Hey! How are you?! Hopefully good, and you're about to get better! It is officially October and if you're new around here and don't know, beyond doing Brand + Website Design I wear the hats of Mom and Farm-Wife so we are smack dab in the middle of harvest and wishing for sunshine. And yes, I do drive a Combine. 🙂
BUT, let's talk today about your Unique Selling Position. Four years ago when I first started doing this I had ZERO idea that was even a term - and I have a degree in Business! So if it's new to you too, that's okay I've got your back. (And just an FYI - grab something to drink, get a pen and paper cause this post turned out longer than I planned!)
A Unique Selling Position defines what your brand stands for, how you can position yourself in the marketplace, and why your customers should choose you over your competitors. It's the thing that sets you apart and is so important in building a high-traffic website or blog and attracting clients. For example:
- Starbucks is known for its commitment to tailor-made high-quality coffee.
- TOMS Shoes story is that they give a new pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair you purchase
- Nerd Fitness: How many sites out there about fitness cater specifically to nerds?
- M&Ms: The milk chocolate that melts in your mouth, not in your hand.
When you’re first bringing your business to life, it’s tempting to try and be everything for everyone and provide ALL the things. After all, what’s more loveable than a brand that speaks to everyone and won't I make more money if everyone wants it?
Unfortunately, though you might like the idea of being an all-purpose business or blog, the truth is that when you attempt to be everything to everyone, you end up appealing to no-one. Your USP is like your unique thumbprint that you can put on your business, to tell a specific audience the definitive thing that you do best.
Your USP should answer these 3 questions:
- What is your product or service, and why is it different to whatever is currently on the market?
- Who is your customer, and what is their specific pain point that you’re hoping to address with your services?
- What’s your personality, tone of voice, and brand vision? How do you plan to present yourself in the market?
Steps to finding your USP:
Ask yourself which products exist that could fill the same gaps as yours, and what USPs your competitors have. To learn as much as possible, check out your competitor’s marketing materials, websites, and product descriptions.
Another REALLY important factor to ask is "Who is your ideal client?". After all, you’re making your product or service for a specific person, and that means appealing to unique characteristics, preferences, and ideals.
2. DISCOVERING YOUR STRENGTHS:
After doing some research on the competition - get a pretty pen and notebook out and start listing the strengths and weaknesses of your own brand in comparison. For example, your product might be cheaper, more luxurious, or more focused on customer-service than other options in the market. Find the element that helps you to best solve your customer’s problems, then highlight and shape it to make your brand more irresistible.
3. COMMUNICATING YOUR USP
Once you've figured out your USP, make sure that it is something you can communicate in everything you do, from marketing materials, your logo, packaging and online presence. Think about how your unique selling proposition and your brand name go hand-in-hand.
Here's the thing, when people come across your social media, website, marketing materials, etc., their first thought is "How can she help me?" or "What benefit am I going to get from this?". Humans can be selfish that way ;).
What consumers want, is an opportunity to make their lives better, to solve their problems or achieve an essential goal. This could be as simple as buying a sandwich because you’re hungry, or a set of tools to fix a sink. Getting your customers engaged with your brand, means discovering their pain points, and finding a way to solve them.
So why should clients choose your business over your competitors? For some brands, this will mean considering your marketing mix, including the product, price, place, and promotion of your company. Example, Wal-Mart is always doing the "rollback" and wants to be the cheapest - so they focus on Price. But a small business in your area may focus on #shoplocal - meaning their USP may have to do with Place.
Your USP is here to help your target audience realize you're perfect for them, to help you remember why your brand exists and gives you a strong foundation.
What's your USP?! Leave it in the comments I'd love to hear it!