For start-up, small and medium-sized businesses, figuring out what makes your business unique is one of the most significant marketing decisions you’ll ever make. What distinguishes you, your business and your product is known as your USP or “Unique Selling Proposition”.
The bottom line is that if you can’t decide what makes your company different, then how can you expect your prospects, and even your customers, to know? Your inability to pin down exactly who you are and why they should both care means that they will likely base their decision to purchase (or not purchase) your product on a whim. Which will probably make it a one time purchase. What’s worse is that your competitors who have more clearly spelled out their space will look a lot more attractive to this random buyer.
The Unique Selling Proposition concept is not new. It’s been around since the 1940’s, present at the cusp of the advertising golden age. Theodore Levitt, a professor at Harvard Business School, suggested that, “Differentiation is one of the most important strategic and tactical activities in which companies must constantly engage.”
What has made USP more difficult for companies to define today is the sheer volume of available marketing channels, the global customer base (even if you are a smaller company) and the highly increased exposure every business has due to the internet in general and social media in particular – often exposure they cannot control. Corralling all this is sort of like trying to find your classes your first day of college. “Where do I go?” “Who do I talk to?” “What do I do next?” – And maybe,”Why am I even here?”
Once you are able to articulate your USP, you will have a much clearer idea of how to create successful integrated marketing campaigns to promote your brand and your product across the entire gamut of traditional and internet/digital marketing channels.
To get you started down your USP path, answer these questions –
When you started this business, what was your vision?
What kind of internal culture do you want for your employees?
What does your business do? And why do you do it?
What do you stand for, both professionally and personally?
Are you in business to make money, make a difference or to make just enough to to make a living?
What market or markets are you serving, and what specific benefits do you offer them?
Do you solve a problem for your customers? What problem?
At Steelsmith Group, our marketing strategy team will give you the help you need to answer these questions and identify your key points of difference. From there we can partner with you to take that difference and come up with a bunch of creative ways for you to communicate your points of difference. We’ll put together campaigns that span content management, email marketing, business blogs, SEO, local SEO, website design, website development and CRM. So whether your business is right down the street here in San Diego, or across the country, give us a call. Together we’ll discover your unique selling proposition and we will build a business that customers love.