressful. But perfect. I was doing what I loved. Sales were on a growth curve. But things eventually started going south. Reason? We will get back to that later.
Everything was on track. A brilliant team. Excellent website. An addictive app and an upbeat social media team. It took me some time to realize what I was doing wrong. Since my brand was new, customers were happy to try. But then more brands realized what I was doing, jumped on the bandwagon, and my sales went down the dumps.
A business without sales is nothing. The only thing that drives customers to buy from you is your Unique Selling Proposition, which is your company’s DNA, it’s being for existing. By having a clear USP, your branding and marketing are stronger because you have an unobstructed vision of the message you are aiming to deliver. This is what I lacked at that time, but on my second venture, I worked on my unique selling proposition and highlighted my strong points.
These days, creating a unique selling proposition is necessary to attract the right customers & turn away the wrong ones.
If you have a firm grip on how your ideal customer thinks, it will be easier for you to create a killer USP. If you don’t know where to start, keep reading and you’ll find out.
Steps to Creating a promising ‘Unique Selling Proposition’
Your USP needs to be as promising as the headline that sells your product/service. Since you are willing to maximize your results, you need to follow these simple steps to highlight the core benefits of your product.
Step 1: Start with the Benefits
Take out a piece of paper and write the first three benefits that your brand offers. Let me be straight here. Your client doesn’t care if you offer best price or high quality, if you’re not telling WHY your product is different from your competition, nothing will matter. “The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.” The fact that the M&M candy shell prevents the chocolate core from oozing out and creating a mess, is a definite plus for customers, and M&Ms made sure to make it their unique selling point.
Think in terms of the end-result. What is the one benefit that your customer will get by using your product? Now move towards the next step.
Step 2: Be Unique
The key is to be unique. A unique USP will set the buying criteria for your customers which will identify the logical choice for your customers.
Figure out how your unique selling proposition is creating an urgency and desire. Your product should offer something valuable. Consider the following example:
Product: “A unique baseball bat which will make you swing like a pro”
Unique offering: “A simple technique which can help you learn to swing like a pro in 10 minutes.”
Guarantee: “Either you’ll swing like a pro or we will return your money.”
Step 3: Solve a Pain-point
For instance, Dominos Pizza started with a “Pizza delivered in 30 minutes or for free.” the USP became widely successful. The performance gap between the current and desired state should improve. When Mom and Dad come home after a long day and they are unable to cook, but the kids are starving and now they want Pizza. Just call Dominos!
“Everything you need in the bathroom—from razor blades to grooming products—automatically delivered to your door. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.” By offering a subscription-based service that delivers personal grooming products to customers by mail, the Dollar shave club eliminates the hassle of running out of a certain product when it is needed the most and having to rush to a store.
This is problem-solving at its core. The pain-point was “hunger” in case of Dominoes, and convenience in the latter, and it was acknowledged in the respective USPs.
Step 4: Offer some Social proof
Consumers often feel skeptical about the false claims that brands make in their unique selling propositions. Don’t be an airbag and write anything that you’re not offering and then not live up to the expectations. Write ideas on paper and measure them with your company values.
Step 5: Use your USP across all marketing Efforts
Use variation of your unique selling proposition in every marketing collateral that you send to your customer, from advertising copy to business cards, brochure, and flyers.
Your elevator pitch and the conversation starter that you do, need to revolve around your USP.
Step 6: Delivering the promise
That’s the most challenging task. To live up to your USP.
You need to ensure that you deliver your USP carefully. Reputation is hard to build and easy to lose. If you don’t work on delivering the value that your USP offered in the first place, it will ruin your reputation and burn you at the stakes.
For example, in the beginning, FedEx faced the problem of staying true to their USP of overnight delivery. But they established systems which allowed them to make good on their USP.
A powerful unique selling proposition is like an anchor that can save a dying ship. It’s a driving force that will establish the base of your success.
Build your USP and leverage it to optimize your marketing materials for maximum results. Take these 6 steps and come up with a memorable, actionable, and unique selling proposition. Not just write it down; live your brand USP.