What’s Your USP?

Shea / 16 February / Comments Off on What’s Your USP? / 151

Do You Really Know What’s Your USP (Identity/Advantage)?

Your USP should be developed around your strengths and your competitors’ weaknesses. Some general USP (Identity/Advantage) premises might be lower prices, biggest selection, longest warranty, convenience, quality, superior services, better guarantee – anything that sets you apart from the pack.  Keep in mind that how you articulate the advantages of your USP is every bit as important as the USP itself. The least compelling thing you can say is that your USP is Quality and Service. There’s nothing unique about quality and service. I’ll bet every one of your competitors thinks they offer quality and service. You have to be more specific. What's Your USP?

Here’s a way to force yourself to articulate your USP (Identity/Advantage) in a way that customers and prospects can embrace it: 
Imagine that you meet me in line at Sam’s Club and we start talking about your business. You’ve only got 30 seconds before you have to show the check-out lady your card to tell me what you do and why I should buy whatever you sell from your company. Practice your 30 second speech right now – that’s your USP.  If you think there’s nothing unique left within your industry to claim as your USP, give me a call. There’s always a niche that can be profitably carved out. An office supply company I work with, Business Technology, has grown to nearly a million dollar business on a simple USP – Easy to Order. That’s the One-Second version of the USP (Identity/Advantage). The 30-second speech goes like this: “Business Technology will save you time and hassle when ordering your office supplies. We’ll take your 100 most frequently ordered items and put them on an Instant Order Form – then when you’re ready to order, you just login to our website, enter the quantity of each item and click ‘Submit’. You don’t have to waste time searching our site or flipping through those huge catalogs for the same old items every time. We also give you search tools online so you can look up less frequently ordered items in a matter of seconds.”

Sounds kind of simple, doesn’t it? Also sounds like a service that the competition probably offers to their customers.  They probably do – I just make a big deal about it! It works like crazy!

Take a few minutes to think about your company and the competitive advantage to be gained by developing and articulating your own USP. What are you already doing that you could really concentrate on and emphasize to your customers?
Remember, the USP must be something you can truly deliver on, and it must be integrated into every single facet of your business. Imagine an air conditioning truck. What do most of them say on the side? “Best A/C Repair.” How about “Broken Air Conditioner? Cool Again Within 2 Hours or No Charge,” then a phone number, website, mobile response code, and name of the company.

Here are a few quick, simple ways you can continuously pound your USP into your customers’ and prospects’ minds:

  • Post your USP, articulated in a sentence or less, on your website, in all online marketing, on all company invoices, brochures, business cards, etc. Make sure your online and print ad headlines or sub-headlines include or refer to your USP (Identity/Advantage).
  • Make your USP the first or second sentence to come out of your salespeople’s mouths when they contact customers.
  • Continue to find ways to improve the performance of your USP, and then let your customers know what you’ve done.
  • I think you get the idea. Marketing is a battle for the consumer’s mind. If their minds perceive your business as truly offering more service and greater value, and you can consistently deliver, you will win the battle.

What else?  What are some more thoughts on articulating your USP (advantage)?

Shea Ellison | Updated: 05/22/2015 | Categories: Strategic Planning