If you’re looking to grow your business or start a new one, a unique selling point (USP) can help you stand out from the competition and build a company identity.
Read on to find out about the different types of USP, how to identify one for your business, and how a unique selling point can help you to market your brand.
The USP meaning is something that makes a business different from its competitors – it could be to do with your product or service, but could also relate to your company culture or values.
A USP can help your business thrive, particularly if you’re solving a long-term problem for your target audience.
Once your business has a unique selling point, it’s crucial that you amplify it to your customers and do everything you can to become known for it.
A USP is the one thing that makes your business different from the rest. It can also help your business to grow if it’s something your target customers care about.
For new businesses especially, it can be hard to succeed without a USP. Even if you’re entering a crowded marketplace, you can still stand out with a unique selling point.
However, it’s important to remember that just being cheaper than the competition shouldn’t be your USP. Even if your service or product is very similar to your competitors, you can stand out with a USP such as a sustainable focus or innovative brand values.
A strong USP can help you to attract customers and build loyalty. It also gives your business a purpose and identity, which can motivate staff and make sure everyone is pulling in the same direction.
Another benefit of having a USP is that it can give a focus for your marketing activity – even if you don’t have a catchy slogan, referencing your USP in advertising can be highly effective.
Your company’s USP can be anything, but here’s an overview of some of the most common types of differentiators:
If you’re a new business, it’s useful to identify your USP as soon as possible. Here are some of the questions you’ll need to ask yourself:
This process is similar to finding a gap in the market. By carrying out the following steps, you can start to build your USP and stand out from your competitors.
1. Make a list of your strong points
Established businesses can think about all the things they do well and all the things they’re known for by their customers.
If you’re yet to launch, make a list of all the things you want to be known for and think about how they could form a USP.
2. Research your competitors
Finding out more about what your competitors are good at and what makes them stand out can help you to identify a gap in the market or a USP for your business.
Read our guide on how to do a competitor analysis for your small business to get started.
3. Compare and compile all your data
Once you’ve gathered all the information about your own business and your competitors, it’s time to compare and contrast.
Getting together with your team, analysing the information and brainstorming ideas can be an effective way to home in on your USP.
4. Market research and focus groups
Speaking to your target customers is really important as it helps you to find out what they want and what they expect from you.
You can run focus groups and get prospective customers to test your service. Analysing internet search trends and monitoring social media are also beneficial.
Read our in-depth guide to market research for small businesses for more ideas.
5. Positioning your business
Once you’ve decided on a USP, you’ll need to think about how you’re going to promote it to potential customers.
Effective marketing is a crucial part of building your identity and becoming known for your USP. Read our guide to marketing for small businesses for top tips on SEO, content marketing, and reviews.
6. Record everything and keep reviewing
Make sure you document everything from market research and competitor analysis to brainstorming sessions and written USP statements.
It’s important to remember that you’ll need to keep reviewing and refining your USP as the needs of your customers change.
Some of the world’s most successful businesses have got to where they are by building their identity on a strong USP.
Here are some well-known examples:
There are also many brand names that have become synonymous with the product or service they offer, such as Biro, Hoover, Sellotape, and Jacuzzi.
Having a strong USP is pointless if none of your target customers know about it, which is why marketing is so important.
Here are four quick tips to help promote your USP effectively:
Do you have any tips for identifying a unique selling point? Let us know in the comments below.
Photograph 1: BullRun/stock.adobe.com
Photograph 2: Seventyfour/stock.adobe.com
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